Sunday, December 5, 2010

Homemade Cherry Danish, perfect for the holidays

I was cleaning up some of my old magazines and came across this recipe in Taste of Home, I figured I had to try it. Never made homemade Danish before but man did it sound good. You make the dough the night before and put it in the fridge, perfect for entertaining or the holidays.

2 packages 1/4 oz. each of active dry yeast
1/2 cup of warm 2% milk (110 to 115 degrees)
6 cups of flour
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tsp salt
1 cup of cold butter
1 1/2 cups of warm half and half cream (110 to 115 degrees)
6 egg yolks beaten
1 can cherry pie filling

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. (I used a serrated biscuit cutter to mix the butter into the flour and sugar mixture)
Add the yeast mixture, cream and egg yolks. Stir until mixture forms a soft dough, it will be sticky. I found it better to use your hands to mix it then a spoon since it was very sticky. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Punch dough down; divide into quarters. Roll each portion into an 18 x 4 rectangle. (Best to do this on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin). Cut into 1x4 inch strips. Place 2 strips side by side and twist together. Shape into a ring and pinch the ends together. Repeat with remaining strips. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. (I used Pam for Baking, worked perfectly). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (Putting them in an oven that isn't turned on works well too.)

Using the end of a wooden spoon make a 1/2 inch deep indentation in the center of each roll and fill with 1 Tbsp of cherry pie filling. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Remove from pans to cool.

Icing: 2 Tbsp of softened butter, 3 cups of confectioners sugar, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, 4 to 5 tsp of half and half.

Beat butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and enough cream to achieve a drizzling consistency.

I found I had to add more than 4-5 tsp of half and half to make it thinner.

Drizzle over rolls.

These Danish were quite tasty out of the oven, mine didn't rise as much as I would have liked, partly because the yeast didn't dissolve all the way into the milk. The recipe makes 3 dozen. I only did 2 sections of the dough and froze the other 2 sections. Let me know how you fare with them!

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