December 18, 2012

For as long as I can remember, my mom has made the most exquisite, elegant, and absolutely delicious Christmas brunch. Not only was I excited to wake up to open presents on Christmas morning, but I also was elated and eager to begin devouring the feast that she had worked so hard to prepare starting weeks in advance. Even though I adore everything she makes, I have to say that my absolute favorite thing on my plate is her homemade Cheese Danish.

It's definitely just as pretty as it is tasty!

This year, I wanted to be a part of making this special recipe appear on our dining room table. Since I live in Birmingham and my parents reside in Orlando, my mom and I wouldn’t have much time to make these delights except over Thanksgiving when we were all together. This recipe is very time consuming to make, but definitely worth the effort, so we had to make sure we carved out a large chunk of time dedicated to making these delectable danishes.We started the process by making the dough. This part takes the least amount of effort and time because all it involves is mixing the ingredients together, then covering and storing the bowl overnight in the refrigerator. During this time, the dough gains a thicker consistency and transforms into a shapeable texture as opposed to a soupy quality.

Left: We drew lines in the filling to represent the equal amounts for all four Cheese Danishes.
Right: About to begin the rolling process atop a very floury counter!

The next day began the fun part−rolling, shaping, and filling the dough! I often watched my mom craft the Cheese Danishes, so I was excited to exert my efforts into making my own elegant pastries.  After first creating the filling and setting that aside, we each took turns rolling out the dough to the appropriate dimensions, then stuffing them with the yummy filling. The most enjoyable part for me was the crisscrossing of the dough to form the familiar pattern recognized with Cheese Danish. Since the recipe makes four danishes, my mom and I had a great time crafting two each.

Top: Placing the filling and cutting the dough with scissors to prepare to make the strands.
Bottom: Crisscrossing strands of dough to form the elegant appearance.

The only remaining things to do were to let them rise for an hour, then bake and coat them with a sweet glaze to finalize their flavor and presentation. Mom and I prepared the glaze while they simmered to perfection in the oven. They baked for around 20 minutes each, and then we finished them with the glaze. After a span of two days and hours of hard work, our beautiful Cheese Danishes were finally finished!

Left: Before the rising and baking.
Right: After baking and complete with glaze topping.

My mom and I had a great time making these together and I would do it all over again any day. I encourage you to gather your family and friends this holiday season and bake something together. Christmas is the opportunity to create and share memories with those you love and I definitely am glad I had a chance to make this McNair family classic with my mom this holiday season.Explore our Breakfast and Brunch Recipes and warm your home with treasured homemade favorites this holiday.