Chamucos

ChamucosChamucos are a Mexican pastry that closely resembles the Danish, only with a larger circle of filling which equates to more deliciousness per square inch.

This pastry is made with yeasty dough, with rich layers of butter, cardamom, cinnamon (the Mexican influence) and nutmeg. This is a very labor intensive recipe but the steps can be broken down over several days. Save this recipe for special occasions and I can guarantee that it will become a family favorite.

PASTRY INGREDIENTS
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound unsalted butter, diced into small bits and frozen for 5 minutes

FILLING INGREDIENTS

2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks, room temperature
5 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
Pinch of salt

EGG WASH
2 egg white2
2 tablespoons water
PASTRY DIRECTIONS
Combine together the yeast and milk and set aside to bloom (where the yeast is activated) for at lease 2 minutes. Then add the egg and sugar.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg) together and add the butter. Pulse the ingredients together in a food processor until there are small chunks of butter throughout the mixture.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, mix together, cover and refrigerate until it is chilled thoroughly (this will take 3-5 hours, I prefer to do this overnight.) The dough can be placed in the fridge up to 4 days or frozen up to a month.

Flour your working surface, the dough and your hands. Create a square with your dough and roll out until it is 15×15. Fold the dough twice (once horizontally and once vertically) and roll out back into the 15×15 square. Repeat this process once again but to a 12×24. If the dough starts to warm up, refrigerate in-between the rolling. Roll the dough out to a 20×24 rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Once the filling is prepared, cut the dough in half and roll it out to 20×10 and cut into even pieces, I like to make 8 pieces, but you can make 10 if you want.

Spoon the filling (3-4 tablespoons) into the center of the pastry and fold the sides over to create a basket for the filling. I like to make a circular shape to resemble the traditional shape of the pastry.
Arrange the pastries on a baking sheet with 2 inches between each pastry to keep them from sticking to one another.

Brush the egg wash over the top of the pastry to keep it from drying out, this will also give it a beautiful sheen. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired.

Allow this pastry to rise for 30 minutes then bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25minutes until golden brown.

Cool on cooling racks then serve.
FILLING DIRECTIONS
Mix all of the ingredients together.

EGG WASH DIRECTIONS
Beat together the water and egg white
TIP
You can add fruit preserve to the center ti give it a delicious kick of sweetness.
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