This cheese Danish is made from store-bought puff pastry and a filling of cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. It’s easy and perfect for Hanukkah and Christmas and Easter and weekends and, okay, any time.
We tend to think of cheese danish as what we experienced as children. In other words, mass-produced, shrink-wrapped pastries that weren’t startlingly spectacular but were edible. And that’s a shame. Because this magnificently rich, shatteringly crisp, sigh-inducingly lovely, made-from-scratch cheese Danish will turn your childhood pastry trauma upside down. It’s pretty unforgettable. In the best possible way. And it’s far easier than you’d expect by looking at the photo. As one person who made this recipe exclaimed, “If I had known how easy this would end up being, I’d have been making Danish forever ago.” We wish everyone had known that years ago. Including us. And to make it even easier, we’ve included a video below that shows you, step by step, exactly how to fold and slice Danish pastry dough. You’re welcome. Originally published December 5, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Video: How to Cut, Fill, and Fold a Danish: Step-by-Step InstructionsVideo courtesy of Home Cooking Adventure
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H
- Serves 10 to 12
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What You Need To Know About Using Store-Bought Puff Pastry
We’ve got no shame about the fact that this easy cheese Danish recipe relies on frozen puff pastry sheets as opposed to homemade. Where our snobbishness and, perhaps a touch of disdain tends to come in regarding different brands of frozen puff pasty.
The most common and affordable brand is Pepperidge Farm, and this recipe was actually designed with the specific dimensions of that brand in mind. Opt for this, and you’ll end up with a perfectly fine cheese Danish.
But if, like us, you want puff pastry made with real butter and just a handful of real ingredients that you can pronounce, and if you want no preservatives or anything artificial, and if you want knee-wobblingly buttery pastry that puffs into über flaky and shatteringly crisp layers, then you want the slightly pricier Dufour brand. Whatever you create with it will be ridiculously magnificent.
If you do use a 1-pound package of Dufour for the package size called for in this recipe, note that the Dufour dimensions are slightly different than that of Pepperidge Farm. As such, you’ll need to scale the recipe back a little by trimming a couple inches from one side of the square dough to obtain a rectangle. And you probably won’t need quite all the cream cheese filling, which means you can plop a dollop of cream cheese filling smack in the center of those puff pastry trimmings, bring the opposite corners together above the filling, and bake. Sorta as a teaser for that lovely full-size Danish that you don’t want to cut into become company arrives but you desperately want to sample. Because it would be seriously unholy to waste any of this loveliness.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This cheese Danish is better than any I have ever had from a bakery. The store-bought puff pastry makes a light and airy crust with plenty of buttery flavor. The homemade filling is spot-on in terms of flavor and creaminess.
If you follow the instructions for preparing the dough and assembling the pastry, it will turn out looking as beautiful as the photo. You may have to read the directions more than once, but follow them precisely and you will have a perfect, professional-looking pastry.
If I had known how easy this would end up being, I'd have been making Danish forever ago. In the span of just about 1 hour, I had a lovely treat to take to a family celebration.
The filling was easy to put together, and since the day was warm, I didn't bother to pull out the electric mixer but used a little elbow grease and mixed it by hand. The filling was lovely and slightly citrusy, and the puff pastry was easy to work with. My only difficulty came when doing the final crossing of the pastry onto the cheese. Scoring the pastry and laying the cheese into the center was simple enough. Where I ran into trouble was making the pastry pattern. Should it be pulled to the other side across the cheese or only half way? When it finished baking after 35 minutes, it wasn't pretty, but it smelled divine.
I made a second one with goat cheese with the second sheet of puff pastry. It was equally tasty but the filling was a little more crumbly. One taster commented that it was like having little bits of cheesecake, and another couldn't pick a favorite between the two of them. They were both good enough that none came home. I can't wait to make this again, maybe with a rum or almond flavoring with the cheese or apple bits added in. The possibilities seem endless.