By Kaleigh Niles

Moist, creamy, and delicious. These are my personal requirements for any dessert- or really any food- to be classified as mind blowing. Given that description, I am sure that a couple dishes popped into your mind including puddings, pastas, and cakes. For me, it evokes cheesecake. But not just any cheesecake: Mexican Sopapilla Cheesecake.

A friend and I discovered this recipe back in high school. We learned about authentic sopapillas, a 200-year old dish with roots in Europe and Mexico, in our Spanish class as part of a unit on food and Hispanic culture. The culminating assignment was to make a Mexican-themed dish, so we decided to test this tweaked version of a sopapilla. It was much easier and made enough for the whole class. I willingly admit that we burned the first batch. On the second attempt, it turned out perfect. When serving it at school, everyone loved it and came back for seconds. I promise that this cheesecake is a definite crowd pleaser!

Sopapilla is traditionally made with fried dough and topped with honey or sugar. The dish is incredibly simple and usually served as dessert, but can be stuffed with more savory items to create an easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Our American spin involving cream cheese, crescent dough, and cinnamon changes it ever so slightly. Not only is this the best dessert you could ever try, it is one of the easiest to make!


Ingredients:

           2 cans Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls (8 ounces each)

           2 packages of cream cheese, softened (8 ounces each)

           1 ½ cups sugar

           ½ cup butter, melted

           1 teaspoon vanilla

           1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Roll out 1 can of crescent dough and place it in an ungreased baking dish. Make sure that there are no holes in the dough.

Now, move the baking dish aside and grab a medium bowl. Combine the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar. Beat on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Then add the vanilla and beat this in as well.

Evenly spread this mixture in the baking dish over the crescent roll dough. Open the last can of crescent dough and roll this out. Place the dough over the cream cheese, making sure to cover all areas.

Finally, pour the melted butter over the top of the dough. In another bowl, mix together the rest of the sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle this evenly over the buttered dough. Bake the dish for around 30 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the cream cheese has set. Let this cool. Place in the refrigerator for easier cutting. Enjoy!     


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http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/sopapilla-cheesecake-bars/65ec128f-2acc-417b-8745-06c182d3134a