Let’s face it, no matter how fast you try to whip up a quick meal, sometimes you’ll have to slow down and allow the kids an opportunity to help and assist. Not only will it become an exciting memory for them, it’s also a fun learning activity where getting messy is totally acceptable. You may even discover that kids have way more fun in the kitchen than expected.
Here in New Orleans, it’s April 2020, and we (my daughter Mikaela and I) have been quarantined for about a month now, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This quarantine has forced mostly all households to stay inside. For me it’s been lots of spring cleaning, organizing, cooking, baking, reading, researching, and let’s not forget the Netflix and chillin. I’ve always cooked more than dined out, so this is nothing new for me or Mikaela, our daily cooking regime. I’m pescatarian and love trying out new recipes. Mikaela, well she has her own thing I guess; as she watches me make better choices in food, she’s developing her own, eating less meat, more veggies, and only Cane’s chicken when in the mood. As for the baking for me, well that never stops. It has always been my go to in times of stress, anxiety, worry, or concern. It’s also my joy when crafting up something new for my customers, family gatherings, and holidays. So far during this quarantine I’ve baked numerous desserts from my menu including signature items and even something new I finally tried, carrot soufflé (YUM!). Mikaela loves my chocolate chip cookies so I make sure to save her a few when baking. Her ultimate favorite is Sopapilla Cheesecake. We discovered this dessert while visiting my aunt in Natchitoches. Her daughter in law brought over the simple ingredients and started making it in the kitchen. Normally, people bring over a dessert, already made, but Ashley brought over the ingredients. My curiosity overflowed. Not only had I never heard of this dish but watching her make it was so entertaining. Simple, but entertaining. Crescent rolls, cream cheese, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. That’s it! After she baked and I tasted it, I just had to have the recipe. She emailed it to me and I’ve been making it for Mikaela ever since.
After asking me multiple times to make it during our quarantine, I suggested a better idea, that Mikaela try to make it herself. Surprisingly, she jumped to the challenge! So I pulled out the laminated page from my recipe binder, and told her to get prepping. Truth is, Mikaela has been by my side beginning to end of my business in baking journey. She was and still is my taste tester. She critiques and gives advice on how to make dishes better. She even helps me calm down during overwhelming catering times. She was there when I created my first menu, held my first baking class, made my first TV appearance, participated in my first festival and won Launch Pod providing me with my first store front. I’d say after all this, she’s was definitely ready to take charge in the kitchen.
Mikaela needed help with a couple things while making the sopapilla cheesecake but it’s such an easy dish, she was able to get it in the oven in less than 20 minutes. The hardest part for her was waiting for it to cool and set before indulging. When I said that, her reply was “Set?” I knew that was coming lol. When baking with cream cheese, it turns into a loose, liquidy form while mixing and baking in the oven, as if it melts and then returns to its firm consistency after it cools and “sets”. If you cut into it too soon, it may be runny or too soft for taste. But allowing it to cool and firm brings it back to a consistency we can better enjoy. After I explained it to her, she was like “well, I guess I’ll just have to wait”.
She went straight to the fridge to gather the ingredients:
2 cans of Pillsbury crescent rolls
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
9×13 pyrex dish
Preheat oven to 350.
Cover bottom of pyrex dish with parchment and Spray corners and sides of remaining dish (if you don’t have parchment, spray entire bottom and sides of pyrex dishes with Baker’s Joy)
Stretch crescent rolls across bottom of baking dish.
Filling: Mix Cream Cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla for about one minute on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture over the bottom of crust.
Place remaining can of crescent rolls over filling mixture. Carefully stretch to cover completely.
Topping: pour melted butter over crescent layer. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over butter crescent rolls.
Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is browned.
Allow 20-25 minutes to cool and set.
Mikaela enjoys her Sopapilla for Breakfast and an evening snack 🙂
Mikaelas Sopapilla Cheesecake
KD’s Baking with a Purpose teaches kids the beauty of baking!