Easy Cheese Danish – Ina said so.

I have recently joined the online community of “Barefoot Bloggers.” No, this is not a group of people who spend all day web-surfing without shoes on, nor is it a bunch of crazies who type all their blog posts with their bare feet.  It refers to Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, and a group of people who like to blog their ways through her delicious cookbooks.  The rules are simple – the first and fifteenth of every month, a new challenge is posted – a recipe selected from one of Ina’s books or her website.  The whole group then works on that same recipe, either making it “as is” or playing with it a bit to their own taste.  Every second and fourth Thursday of the month, participants post their creations on their respective blogs.  It’s a very fun way to work with a recipe, since you can see how your result compares with your peers’.

Today is the first of the month, so I’m going to participate for the first time on November 13th with Kelly’s pick: herb roasted onions.  If you clicked that link, you probably noticed that her site and mine look embarrassingly similar.  When I saw that, I decided to accelerate my project to learn HTML code so I can alter my own design.  I started by taking a schoolchildren’s DVD on HTML out of the library – I’m going slow and steady here!

So, just to get into the mood of Barefoot Blogging, and warm up before the big game, I decided to catch up with the group and post about the Easy Cheese Danish that Val had selected for a bonus recipe in October.  They looked delicious and, well, easy.  I wanted to stick close to Ina’s directions this time around (like I said, slow and steady!) so I made only a couple of small substitutions.

Easy Cheese Danish
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar {this is the only place I really deviated from the recipe – I used 1/4 c. packed brown sugar instead of 1/3 c. white – let’s see what happens!}
2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 Tbs. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 – 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest (2 lemons) {I got this much lemon zest from 1 lemon, and I found it to be almost too lemony for my taste}
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the 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!

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.  Bursh the top of the pastries with egg wash.  Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan.  Repeat with the second sheet of pastry, then refrigerate danishes for 15 minutes.

Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown.  Serve warm.  Makes 8 danish.

Results:  These came out looking amazing (RJ took one right off the baking sheet and popped it in his mouth without asking what was in it – that’s a first!).  I thought they were a wee bit too lemony, and that I should have spread the cheese filling from stem to stern rather than dropping a rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of the pastry square.  All in all, though, very delicious.  And I think that Tara’s pumpkin variation sounds incredible – check it out!  Yes, it is going to be another lovely Sunday morning…


  1. heather says:

    how beautiful! those look lovely – i would have one of those for breakfast every day! the color on them is gorgeous.

  2. kkmillet says:

    Thanks, Heather! I HAVE been eating them everyday… yum!

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