Cinnamon Raisin Swirls make an impressive showing for brunch or a special breakfast. They begin with pre-made puff pastry sheets and are filled with raisins, nuts, and sweetened cream cheese. The method is simple, and the filling is adaptable to use any of your favorite dried fruits.
Cinnamon Raisin Swirls Recipe
8 ounces (1 large block) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup raisins (see Notes)
1 egg, separated, divided use
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons powdered confectioner’s sugar
1 package (17.3 ounces) puff pastry (2 sheets of dough – Pepperidge Farm® brand recommended)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted but not hot
1 cup powdered confectioner’s sugar
Heavy cream or milk
Place the cream cheese, brown sugar, pecans or walnuts, raisins, egg yolk (reserving the white), vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse, scraping down sides, until the nuts are roughly chopped into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.
Sift the powdered sugar evenly over a long piece of parchment paper (about 30 inches long). Roll out one sheet of puff pastry to approximately 10- by 12-inch rectangles on the far right of the paper. Whisk the egg white until frothy. Brush a 1-inch wide strip of egg white on the left short side of the pastry. Open the second sheet of pastry and overlap the short edges by 1-inch, then roll out the pastry to match the first sheet. You should have a long sheet of pastry about 24- by 10 inches.
Spread the filling evenly over puff pastry rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch of one long side on each bare. Roll the pastry into a log, starting with the long side and rolling away from you.
Whisk the egg white until frothy. Use the egg white as glue to secure the ends of the log to make one large circular roll (like a wreath). Brush with the melted butter.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Transfer the parchment paper with the circular roll onto a 10- by 15-inch jelly roll pan.
Cut slits outward from the center, like spokes on a wheel, 1-1/2 inches apart leaving 1-inch around the center still connected. (See photos below.) Gently twist each slice to the left, taking care not to disconnect the center.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes (oven temperatures vary, so keep an eye on it) until golden. Let cool to room temperature.
For the Glaze:
Whisk heavy cream or milk a little at a time into the powdered sugar so that it barely drips from the whisk. Scrape into a zip-top bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Snip a small corner from the bottom of the bag and drizzle the cooled Cinnamon Raisin Swirls with the glaze.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
• Substitute your favorite dried fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, currants, cherries, prunes, or a mixture.