As I read The Elephant Keepers’ Children, I found myself weaving with the characters, through plotlines and the legs of adults who would attempt to thwart the Finø kids on their hunt for their missing parents. The story is incredibly layered, to the point that it seems unnecessary at times. What happens, though, is that each layer connects to another, holding the tale tightly wound and resisting the strain of hidden secrets that would otherwise break free too soon. This is why I was determined to create a braided or woven dish and when I thought of a cheese danish, I couldn’t let the idea go.
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Pastries, as many chefs and home cooks know, are difficult to master. And in cases where children may be at play, they become all the more challenging. That’s why this cheese danish recipe is so amazing – in very little time and with minimal effort, you can produce a pastry so good your family will be fooled into thinking you bought it. With a few basic staples and a fair amount of TLC, adults and children alike can tackle and master this recipe. And with the time you save on making the dough from scratch, you can snuggle up with a copy of The Elephant Keepers’ Children. I’d call that a win-win situation.
- 8oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. Set aside.
- Unroll crescent roll dough and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Press perforated edges together to create a large rectangle.
- Spread cream cheese mixture down the length of the dough, about two inches wide.
- Cut 1/2-inch diagonal strips up the sides of the dough. Braid the strips over the middle from one end to the other. Fold in any excess dough at the ends. Don't worry about being perfect.
- Bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes or until the dough is golden and filling set.
- Cool on baking sheet before transferring to a platter. Slice and serve. Bon appetit!
Now that you’re good and hungry, read our recommendation of the book that inspired this recipe: The Elephant Keepers’ Children.