Sweet Sandy B. Bakes

If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time. Not tomorrow or next year... Today should always be our most wonderful day...

So, let's eat cake!

Notes on my adventure as a mom and baker and life as Sweet Sandy B...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reliving my (fat) childhood

Do you remember this?

OK, I don't particularly either, but I remember something CLOSE to this.. More on that in a minute (it's a cheese danish for those that need a hook)

I haven't been baking much for 'sport' lately. I started working at a 'second' job (which would make it my FOURTH* job)
So I haven't been baking anything new or doing much experimenting.

In a truly fat kid moment, I was on the phone with Exactlywatt fantasizing about these delightful cheese danishes that they used to have at McDonalds when I was a kid. Not sure if I've mentioned before but I was such an unfortunate looking child. If it wasn't the frizzy hair it definitely had to be the fact that I was CHUBBY. And chubby with bad hair and two beautiful older sisters.. Forget it.
OK, back on track.
So. 4th grade. McDonalds. Cheese Danishes on Saturday a.m.'s with my dad. De-light-ful.
I wondered aloud if they still had these danishes with all the scrutiny they are under about how awful they are for you- McDonalds, not the Danishes I mean... (which I also believe. McDonalds is bad for you. Bad for your kids. I still go to McDonalds. My kids are known to eat McNuggets in Happy Meals every once in a while. I HAVE FOUR JOBS. give me a break)

Needless to say, they have stuck in my mind since. And this a.m. while Exactlywatt and I were doing our regular a.m. routine he asked when the last time was that I baked for myself. Not at work or not for an order. Um... I made a gluten/dairy free baby shower cake yesterday for one of my jobs? Does that count? Nope... hm.... yeah. can't recall.

So, after the Mooch and I had a Mama and Me morning date which included hot chocolate, hair cuts, manicures (ALL for the Mooch. No manicures for this girl. Kitchen folk are NOT allowed to have 'pretty' nails), I set about re-creating my McDonalds Danish from my fat kid years. It's not a healthier version. It's not even prettier. But it tastes pretty DAMN good.

To follow me down my glutinous road you will need:

crescent dough, jam, sugar, cinnamon, toasted almonds, butter, cream cheese, vanilla, an egg and a 9x13 baking dish. Oven at 350
In a bowl (or your KitchenAid bowl), whip up 12 oz of softened cream cheese, one egg and about 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I used vanilla PASTE because I love the vanilla bean specks.

When its all fluffy, pop open one of the crescent roll SHEETS and spread it on the bottom of the baking dish and get the jam and almonds ready too

Heres what I did, BUT, let me tell you what you probably should do

I spread the cream cheese mix then swirled in the jam and then sprinkled the nuts on top.
The 'swirling' was an afterthought after I was like- DUH, I can't 'spread' the jam on top of the softened cream cheese. Dingbat.
Sigh... YOU should spread the jam on FIRST. Then spread the cream cheese, THEN sprinkle the toasted almonds. Much prettier.
Now you can melt some butter and get another crescent sheet opened. Spread the sheet on top of your mix. And brush on the melted butter and then sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top of that

As I was about to sprinkle on the cinnamon then sugar, I remembered that I made cinnamon toast for the kids a couple of weeks ago when we built a GIANT tent in the living room and we camped for a whole day- literally. ate every meal in the tent, built a fire, took a NAP together (glorious) and watched Up. My favorite. I digress. CINNAMON TOAST- another fat kid recipe!! Well, to make the toast more interesting, I used rainbow sprinkles instead of plain sugar. I had some LEFT! see:

And now you can pop this in the 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. It will get nice and golden brown and look like this

well, minus the 5 year old child lurking in the background wanting a taste...
About this 5 year old... his desire was so strong to have a taste of this mysterious cinnamon toast looking concoction that I caved and cut into the danish before it had cooled all the way. Which resulted in this...

While still delightful and gooey, creamy and melt in your mouth good... it hadn't cooled enough to really set up. You should allow this to cool to room temp before even attempting to cut into it.

Still with me? Here is the recipe
2 cans of Crescent Roll Sheets
12 oz of whipped or softened cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg
1 cup of jam/jelly/preserves (optional)
1/2 cup of sliced almonds (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
cinnamon and sugar to coat the top- eyeball it.

Oven at 350.
1) Spread 1 crescent sheet on bottom of 9x13 baking dish
2) Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg
3) Spread jam on top of crescent sheet, followed by cream cheese mix, then nuts
4) top with second crescent sheet, brush on melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
5) bake for 30-35 minutes
6) cool to room temp before cutting and serving

NOTES: to adjust some fat/calorie content you could use Neufchatel cheese, omit the egg and the almonds and use splenda or some such nonsense.
If you are trying to be a little dairy conscience, you could use the Earth Balance cream cheese substitute, and instead of brushing on melted butter, you could use an egg wash. But- there is still butter in the crescent...
If you want a plain jane cheese danish- leave out the jam and the nuts. Do whatever makes your little heart sing!

*FOUR jobs. About my four jobs. My first job is being a mom to my kids. 2nd is my restaurant job. 3rd is the business of ME and my dreams, aka Sweet Sandy B and my 4th is my latest. so yeah, I have four jobs. Yes, I'm exhausted.

in case you were wondering, McDonalds definitely doesn't have the cheese danish of my childhood. Apparently phased out circa 2002. BUT, never fear, starting this month McDonalds is starting to sell baked goods. Without preservatives. If that makes you feel any better. lol..
Damn. cheap pastries produced en masse under the golden arches. adios local bake shops.....