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Overnight Cherry Danishes, or Why Reese Went to College

Danishes - Reese Kutzler/TSM
Reese Kutzler/Townsquare Media

You came here for danishes, didn’t you? They’re really honest-to-goodness delish. But before I share the recipe with you (which is at the bottom of this page…scroll down a bit!) I want to first tell you something: Growing up, I was expected to go to college.

Didn’t see that one coming did you? And you’re probably wondering why I would even be bringing this up in a Christmas post about food. But bear with me. I promise this post will enliven you with the Christmas spirit, holiday cheer, and all that seasonal goodness in a second.

Imagine me. Straight out of high school. Entering the University of Wyoming. And majoring in….English. My first (and really only) language. And something I already had 18 years of experience with. Seems like a cop out, right?

It just so happens that I love English. Something about words, paper, hard copy books (I do still love my Kindle though! Hope I didn’t offend it just now…). It speaks to me. So of course I chose to do something I’m passionate about as a way to create a career.

But here’s the thing…. growing up? I never knew I would be able to choose baking as a profession. Combining ingredients? Kneading dough? Decorating cookies, and baking pastries, breads and cakes for a living?

Nahhhhhh.

Turns out, I’m sort of passionate about that, too. And what better way to combine baking and reading than with cookbooks? And recipes? And those danishes up there that I teased you with? Were one of the first holiday recipes I made that knocked my socks off and reeled me in. And I was only 18.

They’re easy. They’re creamy. And they’re dressed to impress. Literally a crowd-pleaser.

I have always been the type to over-give. To never think that my gift was good enough. To spend more than what I had and work extra hours at the local retail shop to make up for it. Christmas? It’s sort of my thing. I LOVE giving. And I love watching people enjoy my gift.

On years when it’s tight,I make these. I feel like I’m giving something a lot more. I was so darned proud of these danishes the first time I made them, that I made them as often as I could afford the ingredients (or barter for them, because I’m thrifty like that). I made them for work. For Easter parties (I tinted the glaze pastel colors for added fun!). For random birthdays. For a weekend treat. For my neighbors.

They take two days, but it’s the easiest two days worth of work you’ll ever do. Especially when you taste the results (the best part is they can be misshapen and caved in, have pools of glaze and lopsided cherries and still send your tastebuds to the moon). They’re a little bit of Christmas magic in your mouth. Guaranteed. These remind me of the holidays every time I make them. I hope you enjoy.

 

Overnight Cherry Danishes
From Taste of Home

Ingredients:
Dough:

  • 2  packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c. warm 2% milk (110-115 degrees)
  • 6 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. cold butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 c. warm half-and-half (70-80 degrees)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
 Icing:
  • 3 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 4-5 tbsp. half-and-half
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add yeast mixture, cream and egg yolks; stir until mixture forms a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Roll each portion into an 18×4-in. rectangle; cut into 4×1-in. strips.
  3. Place two strips side by side; twist together. Shape into a ring and pinch ends together. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining strips. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 1/2-in.-deep indentation in the center of each Danish. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon pie filling. Bake 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  5. For icing, in a bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and enough cream to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over Danish. Yield: 3 dozen.

 

 

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