I spent a good majority of my early life avoiding pumpkin. I don’t even know if it was conscious or not, but pumpkin = squash, and squash = a thing I did not care to have in my life.
Then, something magical happened, probably in the form of a pumpkin bar or Pumpkin Spice Latte (or maybe that was the magical moment when I discovered coffee, I might be getting my life milestones confused), and my entire life changed forever. No, I’m not even being dramatic. Actually, you know what, it was probably something as simple as pie. Pumpkin pie. YES YES YES. I will go all When Harry Met Sally over pumpkin pie. It actually took me two tries to make my own pumpkin pie from scratch, the first one was very “meh” and I was kind of embarrassed about it but the only person that had to eat it was my dad so it wasn’t a huge ordeal. My second one turned out quite lovely.
Pie. Definitely pie. Pie is what brought me to this point.
[credit: from Hyperbole and Half by Allie Brosch]
A lot of recipes I have collected have some variation of “pumpkin pie” in the name which leads me to expect that it will, you know, have flavors that are reminiscent of an actual pumpkin pie. You have to EARN that claim. I, being a connoisseur of pumpkin delicacies, especially of the pie variety, have taken the burden upon myself to verify that claim, and believe me, I will tell you if they do not meet my standards. (Because, clearly, MY standards are indicative of what YOUR standards should be.)
(Fun fact: connoisseur is one of the few words I can’t spell without looking it up. Like, I know there’s an “i” in it but I always stick it in the wrong spot. Sigh.)
This recipe looked like a solid contender. Pumpkin filling wrapped up in crescent rolls? Has all the makings of a pie-like treat, in a much more convenient and portable form.
I made a recipe in the past that I think involved rolling chocolate chips up into crescent rolls to make, I don’t know, chocolate-filled croissants, or something. Those turned out quite good so I had no hesitations in using them again.
I’m terrified of opening tubes of crescent rolls. I’m also terrified of champagne corks. I mean, I’m pretty sure you can’t lose an eye with a tube of crescent rolls (CAN YOU? OH GOD I AM DOING ALL MY BAKING WITH SAFETY GOGGLES FROM NOW ON) but it still freaks me out.
The first step to this recipe was, naturally, opening not one but TWO tubes. Face those fears, kids. Fortunately they opened rather easily and everything on my person is still in tact.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Roll out each tube of crescent rolls. Cut lengthwise in two. NOTE: You have two options here. You can make MINI rolls, in which you will yield 32 pieces (each tube that would normally give you eight, would give you sixteen), which is better if you want to share with a larger group or take to a party or something. OR, you can make regular sized rolls, in which case, you will get 16 pieces (the aforementioned eight per tube). I tried both.
Then you mix together all of the aforementioned ingredients to make your filling. Beat until fluffy and creamy, the recipe says. Or mix until the things don’t want to seem to mix anymore. Set aside.
Mix together the dry ingredients that will comprise your coating. Set that aside too.
These first three steps can really be done in any order. There was no particular method to my madness other than I was following the general steps from the original recipe site. Your call.
Now, come back and spoon a spoonful of filling onto each triangle then roll ‘em on up.
Roll them around in the coating mixture and arrange them on your baking sheet.
Bake for 15-18 minutes (I went 16).
Easy as – excuse the pun – pie, right?
Naturally, I found a way to liven things up.
I was somewhere through the middle of the batch when I was like, “wow, this makes a ton, I am never going to use all this! I suppose I could freeze it…” and for some reason a lightbulb went off and I double checked the recipe and guess what I did (again)? NO, GUESS.
I dumped in the whole can again instead of just a cup.
After about thirty seconds of panic, I shrugged and went back to work. No wonder it was tasting so pumpkiny. Not the good kind of pumpkiny, either. The squashy kind of pumpkiny.
(Yeah, that was a real sentence. The squashy kind of pumpkiny. I expect a book deal to be offered to me very soon.)
I was not entirely disheartened, though, because the bread had turned out okay (not JUST okay. AMAZING. Nothing I ever make will ever live up to the legacy of that pumpkin bread) with the extra pumpkin. So one never knows until one pulls their baked goods out of the oven.
Out of sheer curiosity (and partial laziness – So! many! mini! rolls!), I switched tacks in the middle of the recipe to see what would happen if you made full-size rolls instead of mini-rolls. Would they be more delicious? Would they bake better? Worse? FOR SCIENCE!
Recipe | Pumpkin Pie Croissants
2 tubes/refrigerated crescent rolls
- 4 oz cream cheese*
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
- 3 Tablespoon sugar
*If you want to lighten it up a little, I would recommend Neufchatel cheese. It’s basically exactly like cream cheese but tastes better than the low fat/fat free cream cheese. It’s not cream cheese though. I converted to it a couple years ago and never looked back. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, though.
**Mine seemed bland so I went for 2. I think. I was using the wrong measuring spoon so I was just kind of guessing. It may have been 3. Which would explain why they were so pumpkin-spicy when they were done. Oops.
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Directions (without my babbling)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unroll tubes of crescent rolls. For mini rolls, cut lengthwise in two.
Mix together cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and beat until creamy. Spoon onto the pieces of crescent roll dough and roll up.
Mix together sugar and pumpkin pie spice to create a coating. Roll the rolled crescents (if that doesn’t sound redundant, I don’t know what does) in the mixture and place on baking sheet.
Bake 15-18 minutes.
The first thing I noticed was that mine came out much darker than theirs. Theirs were golden and delightful looking; mine looked slightly charred. No worries, they smelled delicious while they were baking so I wasn’t going to be fazed by a little brownness.
Little ones first! Quite tasty – more than I expected, having kept sneaking tastes of the filling. Definitely more “pie” (ie: crust) than “pumpkin” but not bad at all. I think I might have put in too much pumpkin pie spice somewhere (I know, blasphemy, right?) – possibly in the coating. Maybe tone that back a bit.
Big one next! Unfair, really, because these were still warm and a bit gooey when I sat down to eat them. Initial reaction was: this is heavenly! Second reaction: too much pumpkin filling in one bite, followed by a lot of sugared/spiced crescent roll masquerading as pie crust.
I don’t know, I’m torn on these, Internet. They resemble pumpkin pie, to be sure, but it’s not quite the same flavor – you want pumpkin pie, the pie itself wins.
I had to do a second round of taste testing (WOE!) to get a more accurate decision. I think, of the two, I prefer the small ones! Or, um, the “fun size” ones?
Can regular people actually make this? Is it easy? YES! On a scale of 1-10, 1 being “throw it in the microwave” and 10 being “I’m Julia Child”, I’m going to give it a 3. (The muffins were probably a 2.) (This is a terrible scale and I am never using it again.)
Did it require any weird gadgetry or or cookware? Nope. A mixing bowl, a whisk or mixer, a spoon, a baking sheet, and voila. Also probably a cutting board if you’re going to make the mini rolls. And a knife. For the cutting.
How much did the ingredients cost*? The sugar and pumpkin pie spice I already had on hand (and at this point, you should too!)… cream cheese maybe around a dollar? I went generic, I always go generic. I think the Neufchatel is a tad cheaper than regular cream cheese, too. I may have made that up, though. Don’t quote me on it unless it’s true. Pumpkin was another $1-2. (I wonder if I could buy this in bulk somewhere…) Two tubes of crescent rolls, I was not paying attention when I was getting groceries but I would assume they were $2-3 each? I would do miserably on The Price Is Right.
*Prices based on cost of goods in the Midwest; may vary by region.
Does it taste as good as it looks? I was a little disappointed, but I had high expectations. Higher expectations than one probably should when one is trying new recipes. I was expecting them to taste like bite-size pumpkin pies, and they didn’t. But if you ignore the comparison, they are pretty good.
Does it only look good because it was so well photographed? Theirs were definitely better photographed than mine and made to look more golden and perfect (which, of course, they probably were), which probably contributed to my heightened expectations, but overall, no, I don’t think the pictures were misleading.
Other notes: Weight Watchers PointsPlus wise, using my substitutions of reduced-fat crescent rolls and Neufchatel cheese, the mini rolls are 1 each and the full size are 3. Not too shabby either way, but if you make them little, you get three for the price of one, and you’ve kind of mind-tricked yourself into thinking you are getting more. Which maybe you are. 3/32 vs 1/16? TOO MUCH MATH NOT ENOUGH EATING.
Final recommendation: I didn’t looooove these but I’m going to keep this recipe in my back pocket in case I need to make a quick and easy finger food for some sort of get together. Definitely going to lay off on the pumpkin pie spice though. I think I got too carried away this time. Also I might try using the proper amount of pumpkin next time. Actually that probably made a huge difference. Basically: if made correctly these are probably a winner. That said, I’m going to go ahead and throw it in the Keep pile. Go forth and pumpkin!