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Easy Cream Cheese Danish
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Skip the coffee shop snacks and whip up a DIY treat with this fast and fresh recipe for Easy Cream Cheese Danish topped with your choice of fruit.
Peanut butter and jelly. Strawberries and chocolate. Cheese and wine. Chip and Joanna. Some things are just meant to be together. And while it may not be the first duo to pop into your head, dare I add puff pastry and cream cheese to the list?
We’ve baked up this dynamic pairing before in various breakfast and brunch forms. And despite my intense love for all things cheesy pastry, it was about time we went back to the basics with Easy Cream Cheese Danish.
Don’t let these diamond shapes intimidate you. I’m here to walk you through each slice and fold. And I promise, it’s as easy it looks!
The key here is so not cut all the way through the pastry, as shown above. We need that attached corner to use as our base for folding the squares into decorative diamonds.
Once you’ve made the cuts, it’s only a matter of folding. Grab one side and fold it across, then grab the other side and fold it across. We’re basically criss-crossing the two pieces to form a border.
See what we did there? We turned a square into a not-so-fancy-but-still-looks-fancy diamond-shaped Danish with a center well and beautiful borders and can we move on to the filling now?
Here’s your chance to get creative. Stick to my cream cheese filling as the base and then let your seasonal fruit flag fly when it comes to the topping. I go for sliced strawberries year-round, but whatever is in season is your best bet, from pears and peaches to apples and endless berries.
A little sanding sugar around the edges provides welcome shimmer and crunch. Drooling yet? Preheat your oven and get ready to impress your guests with these easy but impressive cream cheese Danish!
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Easy Cream Cheese Danish
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temp
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
- All-purpose flour, for dusting work surface
- 1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 1 cup sliced strawberries or other fruit
- 1 large egg
- Sanding sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and sugar. Beat until creamy and well combined. Transfer the mixture to a sealable plastic bag or piping bag (optional).
Lightly flour your work surface then unfold each sheet of puff pastry and roll it into a 10-inch square. Cut each square into four smaller squares. To make diamond shapes, fold the squares in half diagonally to make triangles then cut a 1-inch border around the triangles except for the very tip. Open the pastries then invert the folds of dough so they’re opposite of one another. (See photos above.)
Arrange the pastries on the lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Pipe a portion of the cream cheese filling into the center of each pastry. Top the cream cheese with the sliced strawberries.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Using a brush, generously brush the pastries all over with the egg wash, omitting the area with the cream cheese. Sprinkle the edges of the pastries with the sanding sugar (optional).
Bake the pastries for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Remove them from the oven then transfer them to a rack to cool before serving.
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