When I was younger, one of my favorite outings would be to go out for breakfast. There was always something so special about it. Weekday breakfasts were always quick, and usual, and just something to get us out the door before a whole day of school. But when we went out for breakfast on a Saturday morning, I knew that I would have the lesiures of the weekend ahead.
Ironically, my favorite place to go out for breakfast was McDonalds. Talk about a long, leisure-filled breakfast. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I absolutely loved the fancy hotel buffet brunches with the soft served ice cream. But McDonalds is what I would get excited about. For one reason, and one reason only: the cheese danish. You understand.
Does McDonalds even sell these gems anymore? From what I recall, they were perfection. A flaky pie crust filled with a usually, off-center dollop of sweetened cream cheese, all drizzled with a candy-sweet glaze. It was absolutely amazing in my young eyes, a breakfast for champions.
I am happy to report that my tastes have matured since then. But my love for cheese danishes is still just as strong. So when I discovered a similar pastry during my recent trip to Puerto Rico, I was ecstatic. Instead of pie crust, these pastries were flakier. Instead of the blob, er I mean, dollop, of cheesecake-like center, these pastries were filled with cream cheese, barely kissed with a touch of sweetness. Instead of the glaze, these were rolled in sugar, sparkling, and baked to a deep golden brown. Instead of being flat and round, these pastries were long and cigar-like, kind of like it actually was older and more mature than any other cheese danish that I had before. It was like the cheese danish of my dreams – only, it was sooo sooo much better. It was, I’ll even say, the highlight of my trip – breakfast wins people over like that.
Quesitos (adapted from here)
1 package puff pastry, thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 egg white
sugar, for sprinkling
honey, slightly warmed, for brushing on top
1. Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Mix until the sugar is well incorporated into the cream cheese. Place into the fridge until ready for use.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Roll out thawed puff pastry on a floured surface until it is a 12 x 12 square. Divide the puff pastry into 12 equal squares. Prick each piece with several fork marks.
4. Take the cream cheese mixture out of the fridge. Spread 1 tablespoon measure along one edge of one square, leaving about a quarter inch of space on both sides.
5. Fold over edges, and then roll the puff pastry until the cream cheese mixture is completely enclosed. Press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining 11 squares.
6. Place pastries, seal side down, onto the baking sheet.
7. Brush each pastry with the egg white. Sprinkle the top of each pastry with granulated sugar.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
9. Immediately move the pastries to a wire rack and brush with warmed honey to make the pastries glisten.