Cherry Cheese Danish Pastries

The addictive layers of flakiness in these pastries are all thanks to the butter slices tucked into the from-scratch dough.

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  • Makes: 12 servings
  • Makes: 12 danish
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Rise: 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Chill: 4 hrs to 6 hrs

Cherry Cheese Danish Pastries

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir yeast into the warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. (Be sure to check the temperature of the water with an instant-read thermometer. If it is not hot enough, it will not activate the yeast; if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. In either case, the dough will not rise.) In a large mixing bowl beat the 1/4 cup butter, the granulated sugar, and the salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and the milk. Add the egg and egg yolk. Add softened yeast; beat until well mixed. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, stirring until smooth and dough comes together. Cover bowl; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 2 hours). Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours or up to 6 hours or until completely chilled. (Or omit the 2-hour rising time and refrigerate dough for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet; set aside. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface.
  3. Roll chilled dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Arrange half of the butter slices evenly on dough; lightly press butter into dough. Fold dough crosswise into thirds. Rotate dough a quarter turn to the right. Roll dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Arrange the remaining butter slices evenly on dough; lightly press butter into dough. Fold dough crosswise into thirds. Rotate dough a quarter turn to the right. Roll again to a 15x10-inch rectangle; fold crosswise into thirds. Give dough a quarter turn to the right.
  4. Roll folded dough into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Cut dough into twelve 3-inch squares. Place pastry squares on the prepared baking sheet. For each pastry, lift a corner of a dough square and fold it to the center; press lightly to seal. Fold the remaining three corners of the dough square to center, pressing lightly to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough squares. Using the rounded side of a floured tablespoon, press firmly in the center of each pastry to make an indentation.
  5. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 55 minutes). If necessary, press indentations again. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the Almond-Cheese Filling into the center of each pastry.
  6. Bake pastries for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer pastries to wire racks. Brush pastries with the 1 tablespoon melted butter. Spoon or drizzle about 2 teaspoons of the melted preserves over cheese center of each pastry. Cool for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, drizzle pastries with Powdered Sugar Icing if desired.

From the Test Kitchen

Easy Cherry Cheese Danish Pastries:

Omit the first 10 ingredients. Instead of making the dough as directed in Steps 1 through 3, thaw one 16-ounce loaf frozen sweet roll dough according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll thawed dough into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Cut into twelve 3-inch squares. Shape as directed in Step 4. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 to 45 minutes). Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the Almond-Cheese Filling into the center of each roll as directed in Step 5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer rolls to wire racks. Brush with the 1 tablespoon melted butter, spoon or drizzle with preserves, and cool as directed in Step 6. Before serving, drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 262 calories, 5 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 8 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 23 g total sugar, 4% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 242 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 10% iron

Almond-Cheese Filling

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, almond paste, sugar, and egg yolk. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.
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Nutrition Facts (Cherry Cheese Danish Pastries)

  • Per serving:
  • 345 kcal ,
  • 17 g fat
  • (9 g sat. fat ,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 5 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 85 mg chol. ,
  • 237 mg sodium ,
  • 45 g carb. ,
  • 1 g fiber ,
  • 25 g sugar ,
  • 5 g pro.
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