Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Praline Crescent Dessert

Call them what you will: These are GOOD!
Of all the Time Capsule recipes I’ve prepared to date, this one seems the most likely candidate to not only have been loved by a child, but to have been developed by one, too. I mean, look at that ingredient list: crisp rice cereal, coconut, crescent rolls … add some marshmallow fluff and bubble gum ice cream, and you’ve reached an 8-year-old’s version of nirvana.
If not created by a child, then perhaps it was developed on a dare. It’s like Iron Chef drove the DeLorean back to 1985: Your ingredients are margarine, pecans and powdered sugar. Go! (And don’t forget, we want to be able to garnish it with whipped cream!)
How many ingredients do you have in your pantry right now?
I pride myself on being able to have a good idea of what a recipe will look and taste like before I start preparing it. This one, however, was perplexing from start to finish, no doubt thanks to the “Dessert” in the title. The first step was to prepare a simple caramel by melting the margarine and brown sugar. The addition of the sour cream to the caramel added a nice tangy bite that helped balance the overwhelming sweetness of the remaining ingredients.
 Next, the crescent rolls (love those crescent rolls!) are pressed into muffin cups and filled with a sweetened cream-cheese filling. Finally, they’re topped with the cereal, nuts and coconut, which you’ve coated in the caramel, like a Rice Krispie Treat died and went to heaven.
The filling reminds me a little of German Chocolate Cake frosting.
During the Dessert’s quick stint in the oven, the kitchen filled with a wonderful, sugary, bread-y, coconutty aroma, Out of the oven, they were beautiful, if still a mystery. The cereal looked like it retained some of its crunch, as did the nuts and, to a lesser extent, the coconut. The crescent rolls, golden brown and puffy (love those crescent rolls!), enveloped all that sugary goo like the true supermarket champions they are.  
And, first bite: Oh thank you, prepackaged food gods. “Dessert” may be a misnomer, but frankly, who cares what this is called?  It’s like a pecan pie and cheese Danish got married and decided to honeymoon on a crescent roll. SOOOOOOO good and gooey and sticky and chewy and just altogether a wonderful surprise.  
So in case it isn’t obvious by now: I am an 8-year-old at heart, and I bet you are, too. So go on, roll out the pantry staples and run to the grocery if you have to. I dare you not to love this one.
Golden brown and hot out of the oven.

Praline Crescent Dessert

1/3 cup Parkay margarine or butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons dairy sour cream
1 cup crisp rice cereal
½ cup chopped pecans or nuts
½ cup coconut
8-oz. can Pillsbury Refrigerated Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls
3-oz. package Philadelphia Brand cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375-degrees. In small saucepan, over low heat, melt margarine. Add brown sugar; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sour cream; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat. Add cereal, nuts and coconut; stir to coat evenly. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Press each triangle to cover bottom and sides of ungreased muffin cups. Combine cheese and powdered sugar. Spread rounded teaspoonful over bottom of each cup. Spoon heaping tablespoonful cereal mixture into each cup.

Bake at 375-degrees for 11 to 16 minutes until deep golden brown. Serve topped with whipped cream, if desired. Store in refrigerator. 8 servings.

An ooey-gooey treat.

·      I found the whipping cream to be overkill, but you may feel differently, especially if you do choose to serve these as an après-supper treat.
·      You’re missing out if you’re not in the kitchen RIGHT NOW preparing these. Don’t be a snob – just go.

Why Don’t You …
·      Serve these with breakfast or brunch? As much as it is possible – if not advisable – to eat these around the clock, I think they would really come into their own served with some savory morning dishes to balance their awesome sweetness. I’m telling you right now, you will need to double the recipe.

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