Turn the kitchen into your own little patisserie with this step-by-step guide to buttery Danish pastries
Provided by Jane Hornby
Categories Breakfast, Treat
Yield Makes 18 pastries
Number Of Ingredients 19
- Pulse together the dry ingredients plus 2 tsp salt in a processor, then pulse in the milk and egg, plus 100ml water, until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Knead for 1 min, using a little flour, until just smooth. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr until doubled in size (overnight in the fridge if you like).
- Flour your surface, then pat the dough out to a rectangle, 1cm thick. Lay the butter slices out over the middle of the dough, in a rectangle. Fold the pastry over the top, bottom and then sides until the butter is completely hidden. Press the edges down.
- Roll the dough out to a 50 x 30cm rectangle, first tapping out the dough with the rolling pin in gentle ridges, so that you can tell the butter is being squashed out evenly inside the pastry, before rolling properly. Turn dough 90 degrees, then fold the right third over and the left third over that. Do this three times, chilling for 15 mins after each roll.
- Cut the dough in half, into 2 squares. Roll one piece of dough to 35 x 35cm. Cut into 9 squares, then follow the instructions below for each filling and shape. If you want to make more than one shape, it's easy to divide the filling quantity. Don't worry if your squares rise as you work, just roll them out a bit again.
- To make 18 pecan pinwheels, whizz 85g pecans until fine, then stir in 50g light muscovado, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 25g softened butter. Cut each square of pastry almost to the middle from each corner, spoon on 1 tsp filling, then fold each point over and press into the middle. Scatter more chopped pecans and a little sugar over before baking. Drizzle with a little maple syrup to serve.
- For 18 apricot custard turnovers, you will need 150g tub custard, 2 x 320g cans apricots and a few tsps apricot jam. Put 2 tsp custard in the middle, sit two apricot halves on top, dot with jam, then pull 2 corners over and pinch to seal.
- To make 18 raisin swirls, mix 50g raisins, 25g caster sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice and 50g soft butter. Instead of cutting the dough into 9, leave it whole and spread the filling over. Roll up, slice into 9 rounds, then squash each one. Blend 50g icing sugar and a few drops of water to drizzle over once baked.
- Once shaped and filled, let the pastries rise for 30 mins until puffed and doubled in size. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush with beaten egg, make sure you pinch any edges together again, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and risen.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 218 calories, Fat 12 grams fat, SaturatedFat 8 grams saturated fat, Carbohydrate 25 grams carbohydrates, Sugar 4 grams sugar, Fiber 1 grams fiber, Protein 3 grams protein, Sodium 0.26 milligram of sodium
DANISH BUTTER COOKIES
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg, and beat to combine. Gradually add flour, and beat until well incorporated. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 7/16-inch star tip (such as Ateco #825).
- Pipe 2 1/2-inch rings onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating halfway through, until lightly golden around edges but still light on top, about 20 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup of flour. Divide into 2 equal parts, and roll each half between 2 pieces of waxed paper into a 6 x12 inch sheet. Refrigerate.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry yeast and 3 cups of the remaining flour. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and salt. Heat to 115 degrees F (43 degrees C), or just warm, but not hot to the touch. Mix the warm milk mixture into the flour and yeast along with the eggs, and lemon and almond extracts. Stir for 3 minutes. Knead in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is firm and pliable. Set aside to rest until double in size.
- Cut the dough in half, and roll each half out to a 14 inch square. Place one sheet of the cold butter onto each piece of dough, and fold the dough over it like the cover of a book. Seal edges by pressing with fingers. Roll each piece out to a 20x 12 inch rectangle, then fold into thirds by folding the long sides in over the center. Repeat rolling into a large rectangle, and folding into thirds. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator one at a time, and roll and fold each piece two more times. Return to the refrigerator to chill again before shaping. If the butter gets too warm, the dough will become difficult to manage.
- To make danishes, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. The dough can be cut into squares, with a filling placed in the center. Fold 2 of the corners over the center to form a filled diamond shape. Or, fold the piece in half, cut into 1 inch strips, stretch, twist and roll into a spiral. Place a dollop of preserves or other filling in the center. Place danishes on an ungreased baking sheet, and let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Danishes can be brushed with egg white for a shiny finish.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 226 calories, Carbohydrate 26.8 g, Cholesterol 36.2 mg, Fat 11.2 g, Fiber 0.9 g, Protein 4.3 g, SaturatedFat 6.8 g, Sodium 142.4 mg, Sugar 3.7 g
HINDBAERSNITTER (DANISH RASPBERRY SLICES)
Glazed and dotted with sprinkles, this Danish treat sandwiches raspberry jam between two buttery cookie layers - and has Pop-Tarts vibes. Popular in bakeries across Denmark, it's achievable at home because it's assembled in one large piece. For this recipe from "ScandiKitchen: Fika and Hygge" by Brontë Aurell, the author recommends a not-too-thick layer of good-quality jam: "Go for intense flavor instead of volume." Traditionally, these cookies are made with raspberry jam and cut into squares, but they invite experimentation. Slice them into rectangles or triangles; opt for other bright, tangy preserves; and decorate them liberally, adding color to the icing and sprinkling with chopped freeze-dried fruit, crystallized ginger or toasted nuts. Their nostalgic charm will still shine.
Provided by Alexa Weibel
Categories cookies and bars, dessert
Yield About 12 to 15 cookies
Number Of Ingredients 10
- Prepare the dough: In a medium bowl, toss together the butter and flour. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingertips), rub the butter bits into the flour until the mixture resembles cauliflower rice. Stir in the confectioners' sugar and salt. (The mixture will look like very finely crumbled Parmesan at this point.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla extract. Stir into the dough - or use a pastry cutter to integrate it - just until the mixture is smooth. (It may look like the mixture needs more liquid, but the butter and egg should suffice.) Take your hands and squeeze the dough a few times just until it comes together and appears fully hydrated (no dry white spots). Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before using.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the chilled dough into two equal portions (each about 350 grams). Cut parchment paper to line two large baking sheets, plus a third piece of similar size to help roll out the dough. Working on one sheet of parchment at a time, roll out each portion of dough, sandwiching it between the extra sheet of parchment for ease, until roughly 10 inches wide, 12 inches long and a scant 1/4-inch thick. (Expanding the dough evenly requires even pressure applied to your rolling pin. If your dough is expanding in the wrong direction, trim outside portions and move the trimmed portion to a more desired central position, "gluing" it in place with your fingertips.) Prick each slab of dough all over with a fork to prevent them from puffing.
- Using the parchment paper to lift the dough, transfer each to a large baking sheet. Bake both until lightly golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes.
- Once the cookies have cooled, spread one of them with the jam until evenly coated. Carefully set the other crust on top, pressing gently to adhere.
- Prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons hot water; whisk to combine. The mixture should be as thick as loose honey; add additional hot water by the teaspoonful if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Drizzle on top of the pastry, spreading all the way to the edges in an even layer.
- Sprinkle immediately with dried raspberries or sprinkles. (The frosting can firm up fairly quickly, so you'll want to garnish it while the toppings can still stick.) Let sit until the frosting firms up, about 1 hour.
- Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to form clean lines. (Reserve those to snack on.) Cut into squares or rectangles, in any size you fancy. Raspberry slices will keep a few days, covered, at room temperature - or in the refrigerator, if the weather is balmy (though they are best enjoyed at room temperature). If layering them for storage, separate each layer with parchment or wax paper to protect the frosting.
DANISH PASTRY COOKIES
This butter cookie (Finskbrød) Scandinavian Shortbread, is a holiday tradition spanning generations in my family. It is simply not Christmas without them.
Provided by Viki Anderson
Yield 36 cookies
Number Of Ingredients 6
- Preheat Oven to 325°.
- Cream together butter and sugar.
- Add flour gradually.
- Add pecans and vanilla.
- Dough will be very dry but will form a ball as your hand warms the butter while forming small crescents or "football" shapes.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- When cool, roll in powdered sugar.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 124.1, Fat 9, SaturatedFat 3.6, Cholesterol 13.6, Sodium 45.2, Carbohydrate 9.8, Fiber 0.8, Sugar 1.3, Protein 1.6
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- Begin by cutting 1/4" butter off the end of each of the 4 sticks in the pound; you'll have about 2 tablespoons butter. Set them (and the remaining butter) aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and cardamom. Add the 2 tablespoons cold butter, working it in with your fingers until no large lumps remain.
- Add the vanilla, milk, water, and eggs. Mix and knead to make a cohesive, but quite sticky dough. This is easily done in a bread machine set on the dough cycle; or in a mixer.
- Scrape the dough into a ball, and transfer it to a floured work surface. Cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the butter.
- Cut each stick of butter in half lengthwise, to make 8 long rectangles. On a piece of floured parchment or plastic wrap, line up 4 of the butter pieces side by side, to form a rectangle.
- Gently pound and roll the butter until it's about 6" x 9". The pieces may or may not meld together. If they do, great, they'll be easier to work with. If not, though, that's OK; don't stress about it.
- Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces of butter. You should now have two butter rectangles, about 6" x 9" each.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12" wide and 24" long. Don't worry about being ultra-precise; this is just a guide, though you should try to get fairly close.
- Place one of the butter pieces onto the center third of the dough. Fold one side over the butter to cover it. Place the other butter piece atop the folded-over dough, and fold the remaining dough up over it.
- Turn the dough 90°, so a 12" side is closest to you. Roll the dough into a 10" x 24" rectangle (approximately). Fold each side into the center; then fold one side over the other to make a rectangular packet about 6" x 10".
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- Put the butter with the sugar in a large bowl (1) and work everything with an electric whisk or use a planetary mixer, until obtaining a light and soft mixture (2). Add the egg, vanilla and a pinch of salt and continue to mix all the ingredients. Also add the sifted flour and baking soda and mix them with the help of a spatula until a soft mixture is obtained (3). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
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- In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and vanilla seeds. Stir together until the seeds are evenly distributed with the sugar and there are no lumps.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the margarine and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the flour, a tablespoon at a time, until fully combined to form a dough.
- Place some of the dough into a piping bag fitted with a one-half-inch-thick star tip. Pipe the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in the shape of a wreath (each wreath will be a scant 2 inches in diameter), spacing the wreaths at least one-half-inch apart. Bake the cookies until lightly colored and set, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the cookies, still on the sheet pan, until firm, 5 to 10 minutes.
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- To make the pastry dough, cut the butter into the flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla sugar with a pastry knife. Alternately, pulse it together in a food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs.
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- Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and syrup. Bring to a low boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Take off the burner and let cool.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and spices in a mixing bowl. Add nuts and stir. Then add half of the butter. Stir until well combined. Keep adding the butter a little at a time. The dough should easily form a ball and not stick to the sides of the bowl but should be very thick. This is important! If your cookie dough is too thin the cookies won't bake correctly. You may not need to add all of the butter.
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheeting with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla and egg, and beat until combined, about 1 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour until mostly combined. Give a final few stirs with a rubber spatula to ensure the flour is totally incorporated (the dough will be thick).
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- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the 2 tablespoons cold butter and work it in with a pastry blender or your fingers until no large lumps remain. Add the vanilla, milk, and eggs.
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Top Asked Questions
How to make my festive Danish butter cookies?My Festive Danish Butter Cookies recipe is for shortbread cookies that are light, simple, buttery with a vanilla flavor, and they just melt in your mouth. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy.
How do you make Danish pastry dough?Let’s get going on these gorgeous Danish pastries! The most important component of the Danish pastry dough is the butter block. You’ll roll out two rectangles of butter and layer them into the dough before it gets rolled out and folded multiple times. This is what allows those gorgeous (and delicious!) flaky layers to develop.
What kind of Christmas cookies are there in Denmark?These Christmas cookies are very crisp and have delicious taste. Perfect cookies if you want to have some Christmas "hygge". Danish brown cookies, or Brunkager, as they are called in Danish are another very famous and traditional Danish Christmas cookie.
Can you make Danish pastries ahead of time?These flaky Danish pastries are a time-consuming project, but they're a perfect way to show people how much you love them! I like serving them at special brunches. The puff pastry dough and almond filling can be made ahead of time, and the pastries can be frozen before baking. Delicious, yet so easy to make.