The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Shelbyville News”. By: Blaise Doubman.
Easy Cream Cheese Danish
I love a fresh hot pastry straight from a bakery case! I remember my Mom, Darla, introducing me to the fabulously delicious danish pastry several years ago. I had always seen them in bakery cases I would visit but would never get up the nerve to try them. I remembered always thinking they were so pretty, but they contained fruit and fruit was not my thinking when it came to anything dessert! Ha! Skip ahead to when my Mom brought home a few cherry cream cheese danish pastries and oh my! I fell in love at first bite! I immediately went and researched how I could start making my own versions at home. I stumbled across a Barefoot Contessa recipe from Ina Garten, that used puff pastry, cream cheese, ricotta cheese and fresh lemon. They were good but they were messy and difficult to make because you had to thaw the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight and roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin. Plus, they just did not have that special sweet glaze I was looking for that I found in my first bite of danish. So, I continued testing recipes for a few months until finally I just gave up and put it on the back burner. I kept the thought in the back of my mind about wanting to create an easy danish.
Some time had passed, and I decided that I would start my danish recipe testing up again. I had several ideas including making my own pastry, which was time consuming and difficult and was trying to come up with a recipe that was large enough to cut and share. When I developed the recipe I am sharing today, I knew I had really stumbled upon something great! This recipe was actually created by mistake! I was trying to figure out how I could get my box of puff pastry to work out in a 9×13-inch baking pan but decided last minute to try refrigerated crescent rolls instead. It was amazing! And since I was using crescent rolls straight from the refrigerator, there was no need to mess around with thawing out the puff pastry or rolling anything out with a floured rolling pin. Simpler and less mess, how great is that? This can be served as breakfast, dessert or a snack and pairs deliciously wonderful with a strong cup of coffee. Experiment with different flavors here and throw in some blueberries or strawberries if you happen to desire!
Easy Cream Cheese Danish
Leftovers should be wrapped and kept chilled in the refrigerator. Leftovers will last up to 3 days.
For the danish…
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
For the glaze…
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
Unroll one tube of refrigerated crescent rolls and lay out onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pinch and smooth out the dough, making one large sheet lining the bottom.
In a large bowl beat together the softened cream cheese, white granulated sugar, pure vanilla extract and large egg until smooth and combined.
Pour this mixture over the crescent roll sheet and smooth and spread evenly.
Unroll the second tube of refrigerated crescent rolls and carefully place over the mixture.
Brush the top with the large egg white evenly.
Bake, in preheated oven, for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
After baked, remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before topping with the glaze.
To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, whole milk and pure vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl until smooth and combined.
Ask and Answer: There has been a few questions about why I specify unsalted butter in most of my baking recipes and salted butter in my other recipes. When you use unsalted butter, it is easier to control to amount of salt in the final product which is especially important in baking. If you find yourself without unsalted butter you can use salted but just subtract ¼ teaspoon salt in the recipe for each stick of butter you are using. My favorite brand of butter is Land O Lakes.