Saturday, December 29, 2012

Easy Cheese Danishes

I'm not a huge pastry buff. I can take or leave doughnuts (and we have both Krispy Kreme AND Dunkin Donuts here), I don't prostrate myself for kolaches & rugelach, and I eat maybe ONE croissant or muffin per year. I loathe honey buns, and really don't care for cinnamon rolls either. 

Well, until Hostess went under. Then I had a sudden urge to hoard as many Hostess products as humanly possible. Unfortunately I was a day late and a dollar short - by the time I got to a few local stores, the Hostess inventory was GONE. 

Back to pastries, though. I LOVE danishes. I know they're absolutely horrible for me, and I plain and simple DO NOT CARE. Cheese danishes, fruit danishes, it doesn't matter. I used to buy FLATS of prepackaged Cloverhill Bakery danishes at Sam's. They'd last me a week, and I'd go through at least 3 gallons of milk in that week as well. 

Once the vending machine at work quit carrying danishes, I had no reason to even venture to the break room. Granted, my wallet and pants were grateful, but still...

There are TONS of homemade danish recipes out there on 'them world wide internets'. Some involve making puff pastry from scratch - not going to happen. Some involve using refrigerated crescent rolls - this is more my speed, but it's just not the right type of dough. So, I figured I'd see what I could do with some frozen puff pastry and a little bit of experimentation! 

Note: I'm a danish purist and prefer cheese only. But, if you like fruit danishes, all you have to do is add some jam; see my notes below. So, make some danishes, and have plenty of ice cold milk or fresh hot coffee ready! 

Easy Cheese Danishes

1 package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup fruit jam (optional)
1 egg white
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract

Roll out 1 sheet of the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and smooth out any folds. Cut into quarters. Repeat with the other sheet of pastry. 

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice; mix well.

Place about 2 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each pastry quarter.

NOTE: If you want to add any jam, make a little dent in the cream cheese mixture and fill with about 1 Tbsp of jam.

Bring the corners of the pastry square together and pinch them together, like drawing a bag closed. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with egg white. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. 

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until puffed &  light golden brown, turning the pan once during baking. Let cool 20 minutes before glazing.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla/almond extract. Drizzle over the danish - to make this easy, pour the glaze into a plastic bag, snip off a corner with scissors, and pipe away! 


  1. Awesome! I'm in NC originally from DC and they just don't have decent bakeries down here. My mother in law (from FL originally) and I often yearn for a good cheese danish. I'll have to make these. I even have some puff pastry left over from my venison wellington

    1. I hope you enjoy these! You can make 4 danishes from a single sheet of puff pastry since you have leftovers!

  2. Thanks for sharing that, now I need to find Puff Pastry *sigh*, so much to learn, when you come from Europe to USA

    1. Gunda, you can find puff pastry in any grocery store; usually it will be in the frozen food aisle, near the pie crusts! :)