Mini Cherry Cheese Danishes

Making Mini Cherry Cheese Danishes at home is a delightful project. They are perfect for brunch, as a snack, or for entertaining guests. You can use pre-made pastry dough to make the process easier. Here’s a simple recipe to create these delicious treats:

Ingredients:

For the Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

For the Danish:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for dusting)

For the Glaze (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the Cheese Filling:
    • In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with the granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
    • Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest (if using). Mix until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the Puff Pastry:
    • Lay out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.
    • Cut the pastry into squares, about 3 inches by 3 inches. You may need to roll the dough out a bit to fit your cuts.
    • Place the squares on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Assemble the Danishes:
    • Dollop a small spoonful of the cheese mixture into the center of each puff pastry square.
    • Top the cheese mixture with a teaspoon of cherry pie filling.
    • If you like, you can fold two opposite corners of each square toward the center, pressing them together lightly, or leave them as open squares.
  5. Bake the Danishes:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the pastries are puffed and golden brown.
  6. Prepare the Glaze (Optional):
    • While the danishes are baking, whisk together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk, a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
  7. Finish the Danishes:
    • Remove the danishes from the oven and let them cool slightly on the baking sheet.
    • Drizzle with the glaze if using, or dust with powdered sugar.
  8. Serve:
    • Serve the mini cherry cheese danishes warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy your homemade treats with your favorite coffee or tea! Remember that you can customize the filling by using different fruit preserves or fresh fruits, and you can spice up the cream cheese filling with different extracts or spices if you desire.

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