Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cranberry Cheese Danish

     I'm not sure what compelled me to try out this recipe. A quick look will tell you this recipe is going to be a Pain In The Ass. However, my love for Danish trumps my laziness. I decided to give this recipe a go. It originally called for blueberries, which I did not have on hand. I wound up using some cranberries we had in the freezer. You could certainly use raspberries or blackberries. The end result will be well worth it. This is a great bit of pastry. The cranberries complemented the lemon icing perfectly. It was everything I could do to keep the wife from just standing at the counter and eating the whole thing at once. As always, any notes or changes are in blue.

Cranberry Cheese Danish
via Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals
  • 3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese (there's no telling what the other 99% is)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk (I used 2% just to be difficult)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (I used corn oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (as always, I used Neufchatel)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, separated 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I'm assuming they meant fresh. I didn't have fresh. I used 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel from a jar)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (we substituted cranberries we inexplicably stashed in the freezer some time back)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (that is NOT enough liquid to do anything other than give you a chewy ball of sugar. It took us 4 teaspoons of lemon juice to get the sugar into a usable consistency. The extra lemon flavor worked great with the cranberries, too. This goes to prove that I'm a friggin' genius)
  1. In a blender or food processor, cover and process cottage cheese until smooth (did I just really get told to put the lid on the blender or food processor before running? I can't even turn the damned processor on with the lid off! Do they think I'm stupid? Do they think I'm going to say, "Holy shit! I think I'll run the blender with the lid off!" *BLAM!* "Fucking A! Look at the the cottage cheese on the ceiling! That's great!") Add sugar milk, oil and vanilla; process until smooth (Wait! They didn't tell me to take the lid back off! How the hell am I going to get the rest of the shit in there?)
  2.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to cheese mixture. Process until dough forms a ball (I was leery about doing this in the processor. I transferred it all to the Kitchenaid). Dough will be sticky. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 4-5 times. Place in a bowl; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg yolk, lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. 
  4. Turn dough out onto a 17"x13" piece of parchment paper. Roll dough into a 16"x12" rectangle. Transfer with paper to a baking sheet. Spread cream cheese mixture lengthwise in a 3-1/2" wide strip down the center of the dough; sprinkle with berries. 
    Looking berry good! I'm not apologizing for that pun.
  5. On each long side, cut 1" wide strips about 3-3/4" into center. Fold alternating strips at an angle across berries. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under (I tucked on the top just to be an asshole). Beat egg white and water; brush over dough.
  6. Bake at 400F for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown (we went about 25 minutes. Cooking times may vary). Remove to a wire rack.
  7. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm pastry. Refrigerate leftovers.
Good times!

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