Creme-Filled Apple Dumplings
-1 can refrigerated crescent rolls OR refrigerated pastry dough sheet
-2 ounces (about 1/4 small container) cream cheese
-1 vanilla pudding cup (or about 3.5-4 ounces prepared pudding)
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-12 thin apple slices
-small amount sugar & hot water for glaze (see instructions below)
(The great thing about this recipe is that it can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled using few ingredients! A 4-pack of pudding and an 8-oz tub of cream cheese exactly quadruple the recipe, for instance.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Open a can of refrigerated crescent roll dough OR a canned, uncut pastry dough sheet. Pull the dough out, work it into a good blob, and slice the dough into six roughly equal portions with a sharp knife.
Take each dough portion and knead it into a flat “patty” about 1/4″ thick. Place these dough patties down in the cups of an ungreased muffin tin. Let dough come up the sides as far as it can. (About halfway is good–if one patty turns out to be skimpier than another, you can always “steal” a little dollop of dough from one to stick inside the other.)
In a small bowl, microwave 2 ounces (about 1/4 small container) cream cheese on HIGH for 20 seconds. Stir in the contents of one vanilla pudding cup (or abour 3-4 ounces prepared vanilla pudding) and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Add a spoonful of filling mixture to each pastry cup.
Next, cut about 12 very thin slices (about 3/16″ thick) of an unpeeled apple and then halve each slice (see photo) as if you’d folded the two long ends back on themselves. Stick about 4 apple slice halves, peel-side-up, down into the filling of each pastry cup.
Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until visible portions of pastry dough have turned golden brown and filling develops a texture similar to toothpaste when touched.
Remove from oven; let cool 2-3 minutes before removing pastries from muffin tin. Meanwhile, mix a few teaspoons of sugar with a very small amount of hot water (add water a few drops at a time) to form a sort of goopy syrup you will use to glaze each pastry with.
Brush or spoon the wet sugar in thin layers onto the warm pastries. Allow a few minutes to dry. Sugar will crystalize and form a shiny, professional-bakery look to your dumplings, and also lend the crescent roll dough a bit of sweetness on the outside as well.
Top with additional sprinkled cinnamon or drizzle with caramel syrup. Each can of crescent roll dough should make 6 finished dumplings.