If there's any time to make and consume butter-laden pastry without guilt, it's your birthday. Today is mine, so I started some dough last night and crafted some danish this morning. I've been looking for an excuse to do this for some time, and the fire burned even hotter once I put up that awesome apricot jam.
This is my first time with danish pastry dough. The recipe didn't intimidate me in the least, but it probably should have once I started rolling things out and things started not going well at all. The butter softened very quickly, despite the temperature last night being lower than it had been in a couple of weeks. I sort of half-assed the rolling-out and only got it rolled an inch thick before I had to give up and stick it back in the fridge two out of the three times.
This morning went a bit better. The dough had been refrigerated overnight and I was able to roll it out and get the round pastries done before things got too soft. I simply cut 1/2 inch strips, twirled them, and made a coil. (Tip: A smaller thickness of dough in the center will make them easier to fill.) I ended up with thirteen of those and four square pastries filled with cream cheese (cream cheese + a bit of sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla) AND apricot.
I'm pleased at how flaky the pastries were, even with my half-assed rolling. The filling's delicious as well, and I opted to leave off any sort of icing or sugar, as they're delicious enough on their own.
Happy birthday to my mouth!