There are things in life you assume you can never do. Maybe you tried once and failed, or maybe it’s something that’s always seemed out of reach so you’ve never even attempted.
For example, I can’t do a cartwheel. Never have been able to. I tried as a kid, but ended up on my back in the grass while my much more nimble friends’ legs gracefully arched over their bodies and landed firmly on the ground.
I didn’t exactly think I couldn’t make a cheese danish, but the thought didn’t occur to me that I could even try until recently. Who actually makes a danish? A danish is something you enjoy at a bakery, it’s not something you make in your own kitchen.
Turns out, not only can you make one yourself, but you can do so quite easily and in under thirty minutes. For the pastry, simply use frozen puff pastry sheets. And the filling is just a mixture of cream and ricotta cheeses, sugar, egg yolks, and a bit of lemon zest. Super easy and quite tasty. I love anything that involves flaky pastry and a creamy filling.
I may not ever be able to do a cartwheel, and I’m okay with that. I can’t do everything. But I know I can whip up a pretty decent breakfast, and that’s come in much more handy. Coffee cakes, muffins, donuts, pancakes, scones, crepes, biscuits, and now danishes.
You never know what you can or can’t do until you try.
8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup (80 grams) sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
For the icing:
1/2 cup (70 grams) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Mix together the cream cheese and sugar together until combined and creamy. Add the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, vanilla extract, coarse salt, and lemon zest and mix until combined.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one puff pastry sheet out to be about 10 inches square. Cut the pastry into quarters and spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each piece of pastry. Working with each pastry square, fold two opposite corners of the pastry together, overlapping and pressing them together to seal well. Brush each pastry with the egg wash. Repeat with the remaining sheet of puff pastry.
Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan, at least 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and milk and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the pastries.
The danishes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.
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