Anyhoo...We were gathering our ingredients this morning, preparing to make something totally different from what we ended up making, when I spotted my lonely mini-muffin pan, sad looking and begging me to use it, sitting atop my preheating oven. Thus, these were born...
I KNOW! I was excited too...actually...I was super pleased with how these came out since when I started making them, I really had no idea what exactly I was going for.
They are kind of like little puff-pastry cheesecakes with coconut on top, but the best thing I learned while making them is they really don't need to be baked. You could pre-bake your pastry cups or buy pre-made ones, fill them, then put them in the refrigerator to set...but I like my coconut toasted and the filling set better by baking them, so here's how I did it:
1 can (8 count, regular) Crescent Rolls (yes, that is pizza crust in the picture. I told you, I originally set out to make something different so pretend that it's the crescent rolls)
Whipped Vanilla Icing (no exact measurement but roughly 2 big scoops with a spoon)
1 big scoop regular cream cheese
Small bag shredded, sweetened coconut
Green food coloring
Candy Easter eggs (I used Reese's. Something else I must disclose, I love Spring, I love Easter, I HATE jelly beans, but you can use them if you like :) )
Preheat your oven as per crescent rolls can.
I have never dyed coconut before and really, don't know how. So instead of looking it up, I tried what I thought might work...and it did. Yay! I'm not sure if this is the "real" way (maybe?), but it was super easy and I love "super easy."
I put my coconut in a mixing bowl, added about 10 drops of green food coloring and stir, stir, stirred until it was all green.
Grease your muffin tin. I used an 8 count crescent roll pack and it made 12 of these little Easter Baskets.
About 2/3 of a crescent roll will do for each of these. Break your dough off, shape and smoosh it until it makes a little cup in each of your mini-muffin tin. There's really no method to this except you want it thick enough so the cream cheese mixture doesn't leak through and you want it to come just about to the top of the pan BUT remember, these will rise a little with baking.
To make your filling, blop a scoop of cream cheese and two scoops of your whipped vanilla icing into a large freezer bag (or decorator's bag; I used a freezer bag because I could zip it closed and my 3-year-old actually mixed this for me). I used a big soup spoon as my "measure." Again, there is no exact method, you just need roughly a 2:1 ratio of icing to cream cheese. Zip your bag closed and mush it all together until it's completely mixed (Great for helping kids to do!).
With scissors, snip a small corner off of your bag of cream cheese filling so you can squeeze the bag to easily fill your cups. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with the cream cheese filling (this stuff will rise a little tiny bit too, and you need room for the topping so you don't want to fill the cups to the very top). Sprinkle your green coconut shreds on top to make your "Easter grass."
Mine baked for about 13 minutes at 375 degrees. They came out perfect. The filling actually overflowed a bit but when you take them out of the muffin tin, that quickly fixes itself.
Allow to cool a little, then pop them out of the muffin tin with a fork. When they've cooled almost completely, you can put your candy eggs on top to complete the "Easter basket" look.
Definitely will be serving these on Easter!
These were not at all what I had originally planned to make but like I said, my mini-muffin tin had other plans for me, and I'm glad it did because I love how these turned out.
Happy Spring Everyone!!!!