I’ve been craving these babies since last week ever since I had one from Starbucks. Okay, so the cheese danish from Starbucks wasn’t the best, the filling was too sweet for my taste, but it was enough to remind me just how much I miss these pastries. So I went grocery shopping with my sister and bought the necessary ingredients. Except, I wasn’t allowed to make them until today because she wanted to make her healthy sweet potato recipes first. -_-
Anyway, I was finally able to make them and this time, I can reveal the recipe to you again! Isn’t this exciting?!
I got the recipe from Ina Garten. You know, that boring woman on Food Network with the Dora haircut and popped collar. You want so badly to hate her because she’s so boring and rich and has a gorgeous house, but you can’t stop watching her shows and giving her air time because she cooks such good food. No, not Paula Deen.
So this is the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-cheese-danish-recipe/index.html
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese [I used yogurt]
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons) [I used one orange’s worth of orange zest]
- 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Then this was the part I slightly changed. Next, you’re supposed to add the salt, vanilla, ricotta cheese and lemon zest. But we didn’t have ricotta cheese, and I didn’t want to buy it just so that I could use 2 tablespoons of it. Fortunately, one of the reviewers for this recipe said she used cottage cheese in place of the ricotta and we had cottage cheese in the fridge. Unfortunately, my sister finished it, so I ended up using plain yogurt instead [which we had in the fridge as well]. Also, I didn’t want to buy just one lemon, so I used one of our many many many oranges in the house. Seriously, our fridge is full of oranges, and I didn’t want to let all that orange zest go to waste!
The reason why I didn’t add the egg yolks in with these other ingredients, although that’s what Ina tells you to do, is that I was still unsure about the substitutions I made. Would the yogurt and orange zest taste good? So I mixed it first and tasted the mixture before I added all the salmonella in it. The mixture tasted good, so I proceeded.
Now, on to the puff pastry. Store bought. Don’t kill yourself trying to make it from scratch. We’ll be using two sheets, which is what usually comes in a pack anyway. Thaw them before handling so they don’t break.
Roll out into a 10 by 10 inch square. I didn’t measure it. I just assumed it was good enough. Then I was a rebel again. I cut it up into 8 sections instead of just 4. This is because we were going to have company over and I would have to share my cheese danishes with other people. So I didn’t want to make them too big and I wanted to be able to make more of them.
Since I cut my puff pastry into triangles, I had to improvise a way to fold and present them. I came up with a little something… Also note that I used the egg whites from the two egg yolks we used earlier as the egg wash. I didn’t want to let perfectly capable egg whites go to waste.
It’s kind of a little pocket for the cheese filling. Also, don’t skimp on the egg wash. It’s your glue. Use as much of it as you need, or else your puff pastry won’t stick to itself and the filling might spill out during the baking process.
Spread egg wash over the tops and sprinkle sugar over them. Put the egg wash over any place you want the sugar to stick to, then place them in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes. Then, bake them in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Just until they’ve puffed and turned golden brown.
These definitely hit the spot for me. The orange zest actually added an interesting orange flavor that I enjoyed. And best of all, I made them myself. Go Ina!