Cream Cheese Frageelay (Breakfast Pastry)

This is one of the first recipes hand-written in my personal recipe book (back when people used to do such a thing - imagine, hand-written recipes) but I have absolutely no idea where it came from. I know I ate it at work all those many years ago, but to be able to give credit to any individual or entity; I'm afraid the source has been lost.This recipe however is far too good to fall into a similar state. We enjoy brunch regularly with both friends and family and these decadent cream cheese pastries make it on the menu often. I find that they are the perfect sweet note whenever we serve a savory breakfast bake or casserole.

In all honesty, I don't have a perfect track record with this recipe, about half the time I make it the entire thing cracks down the middle and it looks like a train wreck on the pan, hence I have dubbed it "Frageelay" (fragile) in honor of one of our favorite movies A Christmas Story, it seemed only fitting. The pastry tastes the same whether it explodes or not and I've learned to cook it on aluminum foil, which if I see a blow out happening, I simply push the foil up to create a dam in that area and all is saved. Years ago I played with all different proportions, butter, cream cheese, crust to filling, mixing methods, and I never seem to hit on a fool-proof method, I still get blow-outs. The pictures here are of just such an unfortunate episode but prove that a little powdered sugar and creative presentation hide all flaws, so don't sweat it!

The other thing that makes Frageelay a breakfast/brunch buffet champion is that it serves 12 easily (that is, normal sized portions, but no one can ever be satisfied with one normal sized portion, so I mean that it serves 12 with seconds) and it can be made the night ahead. Win/win!

Cream Cheese Frageelay

1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit salt if using salted butter)
3/4 cup butter

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Warm oven on to 370-degrees.
  2. Mix yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon sugar in medium bowl and let stand for 10 minutes, mixture should bubble to indicate yeast is active. Mix in the egg.
  3. In the bowl of a standard sized food processor, measure flour and salt. Cut butter into 1-inch pieces and place evenly over the flour. Pulse until evenly incorporated and the mixture looks like pebbles. 
  4. Add the yeast mixture slowly, pulsing until combined and uniform.
  5. Turn out the dough onto wax paper and roll the dough between wax paper sheets into 12" x 15" rectangle (this is important, measure). Set aside, sealed within the wax paper.
  6. In the now empty food processor bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice, pulsing until well incorporated. 
  7. Carefully peel away wax paper from both sides of the dough and re-use the wax paper under it (turn it over, using the side previously not stuck to the dough) and lightly flour to keep it from sticking as the filling is applied. 
  8. Spread the cream cheese filling on the dough to within 1-inch of the edges. Fold each long edge toward the middle (this will make a shorter, squat shaped pastry versus a longer, more likely to blow out one - this is where I generally goof it up) making sure the edges overlap. Pinch lightly to seal. 
  9. Fold the remaining open ends up about 1 1/2-inches. Pinch lightly to seal.
  10. Carefully flip the pastry onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil so that all folded edges are down.
  11. Bake immediately for approximately 30 minutes. Check half way through the baking time to see if the crust has had a blow out. If concerned over the loss of filling (top cracks generally do not produce a lava flow of cream cheese, only small ones from the bottom are worrisome), push foil up against any emerging cracks to contain the filling. Pastry is done when lightly browned.
  12. Cool completely. Frageelay can be refrigerated overnight without any appreciable difference to the crust. 
  13. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into serving size pieces. Devour at will. Store leftovers in refrigerator.