I went to the grocery store this morning and was greeted in the bakery (a department I usually rush through so as to avoid temptation) by a cute little old lady sampling cheese danish. For a brief moment I felt guilty ignoring her offering, so I smiled extra cheesily and said “no thanks!” in the most cheery way I could possibly say such a thing.
Of course, throughout the store, I began thinking of the danish and how delicious it would be. Naturally, I decided to try my hand at making a sugar, wheat and gluten free variety.
The tiny pastries border on a tender cookie, but I swear, they taste so much like the sugar and wheat-laden thing you’ll swear by them. You could potentially bulk up the dough and make them larger and bake them longer, but I think these “minis” are perfect as is. The best part is these pastries are a great source of protein, healthy fats and fiber, and they taste great!
Grain Free, Gluten Free and Sugar Free Cheese Danish Pastries
Recipe amended 02/23/2013 to decrease salt content.
-2 oz. softened cream cheese
-2 oz. salted organic pastured grass fed butter, cut into small cubes
-1 T organic non-hydrogenated palm shortening
-1 C almond flour
– 1/4 C coconut flour
-3/4 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 C Swerve sweetener (or erythritol)
-2 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 egg yolk
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-Tiny pinch of salt (less than 1/8 tsp.)
-1/4 C Swerve (or erythritol)
-2 T granulated xylitol
-1/4 tsp. guar or xanthan gum (optional)
-1-2 T sugar-free fruit preserves (optional)
-1 oz. softened (almost melted) cream cheese
-2 T Swerve powdered (or powdered erythritol)
-1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 T organic heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, prepare dough ingredients. Combine almond and coconut flours, cream cheese, butter, shortening, baking powder and salt and use a fork or pastry blender. Use pastry blending device to cut the cold butter, cream cheese and shortening into the flours to create a thick dough.
3. Add in vanilla, Swerve and egg and mix with a large spoon until a light dough forms.
4. Use a 1 oz. scoop to make golf ball sized balls of dough 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet.
5. Flatten each pastry with the back of a greased spoon. Using your fingers, very, very, very lightly create shallow wells in each pastry, bringing up a small lip or outer crust along the outside. Each pastry should be about 2 1/2 inches around once flattened. The dough is very, very tender, so you must use a very light touch to do this.
6. Place pastries, unfilled, in the oven on the middle rack and pre bake for about five minutes. Prepare the filling while you wait.
7. Place softened cream cheese, egg yolk, vanilla, salt, Swerve, xylitol and gum (if you’re using it) in a small bowl and beat either with an electric mixer or hand beaters until very smooth and creamy. Mixture will be thin.
8. Remove pastries from oven. Allow to cool for a few moments and use a finger once again to very lightly press the wells down a bit more if they’ve risen. You want to make sure you have nice sized wells for the filling.
9. Fill each pastry with approx. one teaspoon of cheese filling. It should be full, but not overflowing. If desired, place a dollop of sugar free fruit preserves (I used peach and raspberry) in the middle of the filling.
10. Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until the centers are firm but not cracked and the crust is a light golden brown.
11. Allow to cool on the pan for 15 minutes before moving. Prepare the glaze while you wait.
12. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, Swerve, vanilla and heavy cream and mix until smooth and no lumps remain. Use a hand beaters if you can.
13. Pour the glaze into a baggie (of, if you have one, a small pastry bag), twist it closed into a makeshift pastry bag and cut a teeny, tiny hole in the bottom corner. Drizzle the glaze over each pastry.
14. Move pastries to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. If you like, these are also yummy when warm.
Nutrition (makes 15 pastries): 100 calories, 3 g carb, 1 g fiber, (2 g net carbs), 3 g protein, 9 g fat