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A Wienerbrød By Any Other Name …

December 1, 2009

… would be a Danish.

I love all things Danish.  I love Hans Christian Andersen and Hamlet and of course, THE Danish.

You may be eyeballing my little flaky delight and thinking to yourself, “hmmmmm … that is not a real danish.”   I know this because I was thinking the very same thing, although it is a good substitute if you have twenty minutes and four basic ingredients. 

But then, I started this post and thought to look up the actual foodie definition of “Danish pastry” and what do you know … that creamy, golden delight most certainly IS a real Danish.

© Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

This butter-rich pastry begins as a yeast dough that is rolled out, dotted with butter, then folded and rolled again several times, as for PUFF PASTRY. The dough may be lightly sweetened and is usually flavored with vanilla or cardamom. Baked Danish pastries (often referred to simply as “Danish”) contain a variety of fillings including fruit, cream cheese, almond paste and spiced nuts.

Oh my goodness!  I DID make a real Danish! 

It’s true, I did not spend two days laminating and rolling and chilling and laminating and measuring and rolling and chilling.  I confess.  I did do a lot of chilling, but none that required refrigeration.  Because this is so simple and quick, you will have plent of time to chill out with your family and friends and still look like a superstar pastry chef.  What do your family and friends know about making puff pastry anyway. 

I cut my puff pastry from the freezer section (of WalMart) with a six inch, fluted tart pan.  You can cut yours any way you choose.  One box (or two sheets) of puff pastry makes six, six-inch portions.  **There is some thawing time required – be sure to account for this.

Bake per the instructions on the box.  You want them to be done, but keep the tops as light as possible so you can pop them back into the oven after you’ve added your filling.

Using a sharp little knife, like a paring knfe, cut a shallow circle around the inside of the pastry.

Use your thumb or the back of a spoon to press down lightly on the center.  Do not press too hard or you will leave too much of a space that you will then be compelled to fill with too much filling and the result will be a soggy mess.

My kids love cream cheese and it was handy, so I made a cream cheese filling using:  8 0z. cream cheese, one tablespoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.  Leave the cream cheese on the counter while the pastry is thawing and it will be more than soft enough to be blended with a heavy fork.

Spoon the filling into each shell evenly.

Put the filled pastry back in the oven for about five minutes until the cream cheese is a little bubbly and the top is a deep, golden brown. 

Watch it closely.  It will burn before you know it  … and burnt pastry is not tasty.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 4:11 am

    ok, i have a deep dark secret im gona share,…..i HATE flaky things, including pie crust. i know. im weird.this still looks great though!

    • December 1, 2009 4:46 am

      I like flaky things 🙂 I actually prefer pie crust to puff pastry, but my kids think that “continental breakfast” items are totally metropolitan! haha! Thanks a bunch & you are not weird. I am weird … maybe I should do a whole post about my strange food issues ~ you wouldn’t believe it.

      Have a great night!
      Annie

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