Food-snob alert: If you detest recipes that start with, “Take one tube of dough…”, avert your eyes. This recipe is definitely not for you. It is full of refined sugars, chemical preservatives, saturated fat, and processed carbs. It bears the name Sopapilla without having the slightest resemblance to the actual, authentic Mexican flatbread. The food snob part of me is embarrassed to share this recipe. The food lover in me can’t help it. It’s just so freakin’ good.
It’s so good, in fact, that I’ve made it three times in a week. So good, that the last time I made it, I fell into one of my common mental anguish moments while cooking something so tasty: Do I dare innovate, or leave it well enough alone? I can have an idea of how to make it better, but then I get worried that it won’t be as good as the tried-and-true original and I’ll be left still craving it. So, instead of just sucking it up and trying something new, I do what any neurotic baker would do- make both and recruit my friends and family for a side-by-side taste test. Obviously.
It started when I went to the store for the cream cheese and I saw some seriously beautiful strawberries. Well, beautiful in a grocery store, beginning-of-June kind of way. And I thought, why not chop some up and throw them in the filling? Surely a little fruit wouldn’t hurt the carb-fest that is this recipe.
So, basically, I made a full recipe, but split it into two pans- one plain, one strawberry. Then, I let friends and family taste both and vote on which was better. And the winner is… well I have no idea, because half liked the plain and half liked the strawberry. And I didn’t even vote, because I couldn’t decide. They were both delicious. The plain was good in a decadent, comfort food kind of way- simply a crispy, flaky crust atop a creamy cheesecake filling. The cinnamon sugar tastiness of it all is familiar and just as you’d expect- delicious. The strawberry makes it a little more interesting, admittedly, but not wildly so. It does cut the straight-up sweetness a little bit, which I like, but it also made the finished product a little soggier. I imagine if you just added a few minutes to the baking time, that wouldn’t be so much of a problem. Or, as one noble taste tester noted, “I like the sogginess.”
While I try to figure out what exactly that means, give it a try for yourself. Either way, you won’t regret it. Until you feel obligated to eat salad for dinner after scarfing down the better part of the pan.
This recipe can easily be halved and made in a single 8×8 pan. But you should be warned that if you make a half recipe that they will be gone entirely too quickly.
2 cans crescent rolls (even better if you can find the find without perforations)
2 (8oz) packages softened cream cheese
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup diced strawberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Unroll and spread one can crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 9×13 pan (or 2 8x8s).
Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. If using strawberries, sprinkle them on top of cream cheese mixture.
Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture.
Mix 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.