Pinwheels of pure joy for Mother’s Day! # 173: Strawberry Cheese Danishes
Happy Mother’s Day! Sending love to all those out there who give the best hugs, feed you endlessly and always pick up the phone when you call. My momma’s the best of course, but I’m a little biased.
Are you a cheese danish fan? People seem to fall into one of two camps:
- Love love love, I could eat them all day
- Absolutely not! Bring on the muffins
Danishes are desserts masquerading as a breakfast pastry. A sweet cream cheese filling baked with fruit on puff pastry, sometimes with a glaze drizzled on top. I fall into the first category if there’s no sugary drizzle on top – no need to gild the lily! The cream cheese has enough tang in it to cut the sweetness of filling, and I love a pop of fresh berries for color and yum.
Despite being called danishes around the world, they actually are a traditional Austrian baked good. In the 1850’s, Danish bakers went on a long-term strike and bakeries brought in Austrian bakers to keep up with demand. They brought in their own baking traditions and their flaky pastry filled with marzipan, fruit and nuts caught on quickly as a favorite.
I attempted a diamond shape and it rebelled like a teenager and gave me this instead. It turned into more of a puff pastry tray holding up some filling, but hey it still tasted great!
Here’s the choose-your-own-adventure part of the bake: thaw some frozen pre-made puff pastry or whip up a rough puff dough. There was a half box of puff pastry left in the freezer calling my name, so that decision was super easy!
I’m still really enjoying making small batches of things – you get to try more desserts and don’t have to worry about eating it all before it gets stale. Most of the joy comes from the baking prep and process for me, and this way I can tackle more recipes per grocery haul! Quarantine is making me thrifty, what can I say.
When I come across a recipe I can’t cut down, I play the dessert fairy and run tupperwares of treats to friends’ porches. Like the tooth fairy, the dessert fairy is an essential worker!
The filling is a lady of few ingredients. Cream cheese and sugar as a base, with vanilla for richness and lemon juice for lightness.
If you forget to take your cream cheese out of the fridge before to soften, or if you’re baking on a whim (yesss encourage all baking whims!) just pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so. It’ll warm up just enough to be stirring consistency.
Voila! All whipped up and looking for a pastry.
While the diamond/envelope shape is the most common for a danish, I got a little fancy and made pinwheels.
How cute is that??
Pre-sauna filling time. Next time I might prep the dough on some parchment paper to make the transition to the pan easier.
A little fairy dust *ahem* I mean egg wash, and away we go!
I made a glaze base for the drizzle before adding in the melted jam for a strawberry kick.
Recipe mostly from: https://sugarspunrun.com/cheese-danish/