I am not, on a general note, a person who is easily embarrassed. I have been known to skip down the busiest street in town, flapping my arms, bird-like, at the hint of Christmas in the air. It is not at all uncommon for me to wait for the doors to close on crowded elevators to ask: “You must be wondering why I have gathered you here”, or to wind up in a ball on the floor in reaction to the loudspeakers at the grocery store, moaning “The voices! The voices are back!” In a nutshell, doing a lot of things that seemed like a good idea at the time… but weren’t.
But I draw the line at singing. I do not sing. I have sung, on occasion, but only under duress, and after at least two human sacrifices, and half a bottle of vodka. And trust me when I tell you, it’s for your own good. “Oh, it can’t be that bad”, you must be thinking. “She’s being modest”, you might add. Oh, how I wish I was. I forgot myself the other day and began singing in the shower, and now feel solely responsible for two hurricanes, an earthquake, and the near-extinction of the red-barbed ant.
But – it’s Christmas, and everybody seems to expect me to go a-carolin’ around. I’ve politely declined so often I’ve started to go with “bah, humbug” to speed things up.
Over the years, I’ve learned a profound and enlightening truth: People don’t like other people who “bah, humbug” more than strictly necessary. However, people do like other people who make scrumptious treats.
So I make scrumptious treats. And share them on the Internet to spread the Christmas cheer.
And, my friends, this definitely falls into the category of scrumptious, Christmas-cheer-spreading breakfast treats that make people really like you.
Apple Cheese Danish
Adapted from the scrumptious Live Laugh Rowe.
Prep time: 1 hour
You will need:
- 4 or 5 apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 sheets of puff pastry (any shape, really, but they should match)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup (250gr) sugar, separated
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, separated
- a good pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoons caramel sauce of choice
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 1 egg
First off, place one sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake in a medium oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.
Place apples and butter in a large pan and cook until beginning to brown.
At this point, add ½ cup of sugar, the flour, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and the nutmeg, and stir to mix.
Add caramel and stir again.
Cook for a few more minutes to caramelize a bit, then set aside.
Beat the cream cheese with the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the egg.
Allowing for some space along the edges, spread the cream cheese mixture over the baked puff pastry, taking care not to break through the surface. Spoon the apple mixture over that, distributing evenly.
Eat any stray apples straight out of the pan. Go ahead, it’s fruit, it’s good for you.
Top with the second sheet of puff pastry and seal off the edges by pressing them together, or even folding them over a bit.
Brush with a bit of milk, cut 5 or 6 small vents and sprinkle with sugar and the remaining cinnamon.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a deep golden brown (I might’ve overdone it a wee bit here…). While this is baking, kick back into your couch and enjoy the heavenly smell wafting from your oven.
Cool for a bit, carefully cut into triangles and enjoy it hot out of the oven, or completely cooled the next day. If you can even wait that long.