Friday, March 26, 2010

Monkey Danish

Success! I have wanted this danish for almost four years. It was my favorite breakfast (along with the ham and cheese croissant) when I was in culinary school. Technically, I was supposed to eat breakfast in one of the school's kitchens, but I was never hungry at 6:30 (aka 30 minutes before my butt was supposed to be sitting in Food Safety). So in between class, my roommate and I would run to the Apple Pie Bakery and grab a danish and an Italian soda for consumption during Gastronomy. 


In the years since I left, I have often thought of this danish. I mentally planned many trips to New York just for the danish. And last summer when I was in NYC I was ready to hop on a train to get it when I discovered the school was closed for the month.

After that, they vanished from my mind for a few months until, Deb became smitten with Monkey Bread. Yet, I still did nothing about it. Then, Todd made Diane breakfast. It was the final straw. So help me and my kitchen, I was making monkey danishes.

These things are highly addictive. Cinnamon cream cheese filling, cinnamon streusel, and puff pastry? How could they be bad? Plus, they pull apart easily which means they can be eaten without ending up with everywhere.

Monkey Danish
I would imagine that you could add a variety of things to the danish. Because my mom has a well documented love affair with all things apple cinnamon flavored, I made some that were a layer of cream cheese then apple slices, then more cream cheese, then struesel. Based on her comment, it was tasty. I think it would also work with blueberries. The amount of made struesel is probably more than you need for the danishes, but it freezes or if you are making blueberry pancakes, sprinkle some on at the same time as the blueberries. 

Makes 12-13 danishes
  • 1 box puff pastry, defrosted
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, cinnamon, flour,  and salt mixing just enough to combine.

Cinnamon Streusel 
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt
Combine butter, flour, cinnamon,  and salt in a food processor, and pulse until pea sized crumbs form. (Can also be done by hand with a pastry blender)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry to an 11"x11" square on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 1 inch circles until all of the dough has been used. I used a shot glass.

Brush off excess flour. Repeat on 2nd piece of puff pastry. On a cookie sheet, take 3 of the rounds and lightly press together to form a triangular shape. Like so:

This forms the bottom of the danish.

Using 8 pieces of dough, create a circle around the triangle, but do not firmly press the outside pieces together. The circle should slightly overlap the triangle. This forms a "well" where the cream cheese filling with go.

Place 1 tbsp of the cream cheese filling in the middle of the circle. Top with 1.5 tsp of the struesel. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack. Glaze with powdered sugar and water mix if desired.


  1. Oooh how good does this recipe look? Monkey bread, monkey danish, I just want to be a part of it! :D

  2. anything danish I would LOVE! what more with cinnamon! sounds like a stickybun but even better cause of the puff pastry! (:

  3. Very tasty especially the ones you made for me with apple slices tucked under the cream cheese topping. Thanks for coming back later and finishing your cleanup. Aunt Jonni and Good karen are looking for that tri-color potatoe salad recipe that was so yummy. Hint, hint. Mom

  4. I'm working on it. I was trying to figure out where it disappeared to.

  5. thanks for the nice comment on our blog =)
    this looks so good! i've never had a homemade danish or even one from a coffee shop--only the cheap ones that come wrapped in plastic at airports and the like. anyway, i'll have to try your recipe!

  6. I am so glad to see I'm not the only using a glass as a cutter :)