Thursday, September 3, 2009
One of my favorite bakeries here in LA is called Porto's Bakery in Glendale, CA. It's a Cuban bakery that serves up delicious pastries, breads, cakes, sandwiches. They have a sister branch in Burbank. But the Glendale location is their main store. I've been in the U.S. for 20 years and they've been around longer than that. In the same location. I remember when it was just a little average size store before they expanded and added the cafe area. It's a favorite among the locals in the LA area. Anytime of the day, 7-days a week there are always busy long waiting lines. I think it's worth the wait. I guess they must be doing something right. The owner is also one of the nicest ladies I've ever met. You'd find her there baking away and making sure things are done right.
A few of my favorite items that I love to order is their in-house banana chips (marquitas), guava and cream cheese danish, french dinner rolls, potato balls (that one is really good) and they also make some tasty cakes. My all-time favorite item they make would have to be the cheese rolls. I always get a bit sad when I take that last bite because there won't be anymore in that little bakery box. Just the remnants of what was. It's like a cannoli-shaped puff pastry filled with some sort of cream cheese mixture and basted with something sweet and sprinkled with sugar. It only costs, I think, 50 cents for one. Pretty good bargain. I could literally eat 4 in one sitting. It's definitely one of the more popular items there.
Anyway...I've always wondered what the recipe was like. I doubt that they'd divulge the secret to such a loved pastry. So here's my take on it. I used a can of those Pillsbury crescent rolls. I have yet to learn how to make croissants, but I will eventually. Used some cream cheese, an egg yolk and some powdered sugar. After baking them, I basted the tops with some honey to give the dough some sweetness and sprinkled some raw cane sugar on top.
The resulting taste? I think I did pretty good. There are some similarities. Though, theirs is slightly flakier. I may try using a puff pastry sheet next time. But of course, it doesn't compare to the real thing, but I'm happy with my little experiment. So in case I can't make it to the bakery, I can always satisfy that craving with my homemade version. Plus, can you see the cream cheese sort of oozing out from the side? Those are the some of the good parts. These are an awesome treat for a party or a get together.
Besides, just because I tried making my own doesn't mean that it would stop me from buy the real cheese rolls. I love them too much to give them up. I think I may just go get some right now.
Make 4 large rolls or 8 small rolls.
Cheese Rolls (Little J Style)
1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls or 1 puff pastry sheet
4 oz cream cheese
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp raw cane sugar
3 tsp honey
Preheat your oven to 375˚F
Combine together the cream cheese, egg yolk and powdered sugar until smooth. Set aside.
Open the can of crescent rolls and divide them into 4 large rectangles or 8 small rectangles.
Lay them on an ungreased baking sheet and divide the cream cheese mixture among the dough sheets. Placing the dollop on one end, then lightly roll them up into a cylindar.
Bake for 10-13 min. (It's alright if the filling oozes out from the sides. Those parts taste good slightly burnt.)
Remove from the oven and baste the honey over the top and sprinkle some of the cane sugar. Let the rolls cool completely to let the filling settle.