October 16

Comfort zones.

We all have them.

They are the place where we feel our best.   It is the place where we always come back to, because we are good in our comfort zone.

Doing the Tuesday’s With Dorie (TWD) and the Barefoot Bloggers (BB) has thrown me out of my cooking/baking comfort zone.

Way out.

I have made risotto, and biscotti, creme brulee, galette, blueberry pie, and I also found out that I really like fresh cherries.

Today’s extra BB recipe for Easy Cheese Danish, picked by Val of More than Burnt Toast, is no different.

For today’s recipe I had to use puff pastry.

I had never used puff pastry before, for several reasons.

1.  I heard that it was difficult to work with, 2. I don’t do fancy~schmancy, even though I am a Princess in hiding, and 3. I really hadn’t even looked at recipes that called for it, because ….helloooooo comfort zone!

Shame on me.


Don’t listen to everything you hear.  Puff pastry isn’t hard, internet.   It is really just like working with pie dough, only it is better.

I did a few things different with this recipe and added a few extra touches to make them pretty.

Easy Cheese Danish

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 T ricotta cheese~~I didn’t have any so I strained some small curd cottage cheese and mashed it.
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 – 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)~~waaaaaay to much lemon.  1 tsp. is PLENTY!
  • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. 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!(I whipped…slightly…oopsie poopsie but it didn’t mess up the filling)
  3. 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.
  4. Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.
Makes 8 Danish
You could actually leave out the ricotta cheese, it just provides a rich layer of flavor.  After I brushed on the egg wash, before baking,  I sprinkled them with sanding sugar.  I also made a maple confectioners sugar glaze for it.
These are delicious.

Be careful though, they cause  men to hover about as you  take them out of the oven, and they won’t stop hovering till their mouths were full of my your danish.   I definately will be making these again and again, and again.

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Just an average wife, mother, and homeschooling woman

33 thoughts on “October 16”

  1. Ooo those look wonderful! Great job on your first attempt working with puff pastry! See, absolutely nothing to be afraid of, and completely delicious 🙂 I love your maple sugar glaze, it really takes these over the top.

  2. Tanya, You missed your calling. You should be a food photographer. You take beautiful pictures of food & ingredients. They are your best subjects. You make every step look so pretty,How can eggs, flour & cream cheese look so nice??????

  3. Oh My goodness… those pastries look absolutely wonderful!!!! You are such a fabulous cook – I can see where your son gets his interest in cooking and his skill. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is one fine subject you’ve got there and I can’t even eat just yet, give me 15 min. and I’ll be licking my monitor…..if it’s still on that is.

    OK, as soon as I have my new table, which will provide me with the work surface to do this, I will attempt to make these. Should be interesting to see how my family reacts to them….. 😆

  5. Hi CC. I’m at your daddy’s computer. Please enlighten me…what is that first picture? I’ve been trying to figure it out all morning?

    The danish looks wonderful!!!

  6. Those look great, and I like the way you folded them (I had to look up danish pictures on the internet to see how to fold mine). Are the black specks real vanilla bean, not extract? I love the glaze you added too.

  7. Wow, these look amazing. Also, I agree with the other commenters that your food photography is outstanding. Would you do a tutorial on your blog about how you achieve such quality pictures? At least some tips regarding lighting, camera settings, etc.? I would love to know how you do it. (I didn’t search to see if you’ve already done this. I hope you haven’t or I’ll feel stupid.)

  8. Misty~~those black specks are my home made vanilla.

    Lisa~~I could try to do a tutorial. I really don’t even know how I do it myself. I just plop the food on my island and take the picture.

  9. this is cruel and unusual punishment, DH is close to being diabetic. and I need to lose some #####’s before the son’s wedding next summer.

    on the other hand, this looks so yummy, I might get the DD to make them!

  10. Tanya, those look scrumptious. I am so glad we don’t live close to you. I would have to try everything you make.And we know where that would lead.

  11. Wow, your pictures are out of this world. I have just about given up on step by step photos as I get too flustered. You get a medal. A chocolate medal.
    Congrats on conquering the puff pastry!

  12. I agree with you on the whole comfort zone issue. I have the tendency to flip right past certain recipes in cookbooks for the sole reason that they are “scary”. I am getting better.

    Your photos are gorgeous. That first one of the ingredients in the bowl looks like a painting with its breathtaking swirls of color and texture!

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