They say that necessity is the mother of invention.
Sometimes, though, invention happens when your online grocery store order delivers the wrong item. My kids had asked for pigs in a blanket (we’re pretty high-brow around here when my husband is traveling for business, you know) but instead of regular crescent rolls, the store delivered a can of Pillsbury Honey Butter Crescent Rolls.
Which sound lovely – but not wrapped around all-beef franks.
I was curious about the taste AND wanted to use them, but not in a simple crescent with dinner. (And not with hot dogs.) I didn’t have anything on the menu this week that sang “honey butter”, and I had a sweet tooth worked up.
I realized that I had cream cheese leftover from the butternut squash and red pepper soup I’d made earlier in the week, so that made a great jumping off point. I dug through my pantry and fridge and found sweetened coconut flakes and pineapple…now we’re on to something!
OOH! Let’s make a pineapple coconut pastry braid!
Because it’s especially fun when you can use items stocked in your pantry, right? So let’s do this!
Preheat your oven to 375º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unroll the crescent dough and smooth it out into a rectangle, pressing to seal any pre-cuts in the dough. Using a sharp knife, starting on one long side make nine cuts on a diagonal, about 1″ apart and about 1/3 of the way into the dough.
Do the same on the other side. (I realized after cutting that made 8 cuts on the left. Oops.)
Press together any spots that pulled apart while cutting the strips. Set to the side.
I used up my leftover cream cheese, which amounted to 4-1/2 ounces from an 8 ounce brick. (If you are a cream cheese lover, I think you can use the entire brick if you don’t want to save some for another use.) Add 1 tsp coconut extract. (Double this if you use all the cream cheese.) Add 1 Tbsp of powdered sugar to sweeten the cream cheese if desired.
Drain one large can of pineapple slices or diced pineapple in a colander. Use a paper towel to pat excess juices from the chunks. Alternately, use 2 cups of diced fresh pineapple.
Measure out 1/3 C sweetened flaked coconut.
Now that we have all our ingredients together, let’s build this pastry!
Spread the whipped cream cheese down the center of the dough.
Making sure the pineapple is well-drained, top the cream cheese with the pineapple, distributing it evenly.
Finally, spread the flaked coconut evenly over the pineapple.
Are your taste buds tingling?
Now, for the fun part: the braiding!
Starting with the cuts angling down, fold the top right slice across the fruit mixture, then cross the top strip on the left side over the fruit, slightly overlapping the first piece.
Continue crossing over strips of dough, alternating sides. Finish with the last to strips crossing horizontally across the bottom.
And voila! Isn’t it pretty?
Pop that into your heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
When it is done, let it cool briefly, and transfer to your serving plate. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar. I use a mini colander to sprinkle it, but you can also use a flour sifter.
Because of the powdered sugar, this is best served the same day.
But that’s ok, because you will eat this up. The honey butter flavor of the crescent rolls was very mild and added a nice touch. The coconut extract in the cream cheese is subtle, and overall the taste was sweet but not too sweet – so it made everyone happy.
Or breakfast. Because pastry is good ALL DAY LONG.
When would you serve this delightful Pineapple Coconut Pastry Braid?
- 1-tube of Pillsbury Honey Butter Crescent Rolls
- 4-1/2 oz 1/3-less fat cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 C pineapple, diced and well drained
- 1/3 - 1/2 C sweetened shredded coconut
- Powdered sugar to dust the top.
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet.
- Unroll crescent dough in a sheet, pressing any seams back together and forming it into an even rectangle.
- Using a sharp knife, along one long side make 9 diagonal cuts approximately 1" apart and a third of the way into the dough. Make the same diagonal cuts on the opposite long side of the dough.
- In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, coconut flavor, and powdered sugar. Mix well.
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly across the uncut center portion of the dough.
- Top the cream cheese mixture with the drained pineapple.
- Evenly distribute the shredded coconut across the top of the pineapple. (Feel free to add more if so desired.)
- Starting at the top of the dough with the cuts angling DOWN, fold the top right slice across the fruit mixture, then cross the top strip on the left side over the fruit, slightly overlapping the first piece.
- Continue crossing over strips of dough, alternating sides. Finish with the last to strips crossing horizontally across the bottom.
- Place pasty in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven..
- Let cool slightly then transfer to serving plate.
- Using a small colander or sifter, sift powdered sugar over the top to coat.
- Best when consumed the same day as prepared.