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Heart-Shaped Lemon Puffed Pastries

Photo Credit: The Classic Catering People, 2017.

For me, cooking and baking is a true expression of love. And with Valentine's Day right around the corner I can’t think of a better way to express love by treating the special people in my life with this delightful scrumptious dessert.

Adapted from The Classic Catering People January 31, 2017

Makes 2 Pastries

Ingredients: For the Cupcake Filling: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 4 commercially prepared lemon cupcakes, without icing 1 sheet puff pastry 1 egg yolk

For the Cheesecake Filling: 1 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 6 ounces sour cream

Confectioners sugar, optional

Special Equipment: Heart-shaped cookie cutters Pastry bag with plain tip (#3 or #4 tip)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 365 º F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

n a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and the vanilla; mix until smooth. Add sour cream; mix until combined. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese filling and set aside.

Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut 4 heart pieces out of the puff pastry, to have a top and bottom for each heart.Layer half of graham cracker crumbs in a heart shape on top of the puff pastry, keeping it away from the edges.

Pipe a layer of cheesecake in a zigzag pattern on top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Crumble the cupcakes and sprinkle some on top of the cheesecake layer, covering the cheesecake as much as possible.

Pipe another layer of cheesecake filling on top of the red velvet cake, making sure to stay away from edges.

Place a puff pastry heart on top of the layers; line it up to meet the edges of the bottom heart. Using the same cookie cutter push down to cut the edges off the heart and seal the pastry together.

Brush the pastries with the egg yolk wash. Place the pastries on the prepared cookie sheet and place in the oven and bake until golden brown, turning over once.

Remove from the oven.

Dust with a little confectioners sugar and serve with coffee, if desired.

Cook's Notes:

Substitutes for pastry bags Plastic Sandwich Bag:Plastic sandwich bags are a popular substitute for pastry bags. They are useful because they are disposable, most homes have them and they are easy to handle. You can use zip-top bags, slider-tip bags or simple sandwich bags that have a fold-over top. Simply put the frosting in the bag and push it to one corner. Twist the top of the bag shut and place one hand at the back of the frosting. Snip the tip of the corner with a pair of scissors and begin piping. Begin with a small cut and gradually adjust if you want your pipes bigger. You can also snip the corner and place a metal pastry piper into the bag before you put the frosting in so that you can make designs.

Paper:You can use parchment, grease proof or waxed paper to make a pastry bag. Simply cut the paper into a square. Then, fold it into a triangle by bringing one corner to the opposite corner. Roll the triangle into a cone so that the point will be where the frosting comes out. Tape the cone together. Add a metal piping tool and then the frosting. Fold the top of the bag down and begin piping. Paper is a popular substitute for pastry bags because most kitchens will have some variety of glossy paper.

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