Monday, February 6, 2012

Brilliant Brunch: Cherry Danish Squares

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What better way to say "I love you" than a sweet brunch?  When I saw this recipe a few weeks ago, I knew it would be a perfect way to start a Valentine's Day.  A little sweetness, lots of red, and an honestly beautiful presentation.  In fact, it makes a large pan which means its enough to share with neighbors, family, friends, or a great classroom treat! 

Mom has a very sociable office; when someone has a birthday, they really go all out.  Its a nice camraderie and a few weeks ago it was one of Mom's favorite people's birthdays!  Since I pour through recipes anyway, we decided this little breakfast treat would fit everything. It's big enough to feed a crowd but also a perfect little treat for Valentine's Day.  Even as a snack! 

If you don't want to use the cherry pie filling, I suggest making your own filling.  For a berry filling, macerate 12 ounces of berries.  Then, add a little corn starch (about 1 - 2 teaspoons) to the juices until it is thick and syrupy.  That would be a great twist on this, without using the premade cherry pie filling.  The nice thing about the cherry pie filling is it makes the recipe just so easy.  It's perfect for a little holiday brunch and you still get to enjoy the morning too.  While it's cooking, curl up with a big mug and read your favorite book!  Although I can't promise you won't get interrupted--the smell of this is sure to wake up even the deepest sleeper!
Cherry Danish Squares (adapted from here)
Serves:  24 (24 squares)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1-21 ounce can of cherry pie filling
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, until fully combined.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Gradually add flour to the butter mixture until just combined.  Spread half of the batter into a greased 9x13 pan.  Spread with pie filling.  Drop the remaining batter by tablespoon over the filling.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.  While cooling, combine the remaining ingredients to make a glaze:  Mix together confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.  Add milk until the desired consistency of the glaze has been reached.  Drizzle over the top of the bars.  Cut the squares and store in an airtight container until serving.  These will keep well for at least 3-5 days. 

Only 3 more recipes until Valentine's Day! 

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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