Don't Dismiss the Danish: Snack Makeover

Julie Ryan Evans
2

Chocolate DanishYou pop into your local shop for coffee, and there staring at you is an array of sticky, sweet, decadent Danishes that would make the perfect snack ... well, except for the fact that they're swimming in fat and the calorie count is so high they can easily sink your healthy eating objectives.

But you don't have to dismiss the Danish entirely. Here's a great recipe from HungryGirl for a chocolate (yes, chocolate!) cheese Danish. I don't like to use artificial sweeteners much, so for the little bit it calls for, I suggest just using regular sugar.

Get you coffee ready ...

I know the recipe looks long, but it's really pretty quick and easy!

Chocolate Chippy Cheese Danish (from HungryGirl)

For Icing
1 1/2 teaspoons Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1
teaspoon powdered sugar
1
teaspoon  cornstarch
1 drop vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
1
tablespoon Cool Whip Free, thawed

For Danish
Half an 8-oz. tub fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
2
tablespoons Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1
tablespoon light vanilla soymilk
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2
tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make icing, combine Splenda, powdered sugar, and cornstarch in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add vanilla extract and 1 1/2 teaspoons cold water, and mix until ingredients have dissolved. Add Marshmallow Creme and microwave 5 seconds, or until creme is soft enough to combine with mixture. Stir until smooth. Add Cool Whip and stir again, until evenly combined. Refrigerate until you're ready to ice Danish.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Splenda, soy milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Fold in oats and chocolate chips, and set aside. This is your filling.

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Lay out your dough on sheet and (using a rolling pin, a can, or your hands) lightly roll it out into a long rectangle of even thickness. Arrange baking sheet so that short sides are on left and right and long sides are on top and bottom. Spoon filling lengthwise across middle third of dough, leaving 1-inch borders on the left and right of the filling.

Starting from the top, make vertical cuts -- about 1 inch apart -- along top section of dough, stopping about 1/2 inch above filling. Repeat with bottom section of dough, cutting upward toward filling. This will create 1-inch-wide strips of dough on both the top and bottom of filling.

Alternate folding 1-inch strips from top and bottom sections over filling, covering it completely and creating a criss-crossed or "braided" appearance. After all strips have been folded, fold left and right sides of the dough in toward filling, so filling cannot escape, and press firmly to seal.

Bake in oven 15 to 20 minutes, until pastry is crispy and light golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Just before serving, drizzle entire Danish with icing. Cut into 8 slices and indulge! (P.S. Refrigerate leftovers.)

Are you a Danish fan?


Image via Hungrygirl.com

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