My friend Deb posted to an online chicken forum about making cream cheese Danish from Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. I couldn't get my car out of the garage fast enough to go to the store for Crescents. I chose the butter flake variety.
I am going to make a confession here that I have never divulged to anyone except to my husband(s). I am deathly afraid of this type of packaging. These tubes scare me, really. It all goes back to an incident that happened a long, long time ago. One of these tubes burst open in my face while I was reading the directions! I had barely pulled on the little corner when, POW! It blew open. I was not hurt, just startled but I have been wary of them since. As I get older, this irrational fear has gotten worse. It sort of reminds me of my Mom, who late in life developed a fear of escalators. I think my irrational fear is more valid than hers because I actually had a pastry package blow up in my face. She couldn't relate her escalator fear back to any escalator incident. So Mom, I win.
Anyway, I have my husband open these packages for me now and I observe from a distance, usually telling him how to do it correctly. That's how I roll. This morning I had to make these pastries and Michael was still sleeping. I thought about waking him up to open it for me. I crept quietly up the stairs with the Crescent tube in hand only to hear him snoring. I knew that I would pay all day for waking him up early, so I retreated back downstairs with the tube intact. I thought about going outside and throwing it down on the driveway but I remembered that the dough bloops out when the pressure is released. I could just picture all the gravel embedded in the dough. The driveway slamming option was out. I stopped at the piano and thought about rapping the tube forcefully on the edge of the piano, hoping it would open. That didn't make sense with a 120 year old piano. Plus, for the rapping forcefully against a sharp object technique to work, the paper has to be removed. That is the part that scares me the most!
My desire for pastry over took my fear. I wrapped the tube in two dish towels, leaving one end open enough to get my hand inside. I felt for the little corner where you start peeling off the foil wrapper. I found it, held my breath and start pulling while turning the tube inside the towels. Once I had the paper off I pulled my hand out and banged the thing down, still wrapped in towels on the edge of the granite countertop. It didn't open the first time but on the second try I felt it burst open! I was making Danish!
I'll show you how to do it.
Once you get the tube of crescent rolls open you'll want to tear them off into four rectangles of two rolls. Pinch the seams together.
Brush each piece with melted butter.
Sprinkle each with granulated sugar.
Roll the rectangles tightly along the long side and pitch the edges together.
Form each square into a coil and tuck the end under the coil, pinching it to hold it in place.
Use your fingers to make a well in the center.
Fill the well with cream cheese.
Make a depression in the cream cheese.
Add a teaspoon of jam, preserves, or jelly to the depression in the cream cheese. I used strawberry and blueberry preserves, and lemon and orange marmalade.
Brush the tops with melted butter.
Place the pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake until lightly golden brown. You can see in this picture how I didn't perfect the technique of ending the coil until the last one I assembled. You really need to tuck the tail end underneath and pinch it in place to keep it in place. If you don't it starts uncoiling while baking and that end gets too crispy. It still tastes good, but isn't as pretty.
You can get fancy and pipe on a little frosting, pour on a light glaze, or leave them plain.
These are super easy to make but it does create a bit of a mess. Let the kids make their own pastry. You are going to have a mess either way!
These won't be as decadent as pastries from the bakery, but they are easy, quick, and sure taste good with a hot cup of coffee.
Cheese Danish with Refrigerated Dough
- 8 count roll of crescent roll dough
- 4 Tbsp. of brown sugar
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tsp. vanilla
- 3 TBS jam
- Divide dough into 4 rectangles. Pinch/seal the diagonal line in each.
- Spread each with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar. Roll up the long edge and make a coil on parchment.
- Take 4 oz cream cheese softened, mix with 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tsp. vanilla.
- Make a depression in each round and divide the cheese mixture between them. Top with 1 teaspoon of jam. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
- Make a glaze with ¼ cup confectioners sugar and a few Tsp. of orange juice. Drizzle over the rolls.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
With my fear of dough in tubes under control, a whole new world of culinary possibilities has suddenly opened up. 🙂 Thanks Deb!
If you have followed my Food-Safe Easter Egg Dye How-to, you can add a little sugar to the cooked blueberries and make a compote to use in this Danish! Two birds with one stone, Easter Eggs and Danish!