Friday, October 9, 2009

More Cheese Please!

If you know me at all, you know that I love me some cream cheese. Like seriously love it. But I don't like it in savory dishes when it's all hot and creamy. G-ross! However if it's sweetened in any way, shape or form, I am in!

So when I saw these Cheese Danishes on A Feast For The Eyes I knew I had to make them. Stat! I read her post that night and immediately got up to make the filling to chill over night, except I didn't have ricotta cheese so I added a little extra cream cheese. I baked them up the following morning. BTW, if you've never been to her blog, go over there right now. She is amazing and so sweet! I call her my surrogate mom :-)

At the time I only had mini puff pastry shells so that's what I used. I was in desperate need of pastry so I made them work. I let them come to room temperature then I pulled out some of the center so they wouldn't puff up so much. I topped them with the cheese filing, fresh cherries, blueberries and a sprinkling of Sugar In the Raw. They were the perfect two bite pastry. Crisp and flaky, creamy and smooth cheesy centers, fruit and crunchy sugar. What's not to like?

I have made them 3 times since then and have made them with the full sheets of puff pastry and added homemade strawberry jam and mini chocolate chips (as you see in the header). I liked both versions of this danish. It's very simple but impressive to look at and eat, and they're less expensive to make than they are to buy. Great for guests and lazy weekends, but they're best fresh so only bake what you're going to eat. Thanks for the recipe Debby!

Easy Cheese Danishes from Ina Garten via Debby
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • coarse or raw (turbinado) sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them 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 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife.

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 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together (I didn't fold the danishes with the chocolate chips and jam- I left them square. However if you're going to do it this way, lightly score a border around the pastry so it puffs up but don't cut through and poke holes in the center so it doesn't rise too much! I prebaked these for about 7 minutes before I added the cheese filling. See photo below).

Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash and place them on the prepared sheet pan. Sprinkle with sugar is you desire. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.

NOTE: I used 1/2 the filling for the smaller bite size danishes (made 24). They baked for about 15 minutes before turning golden.

Also I used 1 lemon instead of two and made the filling the night before so it would set up a bit per Debby's suggestion. I also subbed cream cheese for the ricotta because I didn't have any and they were still delicious.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

33 comments:

♥peachkins♥ said...

These pastries are so pretty

Selba said...

Lovely... I got the pastry in the freezer... maybe will try to make it :)

Haden News said...

Puff pastry is my new "favorite" thing..... I can't wait to try these. Love your blog :)

sarahe said...

i've been wondering when we would see the recipe for the gorgeous pictures on your header--I will definitely have to try these..i still have some extra homemade puff f/m the Daring Bakers challenge

Linda said...

How nice and easy these are. Thnaks for sharing. I have saved this to give it a try! I love cream cheese too...and that's not a good thing! LOL

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Hey Sweetie! What a way to make me smile on a lazy Saturday morning! You make me want to run and make these again. I really love your version of this recipe (I give credit to Ina Garten). I have been treasuring your jam, so I'm going to have to make a batch with what you sent me for my b'day). Can't wait to bake with you, this week. I'm on vacation! xoxo

unconfidentialcook said...

That's what I'm talking about: impressive (!), easy...and so obviously delicious. Can't wait to give these a try!

vibi said...

I'm not sure I came over a couple of weeks ago, when I discovered your amazing blog. But here I am... to tell you what a wonderful time I have everytime I go through all your great posts! This one not being the least of them!

P.s.: I love the new picture of your bubie and you! Very romantic...

Dawn said...

you know I have to be honest: I am very fussy when it comes to the danish. Since I am part Danish and by nature love the cheese danish, it is so hard to find the perfect balance of cheese to fruit in a danish, but it truly looks like you've done just that here. I just might have to give this recipe a go. I did find, when I went to DisneyWorld, in Epcot, the Danish country did actually have the perfect danish...if you ever decide to go there. lol

Chocolaty lifestyle said...

I love sweets made with cream cheese, I'm sure this is something sbsoulutely wonderful! :)

Lissaloo said...

Delicious! I LOVE pastries :)

girlichef said...

Why are you such a good baker? I want to bite right into the screen...and that would be bad. Amazing as usual, my dear :)

Kerstin said...

What gorgeous Danishes! I so need to get my hands on some puff pastry! And I'm with you on cream cheese :)

Coleen's Recipes said...

I was hoping that you would post this recipe. I wanted to devour them the first time I saw them on your page. Excellent!!

lakegirl said...

These look so delicious. I love cheese danish. I enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

wow your blog is so good!
check out my baking blog and tell me what you think: http://thegodscake.wordpress.com.
I am going to link to you from my blog because its so great!

Michael

Kim said...

They are so pretty and make a terrific header. I love the one with the mini chocolate chips!

Julie said...

Wow...those look great!

thereddeer said...

These look delicious - I love danishes! I never even thought to make them at home - bring on the puff pastry!

Donna-FFW said...

I was wondering when you were going to post about whats on your header. They looked delicious on Debbys and look delicious here too. A soon must try for me. Love all the photos.

Jennifer said...

CREAM CHEESE, YUUUUUUUUUMMMY!!! I love it any form or fashion hot or cold come to MEEE!!!! This is going in my TO BAKE folder!!!

Debbie said...

They look wonderful Monica. I am so glad you posted pictures of exactly how to do this...it comes in handy!

Bunny said...

I saw your picture and my mouth dropped.I need these, I want these!!!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

These look heavenly, and you put them together so professionally!

Katie said...

Ohh yummy yummy, they look delicious!

Mini Baker said...

i'm 50% danish and VERY proud of it, so I will definitely be trying these!
-Mini Baker

Ingrid said...

YUM, I'll take a cheese one please! Like you I'm extremely fond of cream cheese and ricotta to for that matter but have to admit to liking it in savory foods as well. (It's warm in the danishes, Monica.) :)
~ingrid

Anna said...

Oh wow. I have a mega soft-spot for cheese danishes. These look beautiful and completely delicious!

comfycook said...

I love how you use puff pastry. I hope to try both these recipes. Thanks for posting them.

ButterYum said...

Oh Honey, if we were neighbors, we would be very dangerous together!!!

:)
ButterYum

The Tablescaper said...

Monica:

This look delish. I can't wait to try them.

I'm new to your blog and everything looks so yummy. I can't wait to try some of your recipes.

- The Tablescaper

Anonymous said...

I tried these. Won't be making again. I was out of puff pastry so I used wonder bread. I was out of ricotta and cream cheese so I substituted chevre . Finally, I topped with homemade sstrawberry jam but it didn't help this recipe.

Monica H said...

Anonymous, I couldn't tell if you were being serious or if this was a joke. I have to be honest and say it did make me laugh. If in fact you were being serious and this recipe did not work for you, perhaps you should throw away the recipe you made up and try again with the actual ingredients called for in the recipe. When in doubt, wonder bread is not a substitute for puff pastry.

Sincerely, Lick The Bowl Good

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