“Eleanor’s Secret” {recipe}

NOTE: When setting aside edible items to be photographed – be sure to inform all family members of your plan if you want any left to photograph. Of course, I could’ve made more.

My recipe card is dated Dec. 1990… Have I really been making these for over 20 years? Actually, I’ve been making this recipe slightly longer than that. When I was in college, my mom would mail me recipe cards from my favorite recipes and she always included the date on the top of the card. **note: After today, I realize putting dates on recipe cards, just makes the user feel “old”- It’s no surprise I saved them all these years; it is a surprise that I knew where the recipe card was. (just kidding, kinda…)

As much as I enjoy eating these morsels of “lemony-creamy-flaky” deliciousness, this is not a recipe that I made frequently since it requires cream cheese and sour cream ~ 2 items which I typically only consume in baked goods and therefore, did not keep on hand. However, nowadays, since I have 4 children with varied tastes, I do keep a variety of foods stocked in my fridge so I should make these more – but then I would eat them ALL so perhaps I should not. #adulting
This recipe was given to my mom from her friend Eleanor. Supposedly it is a secret recipe, but at least twice in the past 20 years, I’ve seen the same pastry (although a larger, “cupcake” sized version) from a few pastry shops. ~and, after this post, it’s not a secret anymore.

The fact that a crusty pastry shell is part of this recipe is pretty much a given that is high on my list of recipe favorites, however, I also enjoy this recipe for it’s slight texture variations between the light & fluffy w/a hint of lemony cream cheese filling and the flaky, somewhat creamy shell. The final pastry is balanced by the light & air texture of both components ~ I dare you to eat just one!!

DISCLAIMER: I prefer my crust browned – however, when serving others I typically pull my baked treats out of the oven just as the the color begins to turn oh-so-ever-slightly-golden. Anyway, these are a bit “well-done” for photographing purposes, however…. if you read the caption, then you’ll know that the “perfect” cookies were devoured by my daughters – I suppose “they looked good enough to eat”.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sourcream
  • 1 Egg Yolk



  • 8 oz cream cheese (low-fat works, regular tastes best)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon peel (No need to limit yourself to lemon – raspberry, chocolate, almond, orange, lime etc… or a combination of flavors – HAVE FUN)
  • 1 egg

Roll 1/8″ thick into approx. 3″ circles

Take circle into hand, add a tsp of filling (approx), then place into a mini-cupcake sized baking tray, forming into a 4-petal flower shape (see photo ^^^)

Bake at 375 about 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes, especially if your pan is dark)

Let cool – You might be tempted not to wait, but they taste best when cooled

Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar

Note: Why am I sharing this recipe if it’s Eleanor’s secret? My mom’s friend Eleanor gave the recipe to my mom and I assume it was a “secret” recipe since my mom labeled the recipe card “Eleanor’s Secret”. Fast forward many years. My husband and I were in a bakery and they were selling “giant” versions of the what looked like the same recipe so I started freaking out – pointing and exclaiming those are Eleanor’s Secret… after my husband calmed me down enough so that I could explain to him what I was saying, we bought some. Yes, they were the same. So, I guess the recipe is NOT a secret. Also, I said “giant” because in my expert opinion (captain obvious), it appeared to me that the bakery used a typical regular cupcake sized baking pan to make the pastries.


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