Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? – April 25, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs recipe originally published by Pillsbury: Bake-off Winners – April 2012.

Since my husband has been home in the mornings, I’ve decided to try to make breakfast more often than just the weekends.  

Okay, total honesty here… my husband makes most of the breakfasts on weekends.  I assist!  

Okay, no I don’t... I watch TV while drinking coffee and reading magazines.

So yeah, I decided I need to start making more breakfasts.  I wanted to start easy and simple so I picked a pastry.  Looking for something different, I went with a mango and coconut puff.

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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs
They look very tasty, but not quite like the picture on Pillsbury’s web site or in the magazine.  I think what I consider “golden brown” and what they consider “golden brown” are two totally different things.  Also, my glaze looks a lot darker, but I’m not too worried about that.  I used a different jam than what was used in the recipe.

© Pillsbury
There’s a couple of things I notice right off the bat.  One, the color as described above.  Two is how much coconut there is in the filling/puff.  I didn’t take a picture of the finished product cut in half, but I can tell you that there was a lot more cream cheese than coconut.  Actually, there was more of everything in general… after I filled them as they described there was A LOT of filling left over.  I’m sure I over-stuffed, but I wasn’t going to throw the excess away.

Still, I think I got pretty close.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessSIGH – The process of rolling and cutting out the crescent squares was incredibly messy and I seemed to run out of counter space quickly.  Also, I was trying to get the filling on the squares and sealed without it squishing out all over the pan.  I wasn’t very successful.  Finally, trying to get the hot glaze on the puffs without drizzling it all over the counters and pans was not an easy task.  Of course, as the glaze cooled, it posed an entirely different problem.  In the end, I must have washed my hands about a million times to get the sticky glaze and creamy filling off of them.

Start-to-Finish Time: A LITTLE OVER 30 MINUTES – Surprisingly enough, that was way under what the recipe specified and half of that was cooking/cooling time.  I’ll talk about it more later, but I probably should have taken my time and been a little more, um… precise.

Prep Work: WARN THE ER – It’s not what you think either.  The amount of actual prep work really could have warranted ALL FINGERS STILL HERE, but that’s not the way things work in my world.  See, my juicer is one of those where you put a lemon-half in one part of it, fold it over and press the juice out.  I put the lemon-half in the section.  Then I folded it over and pressed.  Oddly, no juice was coming out.  I figured I needed a little more muscle.

Now would probably be a good time to tell you, dear reader, that when I was taking pictures, I removed my glasses from my face.  Remember this nugget of information when you read the next part.

So I was giving it a little more muscle and suddenly juice started flowing… as a spray right back into my face and more specifically, my eyes.  The second it happened, I began to panic, but nothing seemed to happen immediately, so I relaxed.  About 10 seconds later, I tried to slowly open my eyes.  The searing pain actually blinded me.  I tried to wash my eyes with them held tightly shut.  Nope, I was gonna have to wash them out.

Let’s just say I NEVER want that to happen to me again.  It was by far one of the most painful things I've had happen to me.  My vision was slightly fuzzy for most of the day.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – The most difficult part to master is getting the crescent rolls in a single sheet (unrolling it always makes them fall apart) and then cutting them into equal pieces.  The rest is fairly straightforward. 

OverallYUMMY – The puffs were a huge hit with my husband.  Me not so much, but that isn’t because they weren’t tasty.  I’m not a big fan of coconut… but I’ll talk about that later.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Spark Recipes.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Servings: 16 rolls
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes

You’re going to get 16 puffs, so of course the servings are accurate.  It is the timing where things got… weird.  For the first time EVER, I beat the timing by more than a couple of minutes.  In fact, I beat it by 15 minutes.  Fifteen minutes that I should have spent being a lot more precise in cutting my squares and assembling the puffs.

Here’s how my timing worked out:
  • Prep: 9 minutes (and this was with the lemon-squirting disaster)
  • Hands-on Time: 27 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 14 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
Had I not had to wash my eyes out, who knows how much more time I would have cut off of this.

Nutritional Information:
  • Calories 200
  • Fat 10 g (Saturated 7 g)
  • Cholesterol 5 mg
  • Sodium 220 mg
  • Carbohydrate 25 g
  • Fiber 0 g
  • Sugars 16 g
  • Protein 2 g
So I’m looking at these numbers and I’m not really concerned about it until I reflect on how big one of the pastries actually is.  It isn’t very big and you won’t eat one and be filled up.  The majority of the fat is saturated as well, so not a great thing… and I haven’t even verified their numbers.  What I do like about recipes from a specific vendor is that I don’t have to use a generic value for the ingredients.  I can plug in exactly what the recipe writers used.  The even better news is that after I plugged in their ingredients into the nutrition tool, I got almost the exact same thing.  Nothing was more than a couple of points off.

I did make a couple of changes.  I used 1/3-less fat cream cheese, a different brand of white baking chips and a different brand of jam.  I re-ran the numbers using my ingredients and there was hardly any variation from that of the original recipe. 

Changes denoted by red text

© You Want Me to Cook?
Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - ingredients
1 package (3 oz) 1/3-less fat cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 cup flaked coconut

1 can Pillsbury® Big & Buttery refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

2/3 cup white baking chips
1/3 cup Mango Jam or Sweet Orange Marmalade
Fit Wash

Ingredient Notes:
Cream Cheese – I used a 1/3-less fat version, but it didn’t affect the numbers at all.  I’m okay with that because the reduced fat tastes the same to me as the full fat version.  I would not recommend substituting the fat-free cream cheese here.  I find it tastes a little bitter.

Lemon Juice and Lemon Peel – I got what I needed from 1 large lemon.  You won’t have to grate the entire peel, just a small portion of it.

White Baking Chips – The recipe specified Hershey’s® premier white baking chips, but I used another brand.  Not because I take issue with Hershey, but because I had a coupon for a comparable brand.

Mango Jam – The recipe was refined by Pillsbury which is in the same family of brands as Smucker’s jams and jellies.  I did search for Smuckers, but they didn’t have a mango jam and I didn’t really want to substitute the sweet orange marmalade for it.  There was only one brand that actually had a mango flavor, so that is the one I went with.

Fit Wash – Although you can use water and a vegetable brush to wash the lemon thoroughly – and you should wash it well since you’re using the peel, I like using this citrus based wash to get it extra clean.  It always seems less waxy when I’m using it on fruit.

Equipment Needed:

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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - equipment
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Small Bowl
Electric Hand Mixer
Spoon - mixing
Cookie Sheet
Parchment Paper
Knife/Pizza Cutter
1-quart Saucepan
Large Spoon

Equipment Notes:
Parchment Paper – You are using an ungreased cookie sheet and I really didn’t anticipate any stuck on mess, but I always like using parchment paper where I can… just in case.

Knife / Pizza Cutter – After you press the perforations together on the crescent roll, you need to cut it evenly into 32 squares.  You can use a knife, but I find a pizza cutter does the job well and I don’t have to worry about cutting up my countertop or slashing my baking sheet.


(1)   Heat oven to 350°F.

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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - cream cheese & sugar mixture
(2)  In small bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Be careful how small of a bowl you use. You want to be able to lift the beaters out of the mixture slightly while turned on to get the beaters cleaned off and not have the filling all over your countertop.
I didn’t use my stand mixer because the amount was so small, I was afraid it wouldn’t beat well with the deep bowl and large beaters.
(3)  Beat in lemon juice on low speed.

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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - final filling
(4)  Stir in lemon peel and coconut until well mixed. Set aside.

(5)  Unroll crescent dough onto ungreased cookie sheet; separate into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal.
I would highly recommend doing this on parchment or waxed paper since it can make a mess on your counters.  It also helps you transfer them to the cookie sheet, or in my case, just moving the parchment paper over to it.
(6)  Cut each rectangle into 8 squares. Place 16 of the squares 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
I blazed through this part and had some uneven squares.  Take your time and try to get the squares as close to the same size as possible.
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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - filling on dough
(7)  Spoon heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture in center of each square.
Don’t be surprised if you have a lot of filling left over when you are through filling the puffs.

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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - assembled puff
(8)  Top cream cheese mixture with remaining dough squares, placing each of the squares at an angle so points of the square hang over the middles of the sides of the bottom square to look like shape of the sun. Press edges of dough around cream cheese mixture to seal.


© You Want Me to Cook?
Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - baked goodies without glaze
(9)  Bake 7 minutes, rotate cookie sheet in the oven and then bake another 7 minutes. They should be a light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
The original recipe said to bake from 9 to 14 minutes.  I would highly recommend 2 things: first start at the nine minutes and don’t worry if they don’t look super brown; second, rotate your baking sheets halfway through baking.  There are always hot-spots in ovens and you want them to be as evenly baked as possible.
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Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs - glaze
(10)  Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, melt white chips and mango jam, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth, approximately 7 minutes.

(11)  Spread glaze over rolls. Serve warm.


As I said before, my husband loved them.  In fact, he ate most of them over the course of the next two weeks.  I didn’t love them as much, but that’s because I’m not a big fan of coconut.

I know what you’re wondering.  Why would I make a dish with an ingredient I don’t like?

The answer is this: I do eat coconut in some dishes.  I’ve made coconut flaked shrimp and thought it was divine.  One of my favorite cookies is the Seven Layer Bar.  Again, I could eat an entire pan by myself.  However, I think I like coconut as a supporting player… not a dominate flavor.  In this case, the coconut really came through and I wasn’t thrilled about it.

That being said, I didn’t think they tasted bad.  I just didn’t want to waste my daily caloric intake on them, if that makes any sense.

If I were going to change anything:
  • Initially, I said I would cut back on the coconut.  However, my husband actually looked pained when I said that, so if I do make them again, that won’t be an option.
  • I would certainly be more precise in cutting the squares.  I had plenty of time to spare, so I should slow down and get it right.
  • I’d buy another roll of crescents and use up all the excess filling instead of throwing it out or over-stuffing the puffs.
So if you’re looking for a coconut-mango breakfast treat that doesn’t take forever to make, you should definitely give this recipe a try.

Until next time… Happy baking!!!

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