EASY-PEASY RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE CRESCENT DANISH

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That was George’s response after he took his first bite. I’d say that’s a pretty solid endorsement, wouldn’t you?

I decided to make this pastry one recent Saturday morning. I wasn’t expecting miracles, or even applause, but I’m pretty sure I could’ve convinced George to buy me a Louis Vuitton bag after he took his first bite (ok, maybe not a Louis but I could’ve finagled some Tory Burch sunglasses out of it at least). I’m calling this an Easy-Peasy Raspberry Cream Cheese Crescent Danish, but it could also be called “How to impress your guests without really trying.” I’m telling you, this is reeeaaally easy. And ridiculously tasty. I generally keep a roll or two of Pillsbury Crescent dough in the refrigerator because you never know when it might come in handy. We don’t eat it very often (due to calories, or the “Lord only knows where this processed deliciousness came from” factor) but sometimes you just have to do it. This was one of those times.

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It’s the perfect thing to make for overnight guests because it requires just a few ingredients that you can assemble pretty quickly. The scent of it baking is intoxicating and they’ll be dying to dive in. And if they’re anything like my husband, they just might come a little too close to actually burying their face in it. With Easter just around the corner, it’s the perfect thing for breakfast that morning for your family (or just you, so you don’t have to share).

I’m not the first to think of this recipe, as there are bunches of very similar variations floating around the interweb. I did, however, up the fancy factor by adding a layer of fruity goodness. I prefer fruit danishes myself, and I had some jam and raspberries hanging out in my fridge. Why not make it a party?

When you’re buying the ingredients, look for the full sheet of Crescent dough as opposed to the kind that’s already cut into the classic 8 triangles. Not that you couldn’t use the 8 triangles in a pinch, but it will just be a bit easier with a solid sheet.

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::: EASY-PEASY RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE CRESCENT DANISH:::

• 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Roll, full sheet dough
• 1/2 c raspberry jam
• 1/2 c raspberries
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/3 cup butter (melted)
• Cinnamon & sugar
• Honey (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Heat the fresh berries in a small saucepan over medium heat with 1 tsp of sugar (white, demerrara, coconut palm, your preference). You don’t want to cook them down to jam, but you want to loosen them up, mash them, incorporate the sugar and get their oozy juices flowing. This will only take about 5 minutes.
3. Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
4. Unroll and spread 1 can crescent dough on bottom of lightly sprayed 9 x 13 pan.
5. Spread with 1/2 c jam of your preference. I’m generally a blackberry or raspberry girl. If using fresh berries, top the jam with the berries.
6. Spread cream cheese mixture over top of jam layer.
7. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with plenty of cinnamon and sugar.
8. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes. Let pan cool on wire cooling rack. WARNING! Don’t cut into them until they’re at room temperature (or you know, as close to room temperature as you can manage before letting temptation get the best of you ;-)). If you cut them while they’re too hot, the inner layers of jam and cream cheese will ooze out into a big ol’ mess and we don’t want that.
10. Cut them diagonally, cut them into squares, whatever your preference. Diagonals look fancy, but it creates weird shaped tiny pieces that are leftover. Annoying, or awesome pieces the cook gets to sneak behind the scenes? You decide.
11. I didn’t do it because it didn’t dawn on me at the time, but you could drizzle a little honey over them before serving. Hello, decadence. (Also: looks fancy, not hard. High five.)

If you don’t want to use raspberries, you could replace with strawberries, blackberries, maybe even blueberries (though those suckers I’d want to puree and cook down). You could even cook down some apples and brown sugar as your fruit layer. Bananas, too! See the possibilities? Endless!

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