I’m not the biggest breakfast person… I’d rather spend the 15 minutes it takes to make/eat breakfast snoozing. No shame. This rule holds pretty fast… except on the weekends. I adore nothing more than a leisurely brunch while watching CBS Sunday Morning drinking a cup of “coffee.” (I have it in quotation marks because, I’m pretty sure, the amount of cream and sugar added to my cup disqualifies my beverage from being called “coffee” anymore).
I got this recipe for Cream Cheese Sausage Rolls from a friend of my moms who served them at a bridge function. She kept insisting how easy they were… and after making them a few times, I think I have it totally streamlined.
A note about ingredient substitution:
I’ve used fat free cream cheese a few times and the texture turned out wonky… so, if you must make the substitution, there is a small trade-off. I’ve also heard of people who have added mushrooms, onions, peppers, and any other sorts of add-ins… This is one of those great recipes, where you can really make it your own. I’m kind of a purist with this one, but reach for the stars, kid! I, personally, use breakfast sausage, but I’ve also tried Italian- it’s totally your preference.
Brown your ground sausage- however you brown your sausage. Now, I like doing dishes almost as much as I like waking up early to make breakfast… so, if I can remove using an extra dish from the equation, I will do that thing. After browning and draining my sausage (that sounds dirty), instead of transferring it all to another bowl for further mixings, I just throw the sausage back in the pan but now with the cream cheese- after turning off my burner, of course. Not only do I remove an extra dish from my clean up, but the residual heat from the pan warms the cream cheese making the mixing easier.
Now, you can do it however you like, but lemme tell ya, using a potato masher to mix your sausage and cream cheese is the easiest way I’ve found to combine those two ingredients. Plus, the potato masher comes in handy later… One less dish to wash. Make sure though not to scrap the sides of your pan- if you’re interested in pan maintenance- some people are not. But blend until completely mixed.
Next, I put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pop my Crescent Roll can. If you didn’t know, parchment paper is CRUCIAL! It is amazing for baking and for eliminating messes. Unroll your dough flat onto the parchment paper. Since the dough has perforations, just gently pinch/manipulate the seams of the dough into one big sheet. I’ve been told that they have Crescent Roll dough sheets (without perforations) but I’ve never lived in that wonderland before.
Once you have one big sheet of dough, start gently pushing and manipulating the dough towards the edges of the cookie sheet. If the dough rips, just gently pinch the seams together again. Go as far as your dough allows you. I like to feel my dough, so I can know if its getting too thin, but this step can also be done with a rolling pin.
Transfer your sausage/cream cheese mixture to your crescent roll sheet. This is where the potato masher comes in handy again. It really acts like a rake to manipulate the mixture and push it to the edges of the dough sheet. Plus, again, using it saves you from getting another utensil dirty.
Once you’ve got your roll, well, rolled, cover it with your same parchment paper, and stick it in the fridge for about 20 minutes. After the dough has chilled a little (and you have, too) you can do one of the following things:
1. If you are making this for more than 4 people, you can unroll your roll from the parchment paper that you used to cool it and then cut it into 1/4″ spiral pieces and lay said pieces on the same parchment paper you’ve been using.
2. If you are making this for less than 4 people, cut your roll in half- parchment paper and all- and stick one half in a ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer… and then cut the other half into 1/4″ spiral slices and lay said pieces on the same parchment paper you’ve been using. This recipe freezes beautifully. When you get ready to use your frozen portion, just stick it in the fridge the night before to thaw.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. You want the pastry to be a little golden brown… but bake to taste.