A Million Ways to Fill It…..
Well, I was out of the loop for a few days, but I am back and filled with inspiration! I had to take a quick trip over to Iowa at the end of last week (18 hours round trip in two days) and wasn’t able to get in the kitchen, or on the computer, so I will pick up where I left off. I can say that while I was gone I drank a lot of coffee, and not much else, but what I came up with this morning would have sure gone great with some hotel coffee!
I’ve been wanting to make cream cheese danishes for a few weeks now, but I really hate working with yeast. Not that I can’t make good baked goods using yeast, I just don’t have the time or patience. So, if I can avoid using it, I will! After wracking my brain, and dreaming about it the night before I thought I would just try using the 321 pie crust that I have had such great success with. I made half of a batch last night because it is imperative with this crust that it sit overnight, or 4 hours or more, to be successful. After letting it chill overnight I rolled it out this morning, folded it in thirds, rolled it out again, and one last time folded it in thirds, like a business letter, and put it back in the fridge for a few more hours. I will let you know that this is NOT like a puff pastry, but it is still flaky, and a lot easier to make!
I had a million different filling ideas crowding my dreams last night, but decided that my first attempt should appeal to my chocolate loving husband. I not only scored two thumbs up and a home run, but a lot of “Mmmms” floated from the dining room table to the kitchen as he played guinea pig and tried out my newest creation. This will definitely be going in my go to pile, I’m pretty sure that I will be playing with several different fillings along the way. (I’m sure fruit and nuts will play a part in one or two creamy scenarios.)
I was in such a rush this morning that I missed taking a picture of the braiding. Essentially you roll your dough in a rectangle, cut the corners from the top to make a “flat tipped arrow” and then cut notches all the way down the rectangle. Once you place the filling in the middle you just take each strip and gently lay it over the filling alternating sides. (I have a second braid to make so I will try to post step by step pictures tomorrow.) As always, allow yourself to indulge a little, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Chocolate Cream Cheese Danish
By: Angie Gouchenour
321 Pie Crust (I used light butter and Truvia)
4 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
1/4 cup Truvia zero calorie sweetener
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg yolk (save the white to wash the top)
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring or extract
1/2 Tablespoon light butter- room temperature
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Prepare pie crust according to directions. (I use my hands to make sure there are fairly large chunks of butter, about almond to pea size) Chill for at least 4 hours to overnight.
After chilling roll half of the crust into a rectangle. Fold in thirds. Roll out again, fold in thirds and chill again for at least one hour. (Repeat)
Preheat oven to 420’f
While the dough is chilling combine room temperature cream cheese with Truvia, cocoa powder, egg yolk, and vanilla. (Generally I hand mix, but using an electric mixer is necessary to make the mixture as creamy as possible.)
Remove one portion of dough from the refrigerator and roll into a rectangle. Cut the corners of the top of the triangle at an angle leaving about an inch between the two sides.
Using a knife make cuts at an angle down each side
Place half of the cream cheese filling down the center
Gently fold one strip over the filling, alternate sides all the way down
Place the braid on a non stick cookie sheet, wash top with leftover egg white
Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until lightly browned
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack
Combine butter and powdered sugar together for the glaze
Spread half of the glaze on the cooked braid when slightly warm
You can either assemble the second braid while the first is cooking or keep the first in the fridge until the second is done. Either way it is crucial that the pastry be kept cold until it is cooked.
141 calories per serving