Back at Christmas time I was working hard on candy cane danishes and a friend of mine mentioned using Nutella as the filling. That was all I needed, the light bulb went off and here we have our double danish, which just so happens to look like a heart and is perfect for Valentine’s Day. I made one danish the classic way, as I did for Christmas. The new danish I made was almost identical except for substituting marshmallow fluff for Nutella. By having one of each danish you’re getting the best of both worlds with both the classic and Nutella flavors. First up, if you wish to make the double danish, with both flavors, click here for the recipe for the classic danish. The recipe below is for the Nutella danish, if you would like your whole double danish heart to be Nutella, be sure to double all ingredients. Same goes if you wish for the whole danish to be classic, you would double that recipe as well.
1 can original crescent dough
3/4 cup fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons plain cream cheese
3 tablespoons Nutella
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar, divided
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
Serves 5 (per danish)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next, lay a giant piece of parchment paper directly onto your counter. Slice your fresh strawberries in a small bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon orange juice and set aside, this will help your berries to macerate (become sweeter and softer, releasing their juices to make a light sauce consistency). Now you will open up your dough and cut each triangle crescent roll in half lengthwise. Starting at the bottom of your parchment paper, (be sure leave about an inch for when you move this to your baking sheet) layer your half triangles overlapping slightly until you use your whole tube of crescent rolls. Next, pinch together and smush your overlapping dough pieces to form a surface for your filling, try to keep your straight end as even as possible. In a small bowl mix together the Nutella and cream cheese until smooth, then spread evenly onto the flat long rectangular dough space you just created. Next, evenly pour your berry mixture on top of your Nutella and cream cheese mixture. Now things get a little tricky, starting again at the bottom fold over your skinny dough pieces one by one, pinching or tucking any remaining dough to the opposite side as you go. Repeat this method until all of your dough pieces are folded over. Ok, time to make this look like a candy cane (then a heart), I feel with any baking there comes a time for prayer or crossing fingers, this is that time. Slowly and gently, either using just your hands, or a really flat spatula take the top of your danish and begin to curve it. A good marker for me is to bend with about 5 sections left at the top for your curved edge of the candy cane shape. If it all falls apart when you go to move it don’t freak, just try your best to reshape it using the dough on the outsides and connecting those pieces back as best you can. Once you’re happy with your shape trim your parchment paper with scissors to fit your baking sheet, then place your baking sheet next to the danish on the counter. Melt your 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the microwave and brush over all the dough surfaces, tops and sides, then sprinkle with remaining sugar. Next gently slide your danish onto the baking sheet by pulling the parchment paper. This method works a lot better than trying to pick up your entire long danish. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, then place on the stove top or covered counter to cool. A good 5-10 minutes should do it. While the danish cools, make your icing. Mix 1 tablespoon powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon milk. This will make a nice thick icing to top your danish; I only drizzle our icing on the dough parts, not the filling, if you want more icing be sure to double the recipe and drizzle away. If you haven’t already baked your second danish, do so now while this one cools. Now it’s time to turn this into a heart. In order to make a perfect heart you will also need to curve the long sides of your danish as well. You can see above my heart was not perfect, however that’s not what cooking is about, at least not to me. The danish will taste good no matter what shape it turns out to be and that’s what really matters. However, if you would like to go for the perfect heart shape, as soon as your danish comes out of the oven, while it’s still hot on the baking sheet, VERY carefully using the edge side of a butter knife start to tilt the bottom of the danish. Pushing slowly on the outside of the danish to curve it ever so slightly. This will help to make the point at the end of your heart fit together better with the other danish.
Be sure to serve warm and enjoy. If you have any leftovers seal in air tight container and keep in the fridge, be sure to eat within 3 days.
The tricky part with turning these into a heart, is to be sure you curve each danish in a different direction. This way your heart will come together and look the way it is supposed to. For reference I curved the top of my Nutella danish to the right, and my classic danish to the left. Now remember if your shape gets all messed up, or you’re unable to curve the bottom of the candy cane shape to your liking, just feel free to make two candy canes and overlap them to get your heart shape. You can always just chop the bottoms off to get the desired shape you want. Again, novelty is great and a lot of fun when cooking, but taste reigns supreme and you will have that no matter what. So have some fun making this heart for your sweetheart!