October 16, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers- Cheese (and Pumpkin Swirl) Danish

When I realized today that this was my 100th post, I found it oddly fitting since my first post was about Ina as is this one. I'm still constantly impressed by the Barefoot Contessa's recipes, although I try to keep the flavor with a little less fat. For these danishes, I started by reducing the portion size- halving the recipe and cutting the pastry sheet into 9 pieces instead of 4. I also subbed out Neufchatel cheese for the cream cheese and used egg beaters instead of egg yolks. As for the Ricotta, I didn't have any on hand so I opted to use Cottage Cheese. To make up for the texture I just blended everything with an immersion blender. The end result was delicious, smooth, and rich- a nice balance of creamy filling and flaky crust.

I also made a few pumpkin swirl danishes by mixing in some cinnamon and pumpkin puree. They were tasty for fall and I love anything with cinnamon!

Pardon the vanity shot of my new platter I carried home from Greece. I didn't think it would make it home in one piece but I was pleasantly surprised when it did!

This weeks Barefoot Bloggers bonus recipe was chosen by Val and I was SO excited when I saw it. I love cheese danish and recently have developed a bit of a love affair with puff pastry. These came together quickly, the most time extensive part involving softening the cream cheese!

Easy Cheese (and Pumpkin Swirl) Danish
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

4 oz Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Large egg or 1/4 Cup Egg Beaters, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Ricotta or Cottage Cheese
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Pinch of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons Orange Zest
1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Pumpkin Swirl:
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
1/2 teaspoon Orange Zest
3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Meringue Powder (optional, but a great addition if you have it!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and orange zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip! If the mixture is not perfectly smooth, blend together with an immersion blender.

Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into three each direction to make nine squares.

Place a tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 9 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

For Pumpkin Swirl- combine the pumpkin puree with equal parts cheese filling and gently stir- don't overmix! Spoon the mixture into the pastry as described above.

Bake the puff pastries for 20 to 23 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown.

To make the glaze-
Combine orange juice, zest, powdered sugar, and meringue powder and whisk until smooth. It should be a pourable consistency. Adjust liquid until the glaze drips from the spoon and then drizzle over the danishes.


  1. Anne, get out of my head! :) you and i have had some of the same substitutions in and thoughts about recipes that it's just scary. lol great job on your Danish!!

  2. I love your substitutions Anne! I didn't have time to throw this together, but after seeing how you lightened it up, I am going to have to fit it in somewhere! and your dish from Greece is beautiful- glad it made it in one piece!

  3. I love your red platter ! Gorgeous...I love Ina also !

  4. Those look delish! And I'm totally jealous of the platter. I am not much of a collector-of-things, but I have to fight the urge everytime I see a great new platter or cake stand. Your new one is beautiful (and even better because it has a memory attached)!

    And Congrats on 100 posts!!!

  5. Those danishes look SO good. I love how you "lightened" them up. Love your serving plate. I've also started collecting pretty plates and such. Now if I just had somewhere to put them all! I love Ina, tooZ! Happy 100th Post. Your blog is so fun and I love all your food.
    Fun for you to get to go to Greece!

  6. I love your plate! So vibrant.
    Great mini danish, good idea.
    Of course I would have to eat 4. Love your adaptations, very seasonal.
    Happy 100!

  7. Happy 100th post! Although I officially dropped out of BB, I still have these danish on my to-do list. I will have to try your pumpkin version - yum!

  8. Happy 100th post! These look so yummy! And that platter compliments everything as well!!!

  9. Anne, wow, your version is just spectacular!! I am so sorry I missed this one; it is getting universally great reviews. Happy 100th post!

  10. I used cottage cheese too.

    I folded mine a bit differently.

    Yours look great.

  11. Your pictures look great - and the red platter is gorgeous. (And I know how hard it is to transport things like that.) Clever substitutions as well.

  12. Congrats on your 100th post. Your danishes look delicious. I like your pumpkin variation.

  13. Oh Anne, these danishes look delicious!! I love the Pumpkin swirl! Congrats on your 100th post! What a beautiful platter, glad you got it home in one piece!

  14. These look and sound delicious! Great platter! If you can't have a vanity shot on your own blog, where can you have it? :o) Congrats on the 100th post!

  15. Yours look wonderful and I love the addition of pumpkin!

  16. Your cake stand is beautiful and so are your danish - and I love the pumpkin idea! Very creative :)

  17. Happy 100th post Anne! Congrats on that! That red platter is so beautiful and your Danish look great on it. Good job lightening them up too.

  18. These look lovely! LOVE the platter too!

  19. These look delicious! I love the fillings you used!

  20. That red platter is gorgeous. What a wonderful souvenir from Greece. It really shows off your beautiful Danishes. The pumpkin swirl sounds delicious.

  21. That platter is gorgeous! Glad it made it back in one piece. Those danishes look mouth watering good. I'm a huge fan of Ina's! She's my favorite celebrity chef. I've thought about joing Barefoot Bloggers, but I'm not ready to commit just yet. Can't wait to hear about Greece. :)

  22. Congrats on 100 posts! Your danishes look yummy. I've been making lots of pumpkin things lately, too.

  23. Congratulations on your 100th post! Those danishes look great!

  24. I'm so glad you made these. They look fantastic. I haven't made this yet, but I think I'll use your pumpkin version. I'm so in the mood for fall flavors!

  25. Looks fantastic Anne! I am doing a similar pumpkin danish as we speak! Great minds definitely think alike!

  26. Oh yum! I think I'm going to have to try the pumpkin version tonight. That sounds awesome!

    I've been way too busy to make these, but I'll catch up this weekend.

    Welcome home! I love your new platter!


  27. Mmmmm, cheese danishes... a little taste of heaven. Yours look and sound wonderful.

  28. Adding pumpkin is a very timely and wonderful variation. They look heavenly.

  29. i stuck with the original recipe, but pumpkin swirl sounds like a great idea for next time. :)

  30. What a GORGEOUS blog! I just found you today and can't wait to read more about your delicious sounding recipes.

  31. I've been wanting to try them and they look delicious.


  32. These look delicious! I love the idea of blending pumpkin and cinnamon in with the filling. I'll take any excuse to get a little pumpkin!

  33. The danishes look delicious. Congratulations on your 100th post. I'm always impressed with how your posts are consistently excellent. I've left you an award at my site: http://www.mattskitchen.com

    Have a great week!