I often see danish pastries on breakfast buffet tables or in pretty displays at the supermarket, but they never taste as good as homemade. And the problem with homemade Danishes is that they can often be quite complicated and time consuming to pull off. Thankfully, this homemade version couldn’t be easier. Thanks to Bisquick baking mix and a few quick shortcuts, this beautiful and delicious pastry can be on your table (and in your belly) in under an hour.
To make this pastry, let’s start with the dough. Assemble your ingredients: Bisquick, sugar, salt, cold butter and milk.
In a large bowl, combine the Bisquick, sugar and salt. Add the butter and use a pastry blender to cut into the dry ingredients until it’s the size of small peas.
Add the milk and stir until it forms a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gently knead it until it comes together into a ball. Shape it into a rough square, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
To assemble the Danish braid, you’ll need the chilled dough, cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, orange and fresh or frozen cranberries.
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and orange zest until smooth.
On a lightly floured sugar, roll out the dough into a long rectangle about 9 x 15 inches. Trim the edges so they’re straight and carefully transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Measure the rectangle into thirds and gently score dough with a knife or pizza wheel to use as a guideline (do not slice all the way through). Then, cut slanted strips one inch wide into each side. Remove the top and bottom triangles of dough.
Spread the cream cheese filling onto the center section of the dough and top with cranberries. Alternating sides, criss-cross the strips of dough over the filling, creating a braided look.
Brush with egg wash and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.
Let the Danish cool slightly; then drizzle with a simple icing made from powdered sugar, milk or cream and vanilla extract. Let the icing firm up for a few minutes before serving, and then enjoy!