Recipe: Cheese Danish

March 27, 2012

IF YOU’VE NEVER TASTED A HOMEMADE CHEESE DANISH, you’re really missing out on something. Something that is sweet, warm, fresh and delicious. Something that offers a tender crunch when you bite into it. Something that is so easy to make that you’ll probably hate me for giving you the recipe:

Cheese Danish
Ingredients for 4 pastries
1 sheet puff pastry dough (I use “Pepperidge Farm”), thawed but still cold
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg yolk
Zest of one lemon
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Egg-wash (1 whole egg beaten with 1 tsp water)
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream, egg yolk, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry sheet into a 10″x10″ square.

Using a pizza wheel, cut the square into 4 equal-size squares. A pizza wheel is one of the seven wonders of the world. So is a pastry brush.

Use a pastry brush to paint the outer edge of each square with an inch-wide ribbon of egg-wash.

3. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each pastry square.

4. Fold 2 opposite corners over each other, as shown. Gently pinch the corners to seal.

5. Transfer the formed pastries onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up the dough. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.

6. Paint the chilled pastries with egg-wash; bake on the center rack of the preheated 400F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, and enjoy with your morning coffee and a crossword puzzle.

Need a cut-and-paste version of this recipe? Here goes:

Cheese Danish
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House
Ingredients for 4 pastries
1 sheet puff pastry dough (I use “Pepperidge Farm”), thawed but still cold
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg yolk
Zest of one lemon
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Egg-wash (1 whole egg beaten with 1 tsp water)
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream, egg yolk, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry sheet into a 10″x10″ square. Cut the square into 4 equal-size squares. Paint the outer edge of each square with a 1/2-inch ribbon of egg-wash.

3. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each pastry square.

4. Fold 2 opposite corners over each other, as shown. Gently pinch the corners to seal.

5. Transfer the formed pastries onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up the dough. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.

6. Paint the chilled pastries with egg-wash; bake on the center rack of the preheated 400F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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Related Posts:
Luscious Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Muffins
Tarte Tatin


Comments

  1. These just look divine!

  2. Mary Unruh says:

    I love you blog and find myself printing lots of recipes etc from it… I know this is a lot of trouble but do you think you could put a print button on your pages like some do? It trims the comments and pictures (though I love all your pictures!) and saves time and paper on our end ? Love love your site either way! Thanks for considering it at least :)

  3. Genene says:

    Oh MY!!!!! How am I supposed to lose weight when I need to try Making lovelies like these!? They look FABULOUS! and sound so completely delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  4. susan says:

    i am heading out in a little bit to get some puff pastry. this look fabulous and easy!

  5. Chicken de Ville – It’s another great way to use the eggs from your chickens!

    Mary – I’ve added a cut-and-paste version of the recipe, so that one can print it out without the ink-robbing photos. But I’ve also contacted my web developer about adding a print feature. If it doesn’t cost anything I can add it. Web developer is unavailable though until after 3/30.

    Genene – Well, you can always start that diet on Monday…

    susan – Yeah! Let me know how they turn out for you.

  6. Donna B. says:

    Thank you Kevin – I am going out and picking up a package of puff pastry dough right after work today.
    Somehow I knew they’d be simple to make, and you weren’t kidding! Such an easy procedure! Monday night the hubs and I went grocery shopping, and I eyed him gawking at a container of cheese danish. I told him to get it, and (behold the ninth wonder of the world) he put it back.
    I think that this post was destined for me – it can’t be coincedence! Hehehee!
    Would it be simple to top the cream cheese with fruit as well? I like fruit pastries, but I still would like the cream cheese… oh I cannot wait for strawberry season! and raspberries! Mmmm!

  7. Donna B. – Destiny, yes! As for adding fruit…I think the additional moisture might produce a soggy dough. In any event, let me know how the pastries turn out for you.

  8. Donna B. says:

    @ Kevin: Heh, would never think of that… clever you! Easy resolution – make danish’ as usual & spoon a jam or jelly on top! mmmm.

  9. Deborah Rosen says:

    Kevin, thanks for this recipe. I live in a very rural area and I can’t get things like Danish unless I drive for an hour to the “big city.”

    I made this recipe a couple of days ago. We’re trying to cut back the calories so I substituted the cream cheese with fat-free cream cheese.

    I’m here to tell you that the Danish were delicious, and no one realized the cream cheese was fat free (that’ll be our little secret).

  10. Brenda Johnson says:

    I had the honor of taste testing one of these danish right from the oven and it was SOOO delicious!!! Crisp on the outside, warm creamy and wonderful on the inside… lemony bright and not too sweet….. just delightful!!!!! (especially on a cold damp day!!!)

  11. Deborah – Good to know the pastries are still awesome when fat-free cream cheese is used.

    Brenda – Thanks for taste-testing!

  12. Valerie says:

    These look wonderful! I’m going to make them soon. I make more of your recipes than from any other source. They would make an amazing cookbook!

  13. Grazyna Kirsch says:

    They look great. My husband is away and I think I will make it for this welcome back home breakfast.

  14. may says:

    lovely idea for morning tea, especially now coming into winter

  15. Valerie – I’m still toying with the idea of doing a cookbook. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    Grazyna – Well, if I was away, and upon my return you made these irresistible danishes for me, I’d be very happy indeed.

    may – Absolutely. A cup of hot tea + homemade cheese danish = a perfect match for a winter’s morn in NZ!

  16. Beverly says:

    I have used puff pastry for Spanikopita’s, filled with spinach, feta, pine nuts, water chestnuts, chives, nutmeg……….but I do not roll the pastry before I fill it. I thaw it and cut it into smaller squares, sort of like your recipe.

    Does rolling the pastry make it puff more? Or is there another advantage?

    I have always lusted after the local farmer’s market Cheese Danishes. The thought of making my own is a welcome prospect indeed. And I have all the ingredients on hand!

    Thanks for sharing this !!!!!

  17. Beverly – I’ve only made Spanikopita with filo dough, but I’ll bet it’s awesome with puff pastry.
    I have two reasons for rolling the pastry sheet out — first, to make the dough slightly thinner, and next, to remove any creases. It still puffs the same as non-rolled-out dough.

  18. Wendy says:

    oh my gosh … these look so GOOD. I used to make these and now I may try my hand at making these again. YUMMY!

  19. Cary Bradley says:

    Delightful! Kevin, we’ve been away visiting for a few days and I see you have been very busy posting lovely ideas. These danishes look fabulous! Isn’t frozen puff pastry wonderful? I’ve only used it to encase brie cheese and roast to melding deliciousness. Homemade danish is brilliant! Now if only my last-week planted spinach would sprout, I’d try Beverly and your idea of spanikopita! Uh-oh, getting hungry :) ! Thanks again for this great idea.

  20. Wendy – They are almost too good!

    Cary – I once made puff pastry entirely by hand. It was delicious, but what a job. The frozen sheets, as you said, are SO convenient. Anyway, I hope you’ll try the danish pastries — they are great to have on a cold April morning!

  21. Bonnie says:

    I made these this morning. My husband was impressed.Thank you! They were great. My filling was a little thin and there seemed to be a lot of it. So, it oozed out the end.

  22. Cary Bradley says:

    You will never guess. I once made it by hand too. It was an apple turnover in Good Housekeeping magazine for a hot date back in the very olden days :) . How funny to share that too with you, cool! I sure will try your cheese danish, my very favorite!

  23. Martha says:

    I’ve made this 3 times already but used phyllo with Pam between the layers because we couldn’t find puff pastry.
    I had to double the cream cheese to make the filling firm enough.
    Everyone who had a slice loved it. Thanks for the recipe!
    M

  24. Martha – Oooh, I can practically taste this with deliciously flakey and airy Phyllo dough! Glad you liked the recipe.

  25. anita says:

    Kevin, how long can the frozen puff pastry be kept in the fridge after thawing, before use? (I have logistical problems). Also, looking forward to your cookbook. Love your photos and recipes.

  26. Anita – Frozen puff pastry is easiest to work with when allowed to thaw in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). If you leave it in the fridge for more than 24 hours, the dough will turn gray and become dry.

    Alternatively, you can let frozen dough thaw on the counter for 40 minutes.

  27. Dana says:

    G’day, I used to buy and eat these in Toronto, ON, but they don’t exist DownUnder … until now; shall make them asap. Thanks.

  28. T says:

    I have puff pastry in the freezer and will enjoy this on Sunday morning! Thank You!

  29. Dana – Well, it’s high-time you introduce these beauties to the land of Oz!

    T – Great! Let me know how they turn out for you.

  30. Brenda C. says:

    Hi Kevin – they look great!

    Can these be assembled the night before and put in the frig to firm up until the next morning?

    thanks.

  31. Billie says:

    Absolutely easy and best of all delicious!

  32. Karen says:

    These are easy and MARVELOUS! Much better than store-bought.

  33. caroline says:

    puff pastry sticks togather..how to prevent this???

  34. Maureen says:

    I have made several of your recipes and every one of them came out perfect. I also have a bunch of brand new African Violets now adorning my dining room light stand. Soooo, I guess it’s time to go to the store and pick up the sour cream since it’s the only thing I’m missing to make these fabulous looking cheese danish. Thank you so much. As a great-grandmother of 16 (soon to be 20 I’m told) I appreciate getting ideas that brighten my day.

  35. Gloria Duy says:

    I can only dream of gluten-free Pepperidge Farm puff pastry some day!!! Never know, things have changed a lot in the past few years.

  36. Kristina says:

    These look delicious and so easy! Thank you!!

  37. Mahala Burton says:

    I cannot wait to try these as soon as I can get to the store. I made your Cognac Cookies 3 times over Xmas. I used Grand Marnier and doubled and almost tripled the amount then had a glass for myself. I made the dough the day before and let warm to room temp before baking -they were a huge hit!!
    I live on the California Coast near Heart Castle and while it is only in the low 40′s daytime a little colder at night it is perfect baking weather. I have sent your site to all my friends.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Mahala Cambria, California

  38. Lisa B says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made apple turnovers with puff pastry yesterday, this sounds even better!!!

  39. Happy Happy New Year Kevin! Thank you for a wonderful year of amazing,easy peasy, tasty & delicious receipts! My violets have never looked better! Not to mention all the great ideas for keeping my yard so well manicured! You make my world a better place! Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings into my kitchen and garden! THANK YOU!!!!
    With much love and respect!
    Miss Michelle, Nor Cal Native :)

  40. jean says:

    Hi Kevin,

    So glad I found your website as each recipe just sounds amazing. Just printed off the blueberry bars and cheese danish for company coming. They will never want to leave after trying these. Got my Seed Savers Catalog and am picking out what I want to order so I can winter sow. Am so excited as this is all new to me but you make it look sooooooo easy. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and so much great information. Am looking forward to 2013 and my new garden. New Year Blessings to you and your family.

    Jean in Cincinnati, Ohio but moving to Indiana

  41. Apryl Kingsley says:

    I can’t believe it’s so easy to make your own Cheese Danish and its not loaded with sugar like the store bought Danish. Can’t wait to get some Puff Pastry. I’m so glad I discovered your newsletter last year.

  42. Lori Scheuer says:

    Your recipe looks delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  43. Hilary Seiler says:

    I looked at your beautiful finished product and couldn’t believe it could be easy. The recipe sounds quite simple. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  44. Lisa G says:

    Kevin,

    This Danish recipe is divine!! I’ve never cared for Danish filling, but my hubby asked me to modify his favorite coffee cake by adding some Danish filling over the raspberry jam. I found your fabulous blog when looking for a recipe (and I’m eternally grateful for that!!), but I also found that I LOVE Danish before it’s cooked! I still don’t care for it after it comes out of the oven, but my husband LOVES, LOVES, LOVES it! Thanks so much for helping me keep him happy! :-)

  45. Rosiland Ball says:

    THESE LOOK DIVINE! AND EASY!

  46. R Rag says:

    Just tried your danishes today evening… I have been postponing making these, and my son wanted to help me make these today and I decided that we will have them for evening snack with a cup of cold milk and thats what we did! And oh, the filling was just awesome, with the lemony flavor bursting in my mouth:) Not too sweet, not too heavy and just perfect! I did make 12 smaller squares instead of 4 big ones, so I can feel okay about eating one. My kids and hubby loved them..

    Thanks Kevin, for a wonderful recipe:)

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