Berry Danish Recipe

The goal this summer was to beat cancer and to keep my daughter occupied. Both are big challenges, and I think I am winning both at this point in time. The first challenge has been a total battle, but being the warrior that I am, I think I am at the tail end in finding out the outcome, and the second one, as challenging as it might not sound, has been a tough one as well. I’ll be honest. My daughter is pretty bored this summer, and unfortunately there has not been a whole lot I can do based on my condition to keep her busy. There has been one thing I have been active doing though and that is teaching her how to bake and cook in the kitchen. This is something that she has always loved, and I can say that it has been a joy teaching her new things. This one in particular was teaching her how to make a berry danish.

Homemade Berry Danish Recipe
Homemade Berry Danish Recipe

I knew that she was going to love pretty much all of this, but there is one thing that she was going to question and that was the cream cheese. Something that she doesn’t really like, nor eat on a regular basis. My hope is that by using it in the desert factor that she would get over that hump and really enjoy the combination of berries and cream cheese. I think she loved them!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups of blueberries, washed
  • 2 cups of blackberries, washed
  • Pinch kosher sal
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 8 ounces package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • Splash water or milk

Begin by making the berry mixture. Combine the honey, half of the blueberries, half of the blackberries, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook this down for about 15 minutes, stirring during the simmer. About 15 minutes in add the rest of the berries and simmer gently about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside to cool to room temperature. The goal is to have some texture to the berries.

Next, make the cream cheese filling. Beat together the cream cheese and the egg yolk. Set aside. That’s it, simple stuff.

Get out two baking sheets and line them with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Homemade Berry Danish Ingredients
Homemade Berry Danish Ingredients

Unfold your puff pastry and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Try to keep the pastry cold while you continue to work on each individual one. The colder the better. No one likes working with room temperature pastry dough.

Roll the puff pastry into a 4-x-9-inch rectangle on a sheet of parchment. Use a ramekin or cookie cutter and cut them into circles, repeating as you continue to lay them out on the parchment paper, leaving about an inch or so between each circle.

Take a fork and gently poke each  pastry circle. Add a tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the center of each pastry circle, then put the entire tray into the freezer for 20 minutes. Next, whisk together the egg and and water and set aside.

After 2o minutes, remove the the pan from the freezer and brush the edges lightly with egg wash. Spoon a very heaping tablespoon or so of the berries on top of the cream cheese.

Homemade Berry Danish Recipe
Homemade Berry Danish Recipe

Bake the pastries 15 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake 10 minutes more, until the pastries are deeply golden. Once cooked, remove the pastries to a wire rack and let cool. Now it’s time to dig in!

The result is a perfect bite. An awesome pastry that is creamy and fruity and is just a real treat anytime of the day. Did my daughter like them? I think so, especially after she investigated the cream cheese for a long period of time, but she got over it and asked for seconds. Hope you enjoy!

Maple Glazed Spiced Nuts

It wasn’t too long ago where a lot of our family members gathered for yet another wonderful wedding. Don’t you just love weddings, and wedding weekends? I can’t say that it was all fun and dance for me in particular due to my recent circumstances, but what it was, was almost like a really great reunion of cousins, uncles, and grandparents that just brought joy and smiles to everyone’s faces. Love that stuff. During this time, our Canadian cousins decided to come bearing gifts, of which was this awesome Canadian maple syrup. My kids love syrup, as does my wife, and to be honest I don’t really use it all that often with the exception of when I may make some chicken and waffles. After some time, I decided to come up with a snack for one of the parties and see how it would go over. I like doing that, you know?

That’s when I decided I would make maple glazed spiced nuts, along with some fresh turmeric that my friends in Hawaii recently harvested from their yard and sent our way. I mean who doesn’t love turmeric and maple syrup, right? I was about to find out.

Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts Recipe
Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts Recipe

I came up with this recipe after thinking about some nuts my parents used to make during the holidays. They were sweet, and lightly salted, and that was the direction I was trying to head, but in a slightly more savory application.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups walnuts halves and pieces
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

During this time, get a large mixing bowl together and dump everything into the mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate all of the nuts, sugars, and syrup together.

Get a large baking sheet out, and line it with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Maple Glazed Nuts Ingredients
Maple Glazed Nuts Ingredients

Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes being careful not to burn. About half way through this time, stir them, carefully. The goal is to get that sugars to melt into the nuts, making small clusters of deliciousness.

After you have achieved this, remove them from the oven, slide them into a bowl from the parchment paper, and let them cool before digging in.

I brought a majority of these to the party, yet reserved some only to make an ice cream with them with my daughter a few days later. Was that good as well? You betcha!

 

Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches

If there are two things my kids could probably eat everyday it would be ice cream and cake. Go figure, that’s kind of a default with kids I have of their age. They literally ask for ice cream every single day, no joke. My default answers are ‘have I ever said no’, and ”. Yes, an empty response meaning please figure it out kids as I am tired of saying ‘sure, I don’t care’. So while I was in the hospital I was thinking of things I could do to occupy my daughter so that I could try to keep her busy, while at the same time try to reserve energy during those early stages. That’s when I rummaged through the pantry, saw a box of cake mix, and decided that I would come up with some ice cream sandwiches for them to devour.

Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches Recipe
Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches Recipe

These are super easy to make, and are a great ice cream snack to satisfy most any kid.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Funfetti cake mix
  • 1/3 cup of canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of M&Ms, optional
  • Generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, or your favorite

Start by mixing the cake mix with the M&Ms and oil making it into a nice batter.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Take ice cream scoop sized portions of the batter and lay onto the cookie sheet, leaving a couple of inches in between each scoop.

Place into the preheated oven and cook for about 12 minutes or until they are evenly cooked.

Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches Ingredients
Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches Ingredients

Once the cookies are evenly cooked, remove them from the oven and let them cool on the parchment paper. Once cooled, place into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so until they firm up.

Once firmed, remove from the freezer, and get out the ice cream. Take one of the cake cookies and add a scoop or two of ice cream, then top with the other cake cookie. Repeat with remaining ice cream and cookies. I like to wrap mine with a bit of parchment for future use, but trust me these will not last long once they come into sight from one of your kids.

Unwrap and dig in. Cool, refreshing, and fun(fetti) all around. These kept my kids relatively quiet, yet extremely happy, and what parent doesn’t love that! If you are looking for an easy dessert that will please any kid (or adult), give these a try. Hope you enjoy!

Ultimate Brownie Bites

Since I have been laid up at home, and the kids have been around during their summer break, I have been dabbling in more baking than I probably should, not only to kill time and boredom but to provide a dessert for post dinner meals for the kids. I typically let my daughter handle most, if not all, of the desserts for the family. By default it is typically a small bowl of ice cream, however my daughter will jazz things up with crushed pistachios and a fresh raspberry coulis from time to time. For me, I have little patience and just want to get things done with dessert. This is where the ultimate brownie bites comes into play.

It’s similar to the dump cake I made last year, or maybe even the Ranger cookies where I purged a bunch of things from our cupboard. This is very identical and the inspiration was to get rid of things and make a chocolate dessert that I knew my kids would love. The things I do, I’ll tell you…

Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe
Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe

Not the prettiest of pictures, but trust me, the picture doesn’t matter as the taste made up for it.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix, cooked according to its instructions
  • 16 small Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • 6 Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of roasted, salted peanuts, crushed
  • 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips, optional
  • vanilla ice cream, optional

Start by baking your brownie mix according to directions. Cook about 3/4 of the way through, then remove from the oven. We are only cooking partially as we are going to load it up and finish the rest with the toppings.

Once about 3/4 of the way through cooking, remove the brownie pan from the oven and set onto a non-burn working surface.

Take the graham cracker crumbs and sprinkle on top of the brownies, lightly coating the top.

Next, layer on about 16 of the Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Ultimate Brownie Bars Recipe
Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe

Crumble on the Oreo cookies, then sprinkle with roasted peanuts and butterscotch chips.

Place this back into the oven, and cook until the top is nicely melted and the brownies are cooked to your liking.

Remove, let cool, and let the kids gaze at this sugary delight until it is time to dig in. Sure, it’s a mess when slicing into it, and it falls apart of the most part, but that’s where the vanilla ice cream come in and acts like a glue to capture all of that loveliness.

Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe
Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe

Was this a hit for dessert? You betcha, and let’s just say it didn’t last long in the house. The good thing is I was able to purge a few things from the cupboard while satisfying the rest of the family. A win, win. Hope you enjoy!