September 24, 2012

Breakfast in a Snap: Cream Cheese Cherry Danish


There, I've said it. It's true. I have a complete obsession with breakfast food. One of my favorite things (especially in the winter, for some odd reason) is to have breakfast for dinner. I love, love, love it! Only one problem...

The Hubs' idea of breakfast is a bowl of cereal. Whaaaaaat? He doesn't have the patience to wait for things to cook in the morning. Plus, the Hubs isn't a huge fan of breakfast to begin with. I don't know how we've stayed together this long! 

Oh yeah, it's because I love him, even his quirky food attitudes.  

Whenever we have company, I use that as an opportunity to expand the Hubs' horizons, since I've been unsuccessful in converting him thus far. Haha, he is stuck with breakfast then! Of course, I'm not an early riser, and I don't want to leave my guests waiting too long for that yummy wake-up call. So I'm always looking for recipes that are quick and easy, yet still look like I'm fancy. 

I'm not really fancy, but I like pretending. Another guilty pleasure. 

I've been dying to try out an idea for breakfast pastry for several months. Of course, I can't experiment on the Hubs, but I can always count on my buddy, Abby, to be my guinea pig. A few weeks ago, we got together very early one morning (6 a.m.!) for breakfast and then a photo walk. 

I swear we don't normally get together so early in the a.m.! This was a special circumstance, really. 

As early as it was though, it was also the perfect opportunity to try out my new pastry idea. 

Looks yummy, yes? 

Well, it's not only delicious, it's also pretty easy to make! It can be cooked in the morning, and served warm, OR you can make it the night before and serve cold to your guests. It's excellent either way. I know, because I snarfed down a good half dozen over a several day period. 

I compensated by limiting my chocolate intake. Sort of. 

ANYWAY. This is simple enough that even the Hubs could make it. Here's what you start with: 

The Ingredients

For once, I actually got all the ingredients in the picture! Oh, wait. Except for one. 

Maybe next time. 

To get started, you need a box of puff pastry (thawed overnight in the fridge), unless you really are fancy and know how to make your own. I haven't progressed quite that far yet. You also need cream cheese, cherry pie filling, an egg, vanilla extract, and a tablespoon of water (the forgotten ingredient!). To all that, add three varieties of sugar. 

That's right. You heard me. Three. Types. Of. Sugar. THREE. You need granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar, and raw sugar.

I compensated for this by purchasing "no sugar added" pie filling. That helps, right?

Humor the poor, delusional woman please.  

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then, start by cutting your pastry into rough square/rectangle shapes. When you unfold the puff pastry, there are natural creases which are a great guideline. I cut down each crease which made three, long strips. Then, I cut each strip in half, for a total of 6 pieces. When you do that to both puff pastry sheets, you wind up with 12 total squares. 

One sheet puff pastry, cut into pieces

Place the pastry on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I like to set mine in the fridge while I prep the filling, so the dough doesn't get too soft. 

Time for the good stuff! Super simple. Blend together an 8 ounce block of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. You want the mix to be smooth and creamy, like so:


Onto each pastry square, place about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture, and 3 or 4 cherries from the pie filling. (Note: You will have a small amount of cream cheese filling left over. Use it on toast or bagels, or as a dip for fruit!) Next, bring the four corners of the dough together in the center and press to seal. Mmmmm...... 

Be sure to leave openings for ventilation! If you don't, the filling oozes out in all kind of weird places and you hear little pastry bombs going off in your oven. Trust me, it isn't pretty. 

One last step before you pop these babies in the oven. Beat together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make an 'egg wash'. Then, brush the egg wash over the pastry and sprinkle them all with a bit of raw sugar. Set in your pre-heated oven for 15-25 minutes. You want the pastries golden brown and scrumptious. 

While they're in the oven, whip up your glaze. Also super easy! Whisk together 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar with 1 tablespoon milk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. If the glaze is too thick, add a tiny bit more milk. If it's too thin, sprinkle in more confectioners' sugar until it's the consistency you prefer. 

Drizzle the pastries with glaze while they are still a little warm from the oven, and viola! 

Cream Cheese Cherry Danishes! Nom nom nom nom.... excuse me while I gorge.

These are great for guests, because they look fancy without being too complicated. Also, you can prepare them in advance, and serve cold. Or make the morning of and serve warm! They're delicious either way. Even the Hubs approved! Of course, he ate them at lunchtime instead of breakfast, because he's weird like that. But still... he ate breakfast food! 

Happy baking, my friends! The recipe is listed below in the standard form. 

Thanks for reading, everyone! 
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The Standard Form:

Cream Cheese Cherry Danish


2 sheets puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator overnight
1 can cherry pie filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons raw sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 6 squares/rectangles. Blend together the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Scoop a tablespoon of cream cheese into the center of each square. Top with 3 cherries from the pie filling.

Pull the corners of the pastry together in the center, pinching to seal. Be sure to leave the slits open on the side for ventilation.

Place the pastries onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Beat the egg with the tablespoon of water. Use a pastry brush to brush the pastries with the egg wash. Sprinkle the pastries with raw sugar.

Back at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes, until golden brown.

While the pastries are baking, make the glaze. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. If it is too thick, add a tiny bit more milk.

Drizzle pastries with the glaze while they are still warm from the oven. Enjoy!! 

Thanks for reading, everyone! 
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