Cream Cheese Christmas Tree
Merry Xmas people
Every part of the world has its own unique food and special dishes for festivals. Last year I was in Guadalajara, Mexico and making tamales is a Christmas tradition. I learnt how to make Tamales from my daughter-in-law’s mom who is a super cook. The base of tamales is a corn dough, wrapped in corn husk and then steamed. She stuffed them with different fillings with pork, and some with beef, chicken and with mushrooms for me.
A dessert that characteristically represents the Yule Log is La Bûche de Noël. A wood log that was customarily carried into the home, sprinkled with wine, and then burned on Christmas Eve. Once the electric heaters came into place this dessert took over its place.
I am a very impulsive and jugaadu cook. I search for substitutes for everything. Usually it works out but for this recipe I made a couple of gaffes. The original recipe was with spinach and I didn’t have any at home. I have wonderful Kale growing in my garden and I plucked a few leaves and used them. We don’t get cheddar or parmesan cheese here easily and I thought I could make do with the Mozzarella I had at home. This was my biggest mistake so don’t repeat it please.
Let me take you Step by step through this interesting Cream Cheese Christmas Tree
Cream Cheese Christmas Tree
For the dough
1 cup flour (maida)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoons olive oil or any oil
¼ cup water add as required
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ tablespoon lemon juice
In a mixing bowl take 1 cup flour or Maida, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
Mix very well.
Add 1 tablespoons olive oil and ½ tablespoon lemon juice.
Mix and crumble the flour.
Add water slowly and knead the dough.
Keep on kneading till you get a soft and smooth dough.
As there is no yeast you have to really knead very well. Knead at least for 10 to 12 minutes.
The dough should become elastic and stretchable
It should not be sticky but tacky. Rub some oil on your hands while kneading
Rub a little olive oil all over the dough and keep aside covered in a bowl.
Allow the dough to leaven for 2 to 2:30 hours.
Check the dough by punching one of your fingers in the dough and the depression should give away.
Once again knead the dough lightly before using it. If not using immediately, cover the dough in aluminium foil or a keep it covered in a closed container in the fridge.
You can also freeze the dough and it will stay good for a month.
Make a large ball of the dough and roll it into a rectangle.
Spread butter paper and roll on top of it as it would stick after the filling is put on it.
With the help of a pizza cutter cut a triangle from two ends taking it to the centre.
Take both the edges and combine to make another triangle.
For the filling
1 cup chopped kale
1cup cream cheese or thick hung curd, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, beat together the kale and cream cheese. Add the garlic, salt, onion powder, pepper, chilli powder, Italian seasoning and beat to combine.
Add parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and beat to combine.
Don’t forget to use a parchment paper or foil under the rolled out dough.
Spread the cream cheese evenly over one triangle. Sprinkle some parmesan all over it.
Now take the other triangle and place it over the stuffing gently sealing the edges.
Now with the pizza cutter, make gashes from the top end. Start from the centre to the edge make a clean cut till the bottom.
Repeat the same on the other side.
Now take each block and gently twist it once at the top and as you go down where it’s broader, twist two to three times.
Bake the tree for about 20 to 25 minutes until quite golden brown on top and cooked through on the bottom.
Melt butter and stir in garlic salt and seasoning, brush over breadsticks.
The bread sticks are pull-apart and mine were really very tasty although the tree didn’t turn out very neat.
Serve the Cream Cheese Christmas Tree breadsticks warm.