Monday, March 26, 2012

Cherry Danish

What a treat,  a hot cup of coffee, a warm cherry danish and afternoon sun coming through the window.

When I worked at a middle school for a year, I did a lot of "duty".  Morning and afternoon bus duty, lunch duty, breakfast duty, hall duty, after school bus duty,  LOTS of duty.  Every morning, I would greet the kids as they got off the bus.  Then, after the last bus, I would go into the cafeteria and do breakfast duty.  After the second bell rang I would go to the office to see how many bus misconducts I had to deal with, not a pleasant job.  I got in the habit of getting a cherry danish on my way to the office to "sweeten up the day" before I started the discipline part of my morning.  Mr. J, the safety monitor would also get a cherry danish and we would plan for the day or share a laugh before we went on with what we needed to do.  Cherry was the favorite so we always tried to beat each other to the counter in case there was only one left.
One particularly busy morning, an altercation kept me from breakfast duty.  By the time I got that all taken care of and all the phone calls made, it was later in the morning.  I really deserved a cherry danish at that point.  I called down to the lunch room and asked if there were any left.  "Only one, I have it aside for you."  My attitude really brightened.  I headed down the hall with a smile on my face and a skip in my step.
Mr. J saw me walking down toward the lunch room.  He also had been busy all morning with the problem and realized what I was doing.  He headed in the same direction.  I began to walk a little faster, as did he, I walked faster still and so did he.  I began to jog, just a little...before we got to the lunchroom, we were running trying to beat the other to the cherry danish.  I am faster so I won!  It was delicious.  He had to eat apple.
Later that day one of the teachers asked what the emergency was that both the intern principal and the safety monitor were running through the hall.  It must have bee pretty serious!  If she only knew how serious it really was.
This is a quick and easy way to make danish at home.  I use a store bought puff pastry, cream cheese and top with (gasp) canned cherry pie filling.  It is wonderful, warm and really hits the spot.  Mr. J could have one too, and he wouldn't have to run.
Large cherry danish ready for the oven.

Quick Cherry Danish
1 pkg. puff pastry, cut into 4" squares
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
1 can cherry pie filling
1 egg

Mix cream cheese, lemon zest and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Lay out one sheet of puff pastry, roll lightly to remove creases, cut into 4" squares. Fold each edge up about 1/8".

 Put a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into center of square.   Add a teaspoon of cherry pie filling on top of cream cheese mixture (I try to get more cherries and less jelly). Fold two opposite corners toward each other and pinch points together over filling. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Beat egg with a Tbsp. cold water.  Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over the pastry.
Bake at 400º F for  15-20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown.
These didn't stay closed, I had to eat them to destroy the evidence.  These were small snack size danish.

4" make a small snack size danish, or cut the sheet into 4 and get a large danish
Make sure you get the top pressed together well or it will pop open, use some egg wash to ensure it closes.

March 26, 2012     Daylight  12 hours,  57 minutes,  51 seconds     Current Temp. 13 ºF

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