What makes you joyful?
Last week we went to one of my favorite vacation destinations, Blackberry Farm. (You might remember me going on about our previous trips here and here!) A cozy oasis nestled in the Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is southern foodie vacationing at its finest. Brett and I travel there with our friends at the turn of every new year, and it is nothing short of spectacular. Something about that place relaxes me to my core, way moreso than beach, island, or other mountain retreats do. It feels like home and somehow, in just a few short years, it’s become a place that brings me a ton of joy.
I want more of that in 2018. The things that bring me joy and refresh my zeal for life are a top priority this year. Yes, there will continue to be work and hustle and obligations, but I feel like my day to day needs more of the things that give me life and loads of joy.
So while Blackberry Farm, with its 5 Star meals and attention to detail and lazy hours with my very best friends, might not be possible 365 days of the year, there are things in there that are worth pursuing daily: Slow dinners made with real ingredients. Maintaining a home that feels welcoming, clean, and cozy. Spending time on real relationships with people that will love you back as hard as they can. These are things that bring me joy. So 2018, you can bring it, and in the meantime, I’ll be working hard to make average days feel a little more like vacation.
These brown sugar danishes are a year in the making. Literally.
We ate the most divine breakfast danishes at Blackberry Farm in 2017. They were flaky and oozed with butter, brown sugar, and toasted pecans. It was love at first sight, and I spent the next 8 months testing out various versions of those danishes in an attempt to recreate that moment at home.
Ladies and gentlemen, these brown sugar danishes are it. These little pastries, though requiring a bit of love and effort in the kitchen, are every bit as delicious as I recall those fancy resort pastries being, and I am thrilled to be able to share the recipe with you today.
To make these brown sugar danishes, we start with perfect danish pastry. I adore this recipe from Samantha Seneviratnae and have adapted it for use in these pastries. Once made, the dough can be stored in the fridge for a day or two until you’re ready to fill and bake your danishes. The filling is simple, prepared with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and butter, and truly takes the dough from delicious to downright heavenly.
These brown sugar danishes are best consumed on the day they’re made, but they will heat and flake up decently in a toaster oven as well. Make these treats to stay warm these next few weeks, and I hope they bring you the same joy they bring me. Happy Monday and happy baking!
If you like these brown sugar danishes, you should try:
Brown Sugar Danishes
These brown sugar danishes are filled with butter, pecans, and gooey sugary filling. The perfect, flaky, tender addition to any breakfast or brunch!
- Prep Time: 360
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 14
For the dough (recipe by Samantha Seneviratne):
- 1 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for rolling dough
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 14 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup cold whole milk
For the filling:
- ¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (65 gm) finely chopped pecans
- 1 large egg
To prepare the dough:
- Combine the flour, granulated sugar, yeast and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine until butter is distributed in pea-sized pieces throughout the flour. Put the flour mixture in a medium bowl.
- In a separate, small bowl, whisk the egg and milk with 2 tablespoons of water. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold the mixture until the liquid is evenly distributed, being careful to not overwork the dough. Dump the contents of the bowl out on to a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Chill for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 8-by-15-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling and folding process. Dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking, rotate, roll, and fold a final time, ending with a small, rectangular piece of dough. Wrap the dough in Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Repeat the entire rolling and folding process one more time. You will have rolled and folded the dough six times. If the dough becomes loose or tacky, place in the fridge to rest for a bit. Wrap the dough and place in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.
To prepare the danishes:
- Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour in a medium sized bowl. Cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients, smooshing together to make a thick paste/spread.
- Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 8”x21” long rectangle. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture evenly on to the dough. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Starting at one of the long ends, roll the dough tightly and gently pinch to seal along the length of the dough. Cut 1-1/2” slices of dough and place them in a lightly greased muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the danishes to rise slightly, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and whisk an egg in a small bowl. Once the danishes have risen, gently brush them with a thin layer of egg using a pastry brush and bake in the preheat oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, puffed, and flaky. Check to make sure they don’t feel too soft in the center prior to removing from the oven- this can cause the pastries to fall once they cool. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Danishes are best served immediately or within 24 hours.
- I prefer to use a high-quality, fatty butter like Kerrygold.
- You can tell if the danishes have risen well by gently poking one with our finger. If it puffs back up slightly almost immediately, it has risen well.