Peach and Cream Cheese Danish

peach-danishIt happened. I baked again. I don’t know what came over me, but out came the beaters and the oven turned on.

Actually, I know what came over me. Peach season happened. Or rather, is happening. I have an abundance of peaches between the CSA and my fruit share from the co-op. My kids are getting sick of the peaches in their bag lunches. I have a hunch that some of the peaches get traded off to some hungry friends. Other peaches manages to be found mushy in the corners of backpacks about a week or two later. I obviously needed a better plan.

I committed to using up my peaches over the weekend. I had to do something before the next batch comes in. I set aside a bunch of peaches for cobblers, but I still had a few left over. I decided to try my hand at some peach danish. I figured the family would appreciate a special breakfast treat, and the peaches would be a welcome addition.

I had some puff pastry in the freezer – so this came together quickly. I defrosted the puff pastry dough.

While the dough softened, I peeled and cubed the peaches and set them aside.

peaches

I then whipped up some cream cheese along with some sugar and egg to make the cheesy filling.

Once the dough was ready, I spread out the dough and spread some cheese filling along the center. I sprinkled some cubed peaches on top. I then cut slits in the dough like in the photo below.

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I criss-crossed the dough pieces over each other.

I then brushed an egg wash over the dough and placed in the oven for about 25 minutes.

This recipe makes two long danish pastries.


Peach and Cream Cheese Danish
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 10 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 6 very ripe peaches, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Defrost the puff pastry sheets.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whip up the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Make slits in the puff pastry as in the photo.
  5. Spread the cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough sheet.
  6. Arrange cubed peaches on top.
  7. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the peaches.
  8. Seal up the dough as in the photo.
  9. Bake in oven for around 25 minutes. Dough will be light brown.

 

Warm Berry Compote with Mocha Pound Cake Croutons

Today’s recipe is part of the Kosher Connection link-up. The Kosher Connection is a group of food bloggers who happen to be kosher and are working hard to bring amazing flavors to the kosher community. This month’s link-up theme is croutons.

When I first saw the email, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical. What can I do with croutons that I haven’t done before? I’ve made soup croutons before, and those were pretty awesome. I like croutons in my salad as well. Those have been done before, and I wanted to do something different. My daughter suggested cotton candy croutons. Not sure that’s workable. It did lead me on a quest for sweet croutons.

berry compote and chocolate cake croutons

I knew my croutons had to include chocolate. I came up with a mocha pound cake recipe that is perfectly suited for croutons. You can use your own favorite chocolate pound cake recipe or even a store-bought chocolate pound cake.

My original intention was to pair the croutons with a warm pudding dish. As I was discussing this dish with my family this morning, a warm compote was recommended. I’ve never made compote before, but I warmed up to the idea. I quickly ran over to my fruit & vegetable market and picked up some berries.

While this recipe has a few steps involved, it is totally worth it. This dessert was amazing. Will definitely make this again.





Warm Berry Compote with Mocha Pound Cake Croutons

berries for compote

Warm Berry Compote
Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

3/4 sugar

juice of one lemon

1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tsp. water
Directions for the Compote:

Place all of the ingredients, except for the corn starch slurry, in a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high.  Stir everything together until the mixture begins to boil.

Once the mixture is boiling, add in the corn starch mixture.

Turn down the heat and keep cooking and stirring. The berries will begin to disintegrate and the mixture will thicken a bit. Cook the compote on medium low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Keep the compote on low until you are ready to serve

 

Chocolate/Mocha Pound Cake Croutons



Ingredients:

chocolate croutons1/2 – prepared and cooled pound cake loaf

baking spray

Directions for the Chocolate Croutons:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut up the pound cake in to 1-2 inch squares.

Lay the pound cake pieces on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Flip cake squares over and bake another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool slightly. You may notice that the cake croutons seem a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool.

Serve the berry compote warm with some vanilla ice cream and the yummy chocolate croutons.  Enjoy!

berry compote with chocolate croutons

Warm Berry Compote
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • ¾ sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tsp. water
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except for the corn starch slurry, in a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high. Stir everything together until the mixture begins to boil.
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, add in the corn starch mixture.
  3. Turn down the heat and keep cooking and stirring. The berries will begin to disintegrate and the mixture will thicken a bit. Cook the compote on medium low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Keep the compote on low until you are ready to serve.

 
Mocha Poundcake Croutons
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ½ - prepared and cooled pound cake loaf
  • baking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cut up the pound cake in to 1-2 inch squares.
  3. Lay the pound cake pieces on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Flip cake squares over and bake another 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool slightly. You may notice that the cake croutons seem a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool.
  6. Serve the berry compote warm with some vanilla ice cream and the yummy chocolate croutons.
  7. Enjoy!


Rhubarb Crisp

There is a greenmarket in front of my office twice a week. I love checking it out to see what’s in season. When I can, I prefer to buy from them. I love the splashes of color from the stands as I walk out of the subway. It’s a nice change from the shlock vendors that stand in its place during the rest of the week.

For the past few weeks, they’ve had rhubarb stalks on their tables. I’ve never tried rhubarb. Not even in a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I’ve missed out on such a classic American staple. As I walked through the tables yesterday, I eyed the stalks. I asked one of the workers how much I would need. He said 1-2 pounds would be plenty – about 4-5 stalks. A colleague mentioned that rhubarb is great in a crisp. I decided to check it out. Got to try everything once, right?
We love fruit crisps in the summer. They come together easily and use what we have on hand. I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out though. It smelled good while baking, but rhubarb has a mixed reputation. I set aside a small ramekin so that I could try it. I wasn’t disappointed. It has this tangy and tartness to it that is welcome. 

Rhubarb



Rhubarb Crisp
Ingredients:
4 large stalks of rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut up the rhubarb, slicing it across – around 1/2 inch thick. Sliced Rhubarb

 Mix up the sliced rhubarb with the white sugar and the flour. Place in a buttered baking dish. A 9×9 would work for this.

Sliced up rhubarb

In a separate bowl, using a pastry blender, mix up the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle the crumble over the rhubarb.
Rhubarb Crisp

Bake until the topping is golden brown. The rhubarb should be soft. It should take around 30-35 minutes.

Rhubarb Crisp

Serve while warm – with a nice scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

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Grilled Cheese with Pears and Caramelized Onions

My dad is the sandwich master – especially on the weekends. Even my kids know. Zaydie is who you turn to when you want any multitude of sandwiches. After a few weeks with my parents, my daughter came home asking me to make lunch like Zaydie did. “Zaydie likes it this way.” “Zaydie makes this differently,” and so on. Egg salad is never just chopped eggs with Zaydie. It’s amped up with herbs and pickles or olives. Same with grilled cheese. There was always something added to it. I remember a period of time when grilled cheese was often filled with cheddar, tomato and sunflower seeds.

So…tonight’s dinner is dedicated to my dad. As I drove home, debating what to make. I thought of the bag of fresh cheeses I had just bought at the store. With Shavuot coming up, I had to stock up. I wanted something fast and something tasty. I decided to make this. Not sure if I have upped the ante on my dad’s sandwich skills, but hopefully, I have come close to reaching his sandwich awesomeness.

Grilled Cheese with Pears and Caramelized Onions (makes 2 good sized sandwiches)
Ingredients:


1 large onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. thyme
4 slices of bread ( I used rye, but a ciabatta or a sourdough would be great with this)
dijon mustard
gouda cheese, sliced
1 ripe bosc pear
more butter, for grilling

Start by heating up a small saute pan. Add butter to the pan. Get it hot. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cook the onions slowly. Add the salt and the thyme. Let the onions caramelize.  This will take around ten minutes or so. Stir every so often. Once the onions are done, set aside.

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Slice up your pear in to thin slices. About 1/4-inch thick.

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Spread a thin layer of dijon mustard on the inside of two of the slices of bread. Make sure not too put too much mustard on, or it will overpower the other flavors. Add a slice of cheese; then a pear layer; then the caramelized onions and finally another slice of cheese. Sandwich it together with an a slice of the bread that doesn’t have any mustard. You are now ready for some grilling!

This sandwich would do really well in a panini press. Alas, that is the one kitchen appliance that I don’t have.

In a large pan, heat up a tablespoon of butter. Place sandwich in to pan. Pan should be on medium-high heat.

Take a large cast iron pan or some other heavy heatproof object and press it down on your sandwich.

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Grill for a few minutes on each side.

Slice in half and eat up! Serve with some salad on the side.

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Enjoy!

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