The Primaries are tomorrow here in Florida. The race has been hot, to say the least, with almost every single evening commercial break being completely taken up with campaign attack ads. Having already done my civic duty — it’s really easy to vote early here — I thought I’d commemorate the craziness with a little patriotism.
(You don’t need to explain the irony to me of using a French-named dessert… Maybe you could use this for Bastille Day this summer.)
I saw this easy Napoleon recipe on TidyMom a week ago & knew I needed to make it. I love that the thick pudding/whipped cream mixture is essentially a quick pastry cream! Her version uses raspberries & bananas, which sounded good, but strawberries & blueberries are in season here, & I have to tell you, they’re the best I’ve ever tasted. Living in the same county as the top growers for Florida strawberries, we’re getting Farmer’s Market quality in the grocery store! It’s unbelievable. So I thought I’d complement those berries with chocolate & cinnamon instead of TidyMom’s caramel & brown sugar.
That’s the great thing about this: you can do it however you want! I actually was going to do bananas too, but a certain husband ate the last one. Honestly, though, I don’t think we missed them!
One quick note: in the future, I think I’ll use puff pastry instead of crescent dough for a flakier, more authentic texture.
- 1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent rolls (or use puff pastry)
- cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup cold skim milk
- 1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla (regular vanilla works fine too) instant pudding & pie filling mix
- 1 cup prepared whipped cream*
- thinly sliced fruit of choice (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, whole blueberries)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- vegetable oil
*I made mine with very little powdered sugar so that it wouldn’t be overwhelmingly sweet. You could also use Cool Whip.
- Preheat your oven to 375. Cover a baking sheet with parchment.
- Unroll your crescents into 4 rectangles. Pinch shut the seams that turn them into triangles. Use a pizza cutter or very sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles, approx. 4″x2″. Place on prepared baking sheet & sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden & beginning to puff. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together milk & pudding mix until smooth & beginning to thicken, then refrigerate 30 minutes, until set.
- Fold in whipped cream. If you’re serving this later, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to serve. If you’re serving immediately, continue.
- Microwave chocolate chips in a small bowl until melted. Stir in enough oil to thin the chocolate to where it is “drizzle-able” (pretend that’s a word).
- Construct Napoleons as follows: one crescent rectangle, dollop of pudding mixture, sliced fruit, another crescent rectangle, another dollop, more fruit, & one last crescent rectangle. Drizzle with chocolate. For small children, just dollop some pudding in a bowl, place a crescent rectangle in the pudding, & top with fruit & chocolate drizzle.
Get Your Craft On Tuesdays
Need ideas for something a little outside the box to bring to your Christmas party this weekend?
My friend Bethany made this for a Christmas recipe exchange a few years ago, & I think I probably ate half of it on my own. It’s tasty, healthy, & festive-looking!
For each tree (16 rounds), here’s what you need:
- 1 can crescent rolls
- 4 oz. cream cheese (I use Neufchatel), softened*
- 1/4 cup sour cream*
- 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed*
- 1/16 tsp. (just fill the 1/8 halfway) garlic powder*
- assorted veggies in various shapes to “trim your tree”
* If you’re not a fan of dill, you can substitute 4 oz. Garden Veggie Cream Cheese plus 1/4 cup sour cream
- Preheat your oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Unwrap your crescent rolls, but do not unroll. Cut each of the 2 sections into 8 slices to get 16 slices total. (This was when I realized my knife needed sharpening. You may need to reshape your rounds to make them…er… round again.)
- Place your slices cut side down on the parchment to form a 5-row triangle & a single one at the bottom for a “trunk.”
- Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden.
- Combine cream cheese, sour cream, dill, & garlic powder in a small bowl. Spread over the tree (not the trunk), leaving a border around the outside to make it easier for people to pull some off. (Once the edge pieces are taken, people tend to get the general idea, so you don’t need to top each round individually.)
- “Trim your tree” with your veggies. Tip: start with your “greenery” (broccoli or snipped green onions). Then do the “star” (yellow pepper) & “garlands” (red pepper slices), & fit everything else around that. Don’t feel bound to the veggies I chose; go with what you love!
I have a confession to make: I have had the hardest time getting inspired in the kitchen lately. Even though the morningsickness is pretty much gone, nothing sounds good to me, & none of the meals I cook myself have tasted good to me. (Anyone else have this problem?)
A few notable exceptions: this barbecue chicken, some stellar alfredo I found here, &…
My good friend Mandy gave me her grandmother’s recipe, & it was so perfect, warm, & comforting — exactly what I was craving that day.
- 1-2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent roll dough (depending on how full you want your crescents to be… I always use 1 & end up with a little extra filling at the end, no matter how full I fill them)
- 3 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1 Tbsp. (or more, to taste) chopped green onions
- about 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1-2 Tbsp. melted butter
- Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese & butter until smooth. Add salt, pepper, green onions, & milk. Mix well.
- Mix in chicken.
- Unroll crescents & separate into triangles. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp. of the chicken mixture onto the center of each triangle, then fold ends in. Pinch to seal.
- Brush each with a little butter, then sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Her grandma — & my mother-in-law, I might add — serve this with a sort of gravy made from cream of chicken soup, but I think the texture is perfect eaten as-is.