If you’re looking for a quick and easy dessert idea, look no further. These strawberry cream cheese danish pastries are made with light, airy, and golden flaky Puff Pastry Sheets then taken to the next level with a drizzle of white chocolate ganache. No matter if you’re hosting a baby shower, birthday party, or brunch for mom, these are the perfect treat.
Spring has got to be one of the most gorgeous seasons out of the whole year. All of our showy flowers are coming into bloom, the birds are enjoying sunflower seeds that we put out for them and our vegetables are growing beautifully in the garden.
There is one thing that I don’t even bother growing and that’s strawberries. We have so many “pick your own” farms around here that it’s just easier to stop by and grab a bucket and be done with it. (There’s also snakes that like to hide in the underbrush but we won’t talk about that being the real reason why I don’t grow them.)
Strawberries are SO popular here that we even have a whole festival dedicated to the sweet little fruit. The annual event has live music, a “Miss Strawberry” beauty pageant, a strawberry cupcake eating contest, and of course, a recipe contest. I think I should totally enter my strawberry cream cheese danish recipe this year. What do you think?
I chose to use Meyer lemons to flavor the cream cheese because they are much sweeter – and less tart – than the common supermarket variety. I also used it in the strawberry puree filling along with fresh vanilla beans.
Making the puree for the strawberry cream cheese danish pastries is pretty simple but if you’re short on time, feel free to use preserves or jam. If you do make it (which I HIGHLY recommend ’cause it’s crazy good), grab a small saucepan and add in the strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar. Once it boils, add in a little slurry of cornstarch to thicken it up and Voila! You’re done!
The strawberry puree can then be used as an ice-cream topping, served with angel food cake (don’t forget the whipped cream!) or in this case, used to make strawberry cream cheese danishes!
To use the Puff Pastry Sheets, let them thaw on the counter until you can easily unfold them and then cut into 16 little squares. Score a border around the edges (be sure not to cut all the way through) then prick holes in the center using a fork to keep them from rising too much. Brush some beaten egg around the edges then fill each square with a teensy amount of the lemon cream cheese and a drop or two of the strawberry filling. These will take about 15 minutes in the oven but keep an eye on them since cooking times will vary.
Once the strawberry cream cheese danish pastries have cooled, drizzle some of the white chocolate ganache over each one for a finishing touch. (White chocolate ganache is nothing more than warmed cream mixed with white chocolate that’s then stirred until smooth.)
Making these strawberry cream cheese danishes reminded me a lot of culinary school way, WAY back in the day. We must have made French pastries for 3 months straight and I can tell you one thing, it was nowhere NEAR this simple!
One last thing that I forgot to add. These strawberry cream cheese danish pastries can actually be made into any flavor that suits your fancy! The Meyer lemon will go great with any fruit, and of course, there isn’t much that white chocolate doesn’t pair well with!
Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish Pastries
Yield 32 danishes
If you're short on time, feel free to use prepared preserves in place of the homemade strawberry filling.
1 box Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets
1 egg with a few drops of water, whisked
For the White Chocolate Ganache:
- 6 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped (about a cup)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the Strawberry Filling:
- 1 cup strawberries, tops cut off and sliced
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
For the Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon zest
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
To Make the White Chocolate Ganache:
- In a glass measuring cup, heat cream in microwave until just hot but not boiling (microwave times vary).
- Add the white chocolate and let set for a few minutes.
- Stir to combine and set aside.
To Make the Strawberry Filling:
- In a small sauce pan, add strawberries, sugar, vanilla beans and their pod, and lemon juice.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the water. Set aside momentarily.
- Bring the strawberries to a gentle boil over medium heat and drizzle in the cornstarch slurry.
- Cook gently while stirring until the mixture is clear again.
- Remove vanilla bean pods and set aside to cool.
To Make the Cream Cheese Filling:
- In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, lemon juice, grated lemon zest, and sugar. Set aside.
To Prepare Puff Pastry Sheets:
- Place folded frozen Puff Pastry Sheets on lightly floured work surface for 10 minutes to thaw. Once they have thawed but are still cold, unfold one of the Puff Pastry Sheets and cut it into 4 even squares. Cut each of those squares into 4 pieces. You should now have 16 small squares. Place the small squares on a lined baking tray and set in refrigerator. Repeat with the other sheet of Puff Pastry.
- Score each of the small squares with a knife to create a border, be careful not to cut all the way through. Dock the middle of each square with the tines of a fork.
- Fill each of the squares with a scant teaspoon of cream cheese. Add a drop or two of the strawberry filling and swirl with a toothpick (if you'd like). Finish by brushing beaten egg around each of the borders.
- Bake for 15 minutes or so, until golden brown. Cool completely before drizzling with white chocolate ganache.
There will be strawberry puree left over but no worries! It goes great on ice cream or served with angel food cake and fresh whipped cream. Keep the strawberry filling refrigerated and use within a week. Can also be made ahead of time.