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Christmas Cherry Citrus Pastries

Homemade candied citrus strips were the inspiration for these petite cream cheese-rich cherry pastries. They take a little extra time to prepare but are well worth it!—Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 large grapefruit
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • PASTRIES:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 1/3 cup cherry preserves

Directions

  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel grapefruit making wide strips. With a sharp knife, carefully remove white pith from peel. Cut peel into 1/4-in. strips. (Save fruit for another use.)
  • Place grapefruit strips in a small saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 10 minutes; drain.
  • In same saucepan, combine 2/3 cup water, sugar and grapefruit strips; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until peels are transparent, 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a wire rack placed over a baking pan. Let stand overnight. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk flour and sugar. Cut in butter and cream cheese until mixture is crumbly. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 8-10 times.
  • Roll dough into a 12x10-in. rectangle or oval. Starting with a shorter side, fold dough into thirds, forming a 4x10-in. rectangle. Place folded dough with longer side facing you; repeat rolling and folding twice, always ending with a 4x10-in. rectangle. (If at any point the butter softens, chill after folding.) Cover folded dough; refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. square. Cut into 2-in. squares. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press a deep indentation in center of each with the end of a wooden spoon handle. Fill each with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon preserves.
  • Bake until golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Top with candied peel; remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 pastry: 116 calories, 7g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 61mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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