I have wanted to work with Puff Pasty dough for like a year now and finally the opportunity presented itself in the form of Ina Garten’s Easy Cheese Danish recipe. I saw her make them on her show, and then realized I also had a copy of the recipe in my Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Since I was in town for Memorial Day I made them for breakfast on Saturday morning and wow, they are amazing!


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (I used fat free)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese (also used fat free)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (I got Peppridge Farm’s brand, you can get them in the frozen section of any grocery store)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or you can use your trusty Silpat like me).

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!


Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. I actually don’t have a rolling pin so I didn’t even roll the dough, and it was fine, I just put it on a floured surface (the flour is necessary so it won’t stick).


Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash.


Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. It’s amazing how much they puff up. Serve warm.