Cherry Almond Danish

Cherry Almond Danish

It’s all about mom! Surprise her in bed with a warm, flaky danish and a cup of coffee. I know I would be thrilled at such a gesture. This lovely Cherry Almond Danish is made with ready-made puff pastry and can be assembled ahead of time, making it easy to have ready for the oven. With its flaky pastry, fruity filling and cream cheese layer, this danish makes for a perfect brunch item for Easter, Mother’s Day or any entertaining occasion.

Using pre-made puff pastry gives you peace of mind that it will be flaky and golden with very little effort. The cherry sauce has a hint of almond flavouring as does the sticky sweet glaze and it’s topped with toasted almonds. It’s a combination I love and it’s so easy to make, giving you no excuse not to treat that special lady or welcomed quests.

A slice of Cherry Almond Danish sits on a white plate with a fork to the side. The plate sits on a flowered cloth that is draped over a wooden tray with a cup of black coffee in the upper right corner.
Cherry Almond Danish
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
    Cook Time
    25-28 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
    Cook Time
    25-28 minutes
    A slice of Cherry Almond Danish sits on a white plate with a fork to the side. The plate sits on a flowered cloth that is draped over a wooden tray with a cup of black coffee in the upper right corner.
    Cherry Almond Danish
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
      Cook Time
      25-28 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      8 1 1/2" slices 40 minutes
      Cook Time
      25-28 minutes
      Ingredients
      Danish
      Glaze
      Servings: 1 1/2" slices
      Instructions
      Danish
      1. Combine cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until cherries are soft and syrupy about 10 minutes.
      2. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp cold water. Stir into cherries and whisk constantly over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a full boil.
      3. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
      4. Preheat oven to 425℉ and line a heavy baking sheet with parchment.
      5. In a small bowl cream together cream cheese, 1 tbsp of powdered sugar and vanilla.
      6. Lay puff pastry sheet on parchment and stretch slightly in width and length to 11-12".
      7. Using a pastry scraper or knife cut 1" wide fingers on the top and bottom third of pastry (length of fingers will be 3-4") and the centre 4" portion will be uncut (see photo).
      8. Spread cream cheese evenly along the centre uncut 4" portion of pastry.
      9. Spread cherry filling evenly on top of the cream cheese filling, leaving the fingers uncovered.
      10. Pull fingers across filling, alternating sides as you go (it's ok to have some small spaces in the pastry). Tuck any excess pastry underneath.
      11. In a small bowl whisk together egg and 1 tbsp milk or cream. Brush generously onto pastry.
      12. Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes until golden and puffed. Remove from oven to a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
      Glaze
      1. In a small bowl whisk together 1/2cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp milk or cream. Drizzle over pastry while warm and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
      2. Serve warm, cutting into 1 1/2" slices.
      Recipe Notes

      -Toast almonds in a preheated 350℉ oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring once.

      -Using a pastry cutter to cut fingers allows a clean cut without cutting through the parchment.

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      Brent’s Best Margaritas

      Brent’s Best Margaritas

      Quality tequila matters according to my brother-in-law Brent, and so does zesting the limes over the pot to catch all the oils. This is the kind of margarita making details that make all the difference. He should know as he’s been mixing up margaritas for us, the family and friends for years. It’s something we all look forward to every summer.

      We all sit patiently under an umbrellaed table, just sheltered enough from the blazing mid-afternoon sun and can hear him juicing and mixing away through the screened patio door. We wait as patiently as we can and are awarded a puckering, yet refreshing blast of lime margarita. They’re fantastic, and as you will see in the recipe, they can be served up 3 different ways. Brent was gracious enough to part with his recipe and I’ve kept it very close to his original because it’s hard to mess with a drink that’s already so darn good.

      As luck would have it, my husband was in Arizona this spring and was able to buy me a bottle of Patron at a very good price, so I was able to keep to true to quality ingredients. It comes through in the taste, as does the fresh lime juice and zest. So cheers to my brother-in-law Brent for his wonderful recipe, his gracious nature to mix and pour for us and the smiles this fantastic margarita brings to all our faces.

       

      Other great summer beverages!

      Zesty Michelada

      Apple Lime Slush

      Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

       

      Brent's Best Margaritas
      Print Recipe
        Servings
        6- 61/2 ounce servings
        Servings
        6- 61/2 ounce servings
        Brent's Best Margaritas
        Print Recipe
          Servings
          6- 61/2 ounce servings
          Servings
          6- 61/2 ounce servings
          Ingredients
          Servings: 61/2 ounce servings
          Instructions
          1. Bring water, sugar and lime zest to a full boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool completely. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept chilled.
          2. Strain chilled syrup into a medium size pitcher and stir in lime juice, lemon juice, tequila and triple sec.
          3. Combine fine sea salt and a small amount of lime zest in a shallow dish that is wide enough to fit the rim of your serving glass. Wet the edge of the glass rim with a lime wedge and dip in salt.
          4. Serving option #1 Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add 6 1/2 ounces of margarita mix and shake for 30 seconds. Pour into prepared glass and serve immediately.
          5. Serving option #2 Fill a prepared serving glass 1/4 full with ice and top with 6 1/2 ounces of margarita mix. Serve immediately.
          6. Serving option #3 Freeze margarita mix in a sealable shallow container until firm. Scoop out into a prepared serving glass and serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          The frozen version of this recipe is undiluted with ice from shaking and/or serving and therefore slightly stronger in taste.  As the slush melts it chills the glass and softens to slurpable goodness.  My favourite!

          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Spiced Coconut Loaf

          Spiced Coconut Loaf

          I can’t speak for everyone but quick breads were some of the very first things I ever baked. My earliest memory of this included making blueberry muffins from a mix. Even the blueberries were included in a small tin. Next came a lemon pudding cake, also from a mix but fondly remembered as we often had it when my grandma was visiting. Even though these first memories are baked goods from a mix, they were still the beginning of tasty things to come, like this amazing Spiced Coconut Loaf.

          This wonderful loaf is a coconut lover’s dream! It’s tender with a bit of chewiness from the coconut, lightly spiced and topped with a coconut glaze and toasted coconut. It’s one of my favourites!

          What is a quick bread?

          Quick bread is a very broad term given to any bread that is not leavened with yeast but rather other leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda. This would include baked items such as cornbread, muffins, soda bread, etc.

          They’re generally quick to prepare, require little mixing and can be baked right away. This makes quick breads easy, convenient and versatile. The varieties are endless really and they are such a great way to learn and have fun with baking.

          Want more wonderful quick bread recipes?

          Banana Bread

          Chorizo Cheddar Bread

          Chocolate Cherry Loaf

          Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted slightly from Bon Appetit Spiced Coconut Loaf Cake

          Whole baked Spiced Coconut Loaf drizzled with glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut that rests on a wire rack draped with a red checkered towel that is scattered with strawberries.
          Spiced Coconut Loaf
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            1 loaf 30-35 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            4-45 minutes 10 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            1 loaf 30-35 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            4-45 minutes 10 minutes
            Whole baked Spiced Coconut Loaf drizzled with glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut that rests on a wire rack draped with a red checkered towel that is scattered with strawberries.
            Spiced Coconut Loaf
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              1 loaf 30-35 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              4-45 minutes 10 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              1 loaf 30-35 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              4-45 minutes 10 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: loaf
              Instructions
              Loaf
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉, spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment, allowing the ends to overhang the loaf pan slightly.
              2. In a small bowl whisk together first 6 dry ingredients. Set aside.
              3. In a small bowl whisk together coconut cream and sour cream. Set aside.
              4. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddled attachment or electric mixer beat brown sugar and butter together until smooth and light. Beat in one egg at a time until incorporated.
              5. Beat in a third of the dry ingredients, and then a half of the wet ingredients, alternating thirds of the dry and half of the wet until just combined (do not overmix). Stir in coconut.
              6. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
              7. Cool for 5-10 minutes and then lift out of pan using the overhanging parchment. Peel off parchment and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
              Glaze
              1. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and coconut cream until smooth. Toast almonds in a 350℉ oven for 10-12 minutes.
              2. Drizzle glaze over loaf and garnish with toasted coconut.
              Recipe Notes

              -If you cannot find coconut cream, you can use full fat coconut milk by chilling the coconut milk to solidify the solids and pouring off a 1/4 of the liquid prior to mixing together. This will make it thicker and creamier. The coconut milk I usually buy is seperated at room temperature so no chilling is required.

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              Gluten Free Snack Bites

              Gluten Free Snack Bites

              It may not seem like it yet, in fact, as I look out my window I still see snow, frost and a cloudy sky, but hiking, camping and the general need to be outdoors will soon be upon us. I’m hopeful anyway!! With the need to be frolicking in the wilderness or simply at the skateboard park, nutritious pack along snacks are a must.  Gluten Free Snacks Bites are very tasty with bits of chewy fruit, nuts and coconut.  They’re exactly what you need to help fuel your activities. 

              Made with quinoa, oats, nut butter, nuts and dried fruit they’re a great snack to pack along, whether it’s in a lunch box or backpack.  Don’t be fooled by the quinoa!  Trust me, you won’t even know it’s there. Plus, the quinoa adds more protein and nutrition to help keep you going.

              So even though I still have to wait for the weather to improve, I can still enjoy these tasty two-bite snacks with my morning coffee. In my opinion, it’s all about being able to adapt.  Enjoy!

              Gluten Free Snack Bites
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                48 snack bites 40 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                48 snack bites 40 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Gluten Free Snack Bites
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  48 snack bites 40 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  48 snack bites 40 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: snack bites
                  Instructions
                  1. In a medium size pot over low/medium heat stir together nut butter, brown sugar, butter, honey and coconut oil until smooth and melted.
                  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough that you can put your hand on the bottom of the pot ( a good time to cook the quinoa according to package directions)
                  3. Preheat oven to 350℉ and spray mini muffin tins lightly with non-stick spray.
                  4. Add egg and vanilla, stir to combine. Mix in all remaining ingredients stirring until just combined.
                  5. Scoop batter into prepared tins using a 1-ounce cookie scoop which is about 1 1/2 tbsp.
                  6. Bake for 12 minutes and remove, allowing to cool for 5- 10 minutes in the pan prior to removing to a cooling rack.
                  7. Snack bites will keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days and up to 1 month in the freezer.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -You can make your own oat flour by pulsing oatmeal in a spice grinder.  It takes about 1 1/4 - 1 1/3 cups of oatmeal to yield 1 1/4 cups of oat flour.

                  -You don't need to chop the raisins, but I happen to like them a bit smaller as the snack bites are small and that way they don't overwhelm any bite.

                  -I've made this recipe with both almond butter and peanut butter.  Both are wonderful, it's a matter of preference.  The photos show the recipe made with almond butter.

                  -If you have only one 24 count mini muffin pan as I do, you can keep unused batter covered and chilled for up to two days and bake when ready.

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                  Earl Grey Punch

                  Earl Grey Punch

                   

                  Whether it’s for Mother’s Day, Easter, or wedding shower, Earl Grey Punch is a lovely sipper! But don’t be fooled by the name, this punch packs a punch with its white rum and apricot brandy. Only slightly subdued by a generous dose of citrus juice from limes, oranges and lemons, it’s not for your grandma’s punch bowl with the glasses hanging off the side. It’s fresh and bright with a small undertone of earthiness from the tea, making it the perfect afternoon cocktail.

                   

                  Two glasses filled with Earl Grey Punch rest on a white tray draped with a light blue cloth, orange ribbon and fresh mint.
                  Earl Grey Punch
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings
                    4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                    Servings
                    4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                    Two glasses filled with Earl Grey Punch rest on a white tray draped with a light blue cloth, orange ribbon and fresh mint.
                    Earl Grey Punch
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings
                      4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                      Servings
                      4 - 6 ounce cocktails
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: 6 ounce cocktails
                      Instructions
                      1. In a small bowl combine white rum and loose earl grey tea. Allow mixture to sit for 1-2 hours.
                      2. Strain rum and add to a small pitcher. Add remaining ingredients except for ice and mint, stir to combine.
                      3. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.

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                      Affiliate Disclosure

                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com