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.

peachandpuff

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.

 

Cookie Cookie Cheesecake Ice Cream

I have this lovely ice cream maker. I rarely use it. I love ice cream, but I only make it a few times a year. Such a shame.

Over the course of the past week or so, whenever I am with a group of like-minded Jewish women, the topic always moves over to Shavuot. The holiday best known for cheesecake, is the holiday where we received the torah. Everyone asks me what I have on my Shavuot menu. I invariably freeze and turn red. I have nothing on my menu. Seriously. I have this urge to have toast and eggs at every meal. Something super simple. Of course I can’t get away with that.

It’s supposed to be hot this weekend, so I decided to make a couple of different ice creams. In reverence to the holiday tradition, I have prepared a cheesecake ice cream base. I mixed in oreos and chocolate chip cookies for some of what I call Cookie Cookie Cheesecake Ice Cream.

Cookie Cookie Cheesecake Ice Cream
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
Ingredients:

10 oz cream cheese, cut up
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half & half
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup crushed oreos
1/2 cup crushed chocolate chip cookies

Place the cut up pieces of cream cheese in the bowl of a blender.

Add in the lemon zest, sour cream, half & half and salt.

Blend until everything is mixed well together.

Chill for about an hour or two.

Pour in to your ice cream maker. Run the ice cream maker for about 25 minutes. Once the mixture is thickened, add in the cookie pieces.

Keep the machine running for 5 more minutes.

Pour in to a container and freeze.

Enjoy!

cheesecake ice cream

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Let me start out by saying that I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake. When Shavuot rolls around, I start to get anxious. Cheesecake is expected and I just don’t wanna.

I thought about what I had on hand and what I liked in a dessert treat. Why not combine the cheesecake with something that I actually like? Turn it in to something good. I thought about the basic elements. Traditionally, cheesecake has a buttery graham cracker crust. What if I turn this cheesecake in to a cookie bar? My favorite cookie is oatmeal chocolate chip (OCC). I could get in to a bar that is cheesecake and OCC combined. I kind of like the way this turned out.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Ingredients:

Cookie Crust and Topping:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake Layer:
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar and egg. Mix in the vanilla extract.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir in the coconut and the chocolate chips.

Press 3/4 of the dough in to a 9×13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.

Beat the cheesecake ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the cookie crust.

Sprinkle the rest of the oatmeal cookie mixture over the cheesecake.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake start to become golden brown.

Cool on counter for 30 minutes.

Chill and slice up. Enjoy!

IMG_1305

Oreo Cheesecake

What do you do when you can’t find a recipe or have trouble with a recipe? Do you look to the cookbooks? Do you look to Chef Google? No! We turn to social networking! Really! We tweet our kitchen nightmares, or blog about it. Or we updated our facebook status with the latest. It’s instant. My cookbooks get old and dusty and sit on my bookshelves until I am bored and just need a hint of an idea to run off of. Google is nice and all, but not necessarily trustworthy like tried and true resources. It’s so much more gratifying to get that instant response in the form of a comment to my kvetchy status update.

So it was the case a few nights ago, when my facebook status made mention of my troubles in the cheesecake department.
Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays. I love having some sort of extra salute from above to stick to a vegetarian menu. Of course, part of that whole Shavuot dairy thing, is the essential dessert – the cheesecake. I love most things dairy and vegetarian – except for cheesecake. I have never felt the cheesecake love. Maybe it’s that whole sensitive stomach thing. Who knows. Cheesecake doesn’t love me back. It’s mutual. I’ve made peace with it. I’m still supposed to make it. Gotta keep up with the customs, right? So I have attempted cheesecake a couple times in the past 10 years of Shavuot cooking. The first time I tried, it’s just fell apart. No love lost. A few years ago, I was determined. I googled “easy cheesecake recipe.” That was probably my first mistake. The second mistake was the recipe I chose. It was some “no bake easy cheesecake.” So many things wrong with that stament. Anyhow, facebook pulled through for me this year. My status eluded to my past cheesecake failures. An old camp friend (and culinary genius) came through and quickly sent me a tried and true cheesecake recipe that I quickly adapted to work with what I had (lots and lots of JoeJoe’s cookies). As promised, the cheesecake came out great and everyone was happy. Thanks, Matt! The recipe is below.
Oreo Cheesecake –
only slightly tweaked from my friend, Matt, who adapted it from someone else

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup oreo crumbs – about 24 cookies crushed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter, plus an extra 2 tablespoons – also melted
16 oz. sour cream
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 lb cream cheese – 2 of those rectangular boxes
another dozen or so crush oreo cookies, plus more for garnish – and a few more for eating

Preheat oven to 350

Shove a bunch of cookies into a ziploc bag. With a rolling pin, crush the cookies.
Mix the cookie crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a bowl.

Press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased springform pan

In a blender, blend the sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla for a minute. Add in the cream cheese. Blend until smooth. This goes fast. Add the crumbled cookies at this point. Add in the melted butter. Blend a bit more.

Pour into the springform.
Garnish with the oreos if you’d like.

Baked in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes.

When baking is finished, turn the oven to broil. Broil the cheesecake until the top begins to show some nice brown spots. Matt said that they should be “attractive spots of brown.” Hmmm. Have I ever met an ugly cake? I’ll give on this one. I hope my cheesecake was pretty enough.

Chill in the fridge for at least day before serving. Enjoy!

Shavuot Run-Down

Am I turning in to my parents? I never thought I would say that, but I think I am becoming them – in the way I relate to food…and guests. The whole concept of how much to serve when having guests – I totally get that from my parents. The whole fear that you just may embarassingly run out of food when you have company over. Yikes! It’s totally never happened – at their house or mine. The fear is still there, so we compensate, and we make entirely way too much food. Heaven forbid there should not be enough food options for anyone at the table…and you must please everyone. The vegan should have multiple food choices, the chick allergic to ten different foods – she, too, must also have multiple food options. It’s all there…it’s all cooked, by me. And don’t get me wrong. I am totally not complaining. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy entertaining. There is just way too much food in this house. And there is going to be more. We just finished Shavuot, and tomorrow I start cooking for Shabbat. More food? Yikes.

We had lots of food success over Shavuot. No misses. Suprising. During a long holiday, there is usually at least one food that doesn’t go over too well with more than one person. This time, except for my picky 8-year-old, just about everything went over well. In the next few blog posts, I will share with you some of the hit recipes.

Below, I present to you my Shavuot menu.

Tuesday Night

Hungarian Mushroom Soup – recipe to come
Salad
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Baked Salmon

Asparagus Rice Pilaf – recipe to come
Oreo/JoeJoe’s Cheesecake


Wednesday Lunch (ate out – brought slaw)

Oriental Cole Slaw – recipe to come

Wednesday Night – Just us

Salad
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Thursday Lunch

Salad
Salmon Salad – using leftover salmon from Tues. night

Roasted Broccoli
Potato/Cheese Blintzes – recipe to come
Spinach Pie – recipe to come
Baked pasta dish with mushrooms – recipe to come

Oreo Cheesecake
Coffee Oreo/JoeJoe’s ice cream – recipe to come

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