Thursday, October 16, 2008

Easy Cheese Danish--Barefoot Bloggers Bonus Recipe for October

Congratulations to Val of More Than Burnt Toast who had the most referrals to the Barefoot Bloggers website in October. Val chose something that probably never would have occurred to me to try, Easy Cheese Danishes from The Barefoot Contessa at Home (Page 218) and I am glad she did as these Danishes were easy to put together and delicious.

Easy Cheese Danish
The Barefoot Contessa at Home, Ina Garten
Makes 8 Danishes

8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 T ricotta cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 - 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip! Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes. Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.

Considering I struggled a bit with getting my last puff pastry together for the Apple Turnovers, I was anxious to redeem myself. I think the key for me and puff pastry getting along is for me not to roll it. I had a much better experience with the sheet I didn't roll, but just cut, topped and folded. I did half of my Danishes with the cream cheese mixture and the other half I topped the cream cheese with some papaya-pineapple jam. Both were delicious, the cream cheese has a lovely, light lemony flavor, but the ones with the jam were our favorites. Mom and I baked this on Saturday night and shared one, then reheated the rest over the next couple of days for breakfast. (Ina notes in the cookbook version of the recipe to reheat at 350 degrees F. for 5 minutes). The nice thing about this recipe is that the Danishes were just as good if not better reheated. The only thing I would do differently is to add a bit more jam and even the cream cheese filling since the puff pastry holds it so nicely.

Great choice Val--this one is a keeper and would be great for an easy breakfast when you want to impress your guests but don't want to go to a lot of time and effort. Because this is an optional recipe, not all the Barefoot Bloggers may post it but you can check out who does by going through the list here. If you love Ina and want to join Barefoot Bloggers--check us out here. Hopefully you will join in time for my recipe choice, Vegetable Pot Pie that we will post next Thursday. (Guess what I'll be doing this weekend!?!)


  1. That looks great - would love to try pineapple jam. I love pawpaw jam. Looking forward to making your pie.

  2. The colour on your pastry is perfect! (mine were a little light but I was paranoid of burning the bottoms)
    I love the papaya and pineapple jam idea too. It is 6:30 am right now and I would love one or two with my coffee.
    Believe it or not I don't have much experience with papaya. I guess it doesn't ship as well as pineapple.
    Looking forward to the vegetable pot pie!!

  3. both versions sound really delicious!!

  4. Deb, your Danish look perfect! I love how golden they turned out. The pineapple papaya jam sounds amazing, and thanks for the tip about reheating in the oven. I can't wait to make your vegetable pot pie, it will probably be dinner tonight. :) Thanks for the sweet comment!

  5. What a great idea with the jam! I didn't make these because hubs said that he doesn't love plain cheese danish, but I know that he'd like these with jam added to them. With your great review of the recipe, I just might give these a try after all! Yours look beautiful!

  6. OMG, these look so good. I'm going to shop for ingredients to make them this weekend.

  7. Gorgeous.

    I didn't shape mine like you did yours.

    I must have made them wrong.

  8. Suzie--thanks! I don't think i have ever had pawpaw jam before--sounds interesting.

    Natashya--I am going to credit Mom for that. She checked on them in the oven and pulled them out. A good sous chef1 ;-)

    Kat--they were both good but the jam was best!

    Andrea--thanks! Can't wait to hear how you pot pie turns out.

    Cathy--I wasn't sure I would like them plain and I did but the jam made them great.

    Arlene--I hope you like them!

    Chocolatechic--I think yours looked great in the turnover style and the glaze sounds delicious!

  9. Pineapple Papaya Jam sound delicious!!! And yours came out totally gorgeous! I'll have to try some with that jam - yum! :)

  10. Yours look great! I probably should have read the directions about folding them :)

  11. Your jam ideas send these over the edge into pastry perfection. I so wish I would have made them. I suppose I still can, but I still need to do penance for all the cookies I'm making this week.

  12. Deb, what an awesome idea to try the pineapple jam. I will definitely try that when I make these again!!

  13. Sounds like jam was a favorite addition to these, so I will have to give it a try, too. I have some cherry jam that I want to use. Yours look beautiful and delicious.

  14. Mmm looks so flaky. Gotta start messing around with puff pastry.

  15. I love these quick and easy Danishes. It is one I probably make all the time:D

  16. I agree - more filling would be great with these. Yours look delicious!

  17. that is one beautiful danish. ina garden knows her food.

  18. I love a cheese danish - but the jam sounds amazing too!

  19. mmm, the papaya-pineapple jam sounds good. :)


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