Cheese Danishes

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Cheese danishes is one of my favorite desserts. They were a special treat for a special occasion growing up. The cheese filling enhances these warm puffy buttery delights with its creaminess and richness. As delicious as they are, the calories, fat, and sugar content exceed beyond my health expectations. That’s why I make them occasionally. I used puff pastry because I was feeling lazy and too impatient to make my very own from scratch. Normally, I would look for something to challenge my culinary skills but I was fasting when preparing these danishes. Puff pastry isn’t exactly nutritious but I seldom use it. Fortunately, I was able to monitor the sugar and fat content on the cheese filling. I used low fat cream cheese and only a couple tablespoons full of sugar as opposed to a full cup. I am sometime wary about using low fat cream cheese because it tends to be more watery and not as rich as regular cream cheese but with my creativity and imagination combined, I managed to pull it off. Cheese danish is not a healthy dessert but part of the fun and challenge is looking for healthier alternatives without  entirely forfeiting your guilty pleasures.  The advantage of  homemade dishes is that you have full control over the ingredients and quantities you decide to use. Making these cheese danishes is not as complicated as it looks. The ingredients are very basic. Besides, once you try these homemade danishes, you may think twice about buying them from a bakery because you are not there to supervise the ingredients bakers use. Even health nuts could use some palate pampering 🙂

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 8  oz of reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature
  2.  4 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4.  2 1/2 tablespoon of reduced fat sour cream
  5. 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  6. 2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  7. 2 sheets of puff pastry thawed
  8. 1 egg whisked with water for egg wash

Instructions

n a bowl combine the first 6 ingredients together and whisk until creamy and combined. Sprinkle your counter with some flour and unfold the puff pastry. With a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out to about 10 by 10 inch. Cut into quarters and evenly divide the filling placing it in the center of each square. Brush the boarder of the squares with the egg wash and pinch together the 2 opposite corners. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Set aside and cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar (optional).

Yields 8 cheese danishes

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