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Cherry Pinwheel Danish

I have very fond memories of breakfast pastries. Growing up, every once in a while as a treat, my dad would drive to the local bakery and come home with AMAZING freshly-made pastries and danishes for our breakfast. My personal favorite was a round-shaped one with raspberry, cherry or cream cheese filling in the center, drizzled with a super sweet, super delicious glaze. Mmmmm. I found myself thinking about those wonderful childhood pastries recently, so, one quiet weekend, I decided to try my hand at making homemade breakfast pastries for my family.

I made the dough on a Saturday morning, shaped + baked the pastries on Saturday evening, then made + drizzled the glaze over ’em on Sunday morning, right before we ate them. And y’all, I’m pretty darn pleased with how my first foray into pastry-making went! The dough is delightfully soft, buttery, and just perfectly sweet. Paired with the delicious cherry and/or cream cheese fillings, and the fantastic glaze, these were such a fun treat. The only thing I didn’t like? The insanely large size. I expected them to shrink up a lot while baking, so I made them HUGE. Well, they didn’t shrink up at all, so I was left with gorgeous, but humongous pastries. Next time, I’m going to make them a more reasonable size, which should make the ratio of pastry to filling perfect. They really were super delicious, so I’m looking forward to perfecting them the next time around! =)

Cherry Pinwheel Pastries

makes 18-20 large danish, adapted from Sweet Girl Confections

Ingredients

Pastry Ingredients:
4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 eggs
1/2 cup whipping cream

Filling Ingredients:
To make cherry danish: 1 1/4 cups cherry pie filling, either store-bought or homemade (or substitute another flavor jam/pie filling instead)
OR
To make cream cheese danish: (Beat the following 4 ingredients together until smooth).
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Egg Wash Ingredients:
1 egg
1 Tbsp water

Icing Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp whipping cream

Directions

In medium bowl, combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and warm water; let stand until foamy & frothy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt; cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives used in a scissor-like fashion until mixture resembles cornmeal.

Whisk 3 eggs and 1/2 cup cream into (now frothy) yeast mixture; pour into flour mixture and stir to incorporate, until moistened. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; butter two large baking sheets; set wire racks over waxed paper.

Remove dough from refrigerator, divide dough in two (return one half of dough to the fridge), and use a rolling pin to roll out one half of the dough into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured board; cut into nine 4-inch squares.

Dollop 1 tbsp of the filling into the center of each square of rolled dough.

On each square, slice a 2-inch cut from each corner in toward the center; fold every other tip in toward the center (pressing firmly), forming the pinwheel shape (easy peasy!) Transfer pinwheels to baking sheets using a spatula. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Beat 1 egg with 1 Tbsp water in a small cup; brush this egg wash lightly over pastries using a pastry brush.

Bake in preheated (350 degree F) oven for about 25 minutes — switching baking sheets on oven racks halfway through baking time — until beautifully golden. Transfer pastries to prepared wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to prepare the icing glaze: in a small bowl, mix powdered sugar with 2 tbsp cream. Once pastries are completely cool, using a fork or spoon, drizzle icing glaze over pastries in zig-zag pattern.