Forget post-its and velcro—the best invention ever created since the beginning of time by anyone is Tofutti cream cheese. One of my biggest vegan indulgences is a freshly toasted bagel with rich and creamy Tofutti. I've recently been thinking of other ways to incorporate Tofutti cream cheese into other dishes and came up with these adorable little beggars purses. These were made famous in New York City in the 1980s by Susan and Barry Wine, owners of the Quilted Giraffe, after a visit to France. Originally filled with caviar and crème fraîche, this version of beggars purses is filled with tofutti, of course, as well as capers for some briny bite and minced red onion for some texture.
These are simple to make and look totally fancypants. If you dislike raw red onion, simply give them a quick saute in a tiny amount of olive oil before mixing them into the Tofutti or leave them out altogether. The recipe below makes 6 purses and could easily be doubled or tripled.
One 8 ounce tub of non-hydrogenated Toffuti Cream Cheese
1/3 cup of finely minced red onion
4 TB capers
The Fillo Factory's organic fillo dough, thawed overnight in the refrigerator and left out to thaw at room temperature for 2 hours
1/3 cup Earth Balance spread, melted
Whip together in a small bowl the Tofutti cream cheese, onion and capers. Set aside. Cut the fillo dough into 5X5 inch squares to make about 25 sheets. They tear easily, so make some extra sheets just in case.
Assemble the purses by laying down one layer of fillo dough. Top that with another layer and brush lightly, using a pastry brush, some of the earth balance. Lay another sheet on top of that, and then another, brushing on that a thin layer of earth balance. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the fillo dough and gently lift up each corner, one by one, until all of the corners join at the top. Tie off the top lightly with some baking twine and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until you've used up all of the Tofutti mixture.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring some water to a boil and add the chives. Immediately turn off the heat and run the chives under cold water. Set aside.
Place your beggars purses in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Once they are done, let them rest for about 10 minutes. Remove the twine gently with scissors. Tie the end of two chives together to make one long strand and use to tie off the tops of the purses. Serve at room temperature.