Melissa's Cuisine: Apple Cream Cheese Danish

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apple Cream Cheese Danish

Breakfast or dessert? I'll let you decide!  Fresh and delicious apples shine in these Apple Cream Cheese Danishes.
Melissa's Cuisine: Apple Cream Cheese Danish

One of my favorite fall traditions is apple picking with our friends.  This year Mike and I picked about 33 pounds of apples.  I store them wrapped in newspaper in a cooler so they stay fresh for a long time.  I eat at least one apple a day, usually for my evening snack, so we go through a lot of apples.

When we were picking the apples, Mike commented that he wished I would make apple danishes for him.  He said he always sees the ones in the vending machine at work and they look good, but taste like cardboard.  I laughed and told him that was one wish I could definitely make come true!
Melissa's Cuisine: Apple Cream Cheese Danish
I decided to use store-bought puff pastry as the base for these danishes.  Some day I'll make homemade puff pastry but since I do most of my baking during nap time, that just isn't feasible at this point.  The first store I went to only had puff pasty cups.  I decided to buy them anyway and see what I could do.  First I thought I could just roll the dough flat and then cut my squares.  When that idea flopped, I thought I would just bake the cups and then fill them when they were halfway through baking.  When I pulled the tray out from the oven I realized the cups were way too small for my intended purpose.  That's when I decided to use them for something else (to top my Chicken Pot Pie Soup), and go to another store.  So after nap time I packed Summer up again and we went to the opposite side of town to another store.  Thankfully this one had what I needed so I was able to proceed with my recipe!

It was worth the extra hassle for these danishes.  Mike was thrilled when he got home from work and I had a tray full of fresh danishes waiting for him.  At first he didn't know what they were since they look nothing like the vending machine danishes.  But after one bite he declared that these were way better and so delicious!  Summer also loved these and might have had them for breakfast every day for a week....
Apple Cream Cheese Danish

Makes 24 small danishes

4 apples
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 package Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed according to package directions
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1+ Tablespoon milk (almond milk)
1 teaspoon almond extract

1.  Peel, core, and dice apples into small pieces.

2.  Melt butter in a small skillet.  Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and diced apples and cook for 3-4 minutes, until apples are soft.

3.  Unfold puff pastry sheets.  Cut each sheet into 12 pieces.  Mine were folded in thirds, so I cut along the fold and then cut each rectangle into quarters.  Place on greased cookie sheets, about 1" apart.

4.  In a small mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and almond extract.

5.  Place a scoop of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each puff pastry sheet.

6.  Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown.

7.  Remove from oven and top each pastry with cooked apples.

8.  Allow danishes to cool.

9.  While the danishes are cooling, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract.  Add more milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency.

10.  Drizzle icing over cooled danishes.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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