A few weeks ago, I tried the popular web recipe for Cream Cheese Squares and I noted that I thought they were overly sweet. Here’s my original post with a link to a video of the original recipe. I also suggested some other ways to improve the recipe, and here’s a much better version that is closer to a cream cheese danish, but still in bar form:
Cheese Danish Bars with Puff Pastry
Preheat oven to 375°
Butter an oblong baking dish, no bigger than 13″ x 9″
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
2 8oz packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (you could use almond extract to complement the same in the icing)
- Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
- Roll each puff pastry sheet on floured surface to fit your baking dish.
- Lay first sheet in bottom of buttered dish. It’s okay if it goes up the sides a little, but not necessary.
- Spread cream cheese mixture over pastry sheet up to edges, but not touching dish, to avoid browning the filling.
- Lay second pastry sheet over top of filling.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is puffed and browned. Once the pastry puffs, it will brown quickly, so you might want to start peeking at 15 minutes, just to see how your oven bakes. When those little bits of butter in the pastry explode the flour into its flaky layers, it finishes quickly.
- Set dish on rack to cool. The pastry will sink a little as it cools.
- Cut in bars while still a little warm.
- Cool completely and drizzle with icing (below). Top with sliced almonds.
Quick almond icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk, half and half, or cream
2 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Mix all ingredients until smooth. I always put a little butter in my powdered sugar icing to give it more body, as well as a better flavor.
- Drizzle over cooled bars.