Cream Cheese Danish

If you’ve ever had an Entenmann’s cheese danish, then you will appreciate this recipe.  This is one of our favorite special treats my mom made for us growing up.  She is very particular about danish recipes because she was spoiled with tasting fresh, bakery cheese danishes while living in Chicago most of her life.  The bakery was just down the street from her parent’s home in Oak Park and always had the most delicious tasting confections under the sun.

The dough can be made either in a bread machine or by hand.  Mom always uses the bread machine since it saves time, but I like to do it the old-fashioned way (plus I don’t own a bread machine). 🙂  I’ll give you the breakdown of the different changes I made to the recipe to accomadate the difference.

Here is the original recipe:

Cream Cheese Danish – by Toni Fuhrman

INGREDIENTS (Dough):

  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 T. butter
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 2 C. flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 C. water

(Filling):

  • 1 – 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T. lemon juice

(Sprinkle):

  • 4 T. flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. butter

DIRECTIONS:  (Dough) Mix all ingredients together, cutting cold butter into 24 pieces.  Let rise. Punch down and roll dough into 2 rectangles.  (Filling)  Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in rest of ingredients.  Spread half onto each rectangle down the center away from edges.  Let rise until double. (Sprinkle)  Rub together ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle over both danish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes of until lightly brown (do not overbake).  (Glaze)  Mix together powdered sugar and milk to glaze.

Since I don’t have the bread machine to do all the mixing for me, I followed the regular process for mixing a sweet yeast dough.  First mix the yeast and water together in a bowl and let set for about 10 minutes.  Warm milk to room temperature and melt the butter. (I used coconut oil instead of butter).  Add the remaining ingredients to the yeast mixture and mix well.  When at a good consistency dump out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and doesn’t tear when you stretch it out.  Spray a bowl and coat the dough on top and bottom before placing inside, covering and letting rest for one hour or until double in size.

Punch the dough down after it has risen and head onto the rest of the recipe.

Add flour, sugar and butter to a bowl to make the sprinkle.

Rub together with your fingers until it forms little balls.  Set aside.

After the dough has been punched down, divide into two sections and roll each into a rectangle.

Mix together the softened cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy before adding in the lemon juice, egg yolk and flour.

Spread half of the cheese mixture onto each rectangle keeping it away from the edges.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips (optional).

I braided mine, but you can make your rectangles thinner and just spread the cheese down the middle.  As the dough begins its second rise, it will create “walls” around the cheese mixture.

NOTE:  To be completely honest, I forgot to let mine rise a second time before baking.  Oops!  However, they still came out okay just maybe not as fluffy as they could have been.

Bake at 350 degrees for  8 minutes (or until lightly brown).  Do NOT overbake!

Prepare the glaze and dribble over the danish.

Oooohhhh… so GOOD!!!!

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Baked Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments/ H turns 4 months!

Wow!  Where did the time go this year?!?!  Seems like it’s only been a few weeks since we were celebrating July 4th and awaiting the birth of our baby girl.  I guess time seems to have really sped up for me with having four little ones to care for instead of three. 🙂  It’s a good busy but busy all the same.

Everyone was in the Christmas spirit since the temperatures outside dropped into the mid 20s leaving a blanket of frost covering the ground well into the late morning hours.  It looked like we had snow!  With the beautiful view outside the windows and a warm fire in the fire place, it just set the mood for some Christmas decorating.  We started our Christmas adventure in the kitchen then moved to the living room to do some decorating.

I specifically wanted to find a cinnamon ornament recipe that didn’t have to set for 3-4 days but instead could be baked.  No telling what would happen during that window of time if I had to let all the ornaments set out on the counter.  My “twins” would more than likely try eating half of them every time I would turn my back. Ugh!  This particular recipe doesn’t have glue in it so that it is actually safe to eat (albeit nasty tasting!) and quick drying.

Mix together:

  • 1 C. apple sauce
  • 1-1/4 C. cinnamon
  • 1 T. ginger or cloves

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to form a dough.  If it is too moist, add more spices.  Too dry, add more apple sauce.  Sprinkle cinnamon on a flat surface like you would with flour and roll out your dough to about 1/4″ thickness.  Cut out your shapes and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a straw or chopstick to poke holes in the tops for running a ribbon or piece of thread through for hanging.  Bake in a preheated oven of 200 degrees for 1.5 – 2 hours (or until rock hard).

My three happy little helpers.  Had to keep on eye on I because he kept trying to eat the little pieces of dough left on the table.  Gross!

Don’t have a Christmas tree yet since our old one would take up about a 1/4 of the free space in the room if we set it up.  Haha!  I always envision the scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Clark Grisswald cuts the rope on the tree and branches/limbs go springing everywhere breaking the living rooms windows.  Yep, that’s what would happen if we set up the old beast.  The plan is to pull it down for the attic in the coming week and sell on Craigslist then use the money to purchase a smaller, more size-appropriate tree for the living room.  I’ve been keeping my eye on a few pre-lit “pencil” trees that would fit perfect in certain parts of the room.  Just waiting for a good sale and to sell the old tree.

While setting up the stockings and some lights around the doorways, E pulled out the Wish List catalog from Toys R Us and began showing me all the toys he wants.  I don’t mind him showing me what he likes, but it was beginning to drive me crazy with his constant, “Mama, can I have this one for Christmas?” or “Mama, I’ve GOT to get this one for Christmas!”  Instead of getting upset with him, I realized it was my responsibility and joy to explain what makes Christmas so special and it had nothing to do with GETTING brightly wrapped presents.

While the three youngest were either asleep or playing quietly on the floor with a toy, E and I sat down together and discussed why we celebrate Christmas and give gifts.  As simply as possible I tried to explain that we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday when we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus was God’s gift to mankind.  He was the GREATEST gift ever, the Messiah, the Light sent into a dark world.  Because of Jesus and what he did on the cross, we have hope of eternal salvation.  We give gifts to others as a way of remembering the gift that God gave to us.  It is NOT about GETTING; it is about GIVING.

It wasn’t an immediate cure for the “gimmies” but at least E is thinking about things a little differently and has started asking more questions about “giving.”

…Before I forget… Happy 4 months H!!!!! 🙂

As you can see, she wouldn’t look at the camera because she was too distracted by her brothers standing on either side of me trying to get her to smile or talk. 🙂