Let me tell you, I almost whooped with joy when I heard these babies were picked by Val of more than burnt toast as her BRC recipe. Cheese Danish at home?! Sweeeeet! It’s been years since I’ve had a cheese Danish, mostly because every time I go for one, usually at a breakfast event at work, all of the plain cheese Danish vanish. Poof. Just like that. And I won’t compromise my love for cheese Danish when they are covered in canned cherries.
So I took the opportunity over this past weekend to make these for breakfast on Sunday. Thankfully, Kyle had been up since 5am (?!?!) and had already eaten a bagel, otherwise he would have been like a hungry bear searching for an open cooler. OK…soooo they took a little longer than I expected they would but that’s not to say they still weren’t easy. I still didn’t have to make the pastry dough (puff pastry), and in my book, “how great is that?” The cream cheese mixture came together quickly and was some seriously dangerous stuff. It’s a good thing Kyle wasn’t stalking the kitchen while I was making it.
And since I encouraged add-ins for this recipe, I had been working on my own since Val first revealed her choice. I made 9 danish. Part of my puff pastry came apart on the seam when I unfolded it. Oh well…3 of them were minis. I made 3 full size with just the cream cheese mixture. Then, to make things interesting, I peeled, cored, and cut up 1 small Macoun apple and mixed it with about 2 tbsp brown sugar, about 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. After the apple mixture sat for a few minutes, I topped the cream cheese mixture (already on the puff pastry square) with 1-2 tbsp of the apples. This yielded 3 more full size Danish with a few mouthfuls of apples leftover…can’t let them go to waste!! To sweeten the Danish deal, I mixed the final 3rd (or so) of the cream cheese mixture with about 1/4-1/3 cup pureed canned pumpkin, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and sprinkle each of nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves and ground allspice. I ended up with 3 minis of this type. After my not-sweet-enough apple turnovers, I sprinkled a good amount of coarse sugar on the tops and edges of these puppies.
The end result of all of the Danish was truly outstanding. Like, I’m-drooling-right-now-thinking-about-them-good. The plain cheese Danish was delightful – Kyle’s favorite. Next time it could use a little extra vanilla. The pumpkin…well…holy pumpkin pie Danish Batman!!! Incredible!! I’ll add an extra 1/2 sprinkle of the spices next time, but overall the pumpkin pie Danish is a definite keeper – a perfect Thanksgiving weekend brunch treat. And then there’s the the apple pie Danish. Well. What can be said about this one? I’ve been day dreaming about this one since Sunday. Absolute heaven. I had a difficult time restraining myself from eating all of 3 of them on Sunday but alas sharing happens.
Eventually my mind will come back to earth and I will most likely stop obsessing over these Danish. But until then…I might just have to make them again this weekend for our anniversary trip (our 2nd anni is in about 1 1/2 wks) to Lake George so that I can just get the craving over with. 😀 Thanks again goes out to Val for choosing such an incredible BRC recipe!! If you want to see how the rest of the BB group fared with this recipe, check out the Whose Turn Is It? page.
Easy Cheese Danish
source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home (no FN link is available for this recipe)
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 T ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 – 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
- Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
- Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.