It’s breakfast season!
To me there’s a greater level of gratification (and less guilt) to truly dine during a hearty breakfast in the fall and winter than in the spring and summer.
There’s some sort of disconnect associating cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy and pigs in a blanket with bikinis. Not that I stop eating these items in the summer, I just find that I let a few extra “oinks” slip out as I run from the pool to my chair wrapped in my own terrycloth blanket.
So, bundle up in cold weather clothes, but make sure they have deep pockets for stuffing wonderful treats like this brunch-worthy Honey Potato Cheese Danish.
The dough itself bakes to be tender and soft, much like an airy honey roll but with extra body and moistness compliments of the potatoes in the mix.
You can actually taste a lingering of honey when sampling the outer orbit of dough. Melted butter is brushed along any exposed goldenness to lock in the moisture and to emphasize the butter presence throughout.
Wafting a sweet and buttery aroma, these danishes contain a dynamite cream cheese-based filling. The cheese weathers the heat like a champ, remaining creamy and sweet without baking into a custard like many fillings with egg yolk do. Be sure to use your favorite preserves or pie filling for optimal results. They even leave your fingers with those perfectly lick-able sticky sweet remnants of icing and pastry.
There’s nothing better than driving right past your favorite bakery in a hurry to get home to your very own, handmade danish.
(Well, there is one thing that does slightly improve that good feeling: throw one hand out the car window while yelling “What now, sucka?!” as you roll past. Danish taunts. Seriously, try it.)
Looking for more yeast-y sweetness? Try my Sweet ‘n Salty Sticky Pretzels.
Recipe adapted from The Old Hen
- 2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1/4 C water at 110F
- 6 T sugar plus 1/2 T sugar
- 2 T honey
- 6 T plain instant potatoes mixed with 6 T warm water
- 3/4 C milk at 115F
- 2 T organic palm shortening, room temperature
- 2 T. butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 1/2 C flour
- oil for the rising bowl and melted butter for baking
- 6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 C powdered sugar
- pinch fine sea salt
- fruit preserves or pie filling of your choice
- 1/4 C cold butter, cubed
- 3/4 C flour
- 1/3 C powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 egg
- pinch cinnamon
- powdered sugar mixed with heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a drop of vanilla until desired consistency is reached
- Dissolve the yeast in the water and the 1/2 T sugar. Set aside for 10-15 min until frothy. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine sugar, honey, potatoes, milk, egg, shortening and butter and stir. Add yeast mixture and stir again. Mix together the salt and the flour and add to the wet mixture cup by cup. Knead this dough for 2 minutes with your dough hook until slightly elastic.
- Oil a large bowl and place your dough inside after rolling all sides in the oil. Place plastic wrap over the top and put bowl in a warm place until doubled in size- about one hour.
- While rising, mix all the cheese filling ingredients together until smooth. Set aside. Next, place all crumb topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Keep this mixture in the fridge until ready to use.
- When dough has risen, turn it gently out onto a floured surface and fold it over itself a couple of times to release the air. Divide dough into 8 pieces for very large danishes or more pieces for smaller ones. Shape dough into your desired shape and then push the centers down to create room for the fillings. Fill each danish with some cheese and some jelly/fruit filling. In my opinion, the best product is when the filling covers most of the surface, leaving only a small rim of dough uncovered. This was how I did my second batch (not pictured due to time constraints). Place the danishes on the prepared pans, brush all exposed dough on sides and top with melted butter and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise again until doubled. While rising, set oven to 350F.
- Once doubled, sprinkle some cold crumble over each danish. Then place in the oven for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size and height of your danish. My flat ones took only 18 minutes to finish, leaving a soft and barely golden surface when done. Do not bake until brown- this is considered over baked for this danish.
- Allow to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes when removed from oven. Transfer to a cooling rack and drizzle with the glaze. Cool completely and enjoy! Best same day, but you can wrap well in plastic wrap individually and eat the following day. Enjoy!