A few weeks ago, I got to buy a few new kitchen toys — a food processor, a gorgeous NordicWare bundt pan, and a mini tart making set (thanks to a generous gift card that was given to us, which David promptly handed over to me and told me to go nuts 😉 what a great husby!). My sister keeps telling me that I’m going to make her fat with all of the baking that I’ve been doing. That’s what you get for luring us here to Sacramento, Mollie! 🙂
Anyways, with the help of these new kitchen toys, I’ve gotten to branch out a little bit in my baking adventures. Mini tarts galore, strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry puree, and most recently these blueberry cream cheese danish braids. I don’t usually like danishes because they are always sickeningly sweet, stale tasting, and way too rich. But these homemade ones were absolutely divine.
I was pretty pleased with my first attempt at making these pastries. Yes, there were some issues….the bottom of the pastries browned way too quickly, the layers weren’t as flaky and puffy as I would have liked, and there didn’t seem to be enough cream cheese. But regardless, they tasted dangerously good – buttery, crispy, flaky, creamy sweet, and tart deliciousness. Between me, husby, sister, and other friends, both braids were devoured in less than a day. Oops. 🙂
I followed the exact recipe and method as detailed at Sally’s Baking Addiction. It was actually surprisingly easy with this quick method that does not involve laminating the butter or anything like that. Still time consuming, but not difficult. I ended up making the dough first and then doing the shaping, filling, and baking the following day.
Specks in the dough = chunks of butter. Oh, yeah!
Things to do differently next time, because there will most definitely be a next time:
(1) figure out why they browned so quickly on the bottom (oven temp off? baking sheets too thin? heat uneven)
(2) make my dough more neat and uniform especially around the edges
(3) figure out how to keep the cream cheese from falling out of the pastry during baking
If I can make these, then so can you. Happy baking! 🙂