Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Danish

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Boy, did I have a weekend. I had one of those weekends where I write profuse amounts of advice to myself as I seethe somewhere between feeling adamantly certain I’ve ruined my children entirely, and completely confident that everything {EVERYTHING!} I am doing must be changed and changed quick, lest I sink into a trough of human incapability.
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You see, the kids do not put their socks anywhere near the dirty clothes basket. They do not hang their backpacks on the convenient white hooks hubby so carefully drilled into the walls. Nor do they have any desire to move their soiled cups and plates across the three-inch chasm which stretches from kitchen table to kitchen sink.
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Tonight we went for a peaceful, Sunday evening stroll around the neighborhood and it was neither peaceful, nor was it a stroll, seeing as how it started with one child sobbing that they couldn’t ride in the wagon, and ended with two other children crying because they had to ride in the wagon.
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Clearly, my whimsical soul has landed itself right into judgment day. All of my loosey-goosey optimism has arrived at a wildly unorganized end. It’s time to change, I’ve decided. Time to regiment!, I insist to myself, head nodding firmly, shoulders thrown back. Confident in my ability to be stern! firm! insistent! I vow that changes will happen. Children will be trained.
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I order and organizer online. I scribble myself a bullet list of ideas for my troops, all of which will be implemented immediately, unmercifully, and without fail.
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After all, socks must be tucked away! Backpacks ought be hung. Dishes shall be today and hereafter and forevermore cleared by the very hands which pressed the uneaten red potatoes and roasted turkey into a conglomerate of roadkilled remains upon them.
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Yes! Yes! Yes! This is it! I can feel it! A change is in the air. My children will, in no time at all see that I mean serious business. They will learn what is important. They will respect my worthy orders. They will pick up, shape up, clean up, I say. And, when I say it, it feels like truth, and it feels good.
*
I walk upstairs at bedtime, ready to make it happen. The girls room is a bungle of lady-like debris. Books and barbies scattered about, easter candy wrappers on the bedside table, a heap of unmade blankets piled atop their beds. I stride my clever self over, finger pointed, mouth ready to mention orders when I see a seven-year-old beauty, brown lashes closed over tired eyes, a sigh cooing with every exhale from cupie lips.
*
I drop and give her twenty smothering kisses on chocolate-stained cheeks, nuzzle myself uncontrollably into her windblown hair. I tuck myself around other daughter, deeply enjoying the beginnings of a new book. She should be cleaning. Really she should.
*
Make her get up, I insist to myself. Get her to put her matching pajama pants on.
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I crawl up next to her, instead, insisting she tell me about the riveting storyline she’s reading.
The goodnight routine in the boys room goes similarly. One asks for a tickle and wants to talk about Shakespeare plays even as a stack of papers flutters from his nightstand. The other gives me his coupon for 30 extra minutes before bedtime, and we shuffle UNO cards on the rolling heap of his unmade bed. I step over two mismatched shoes and a pair of underwear lying on the floor as I blow them a goodnight wish.
*
Climbing into my own bed, I smooth a new sheet of paper on my lap, poise my pen for impending instructions. In light of recent bedtime events, it appears clear I need to revamp my strategy. I reflect on the table full of dirty dishes, feel the frustration of unhung backpacks and unmade beds. The chaos of a weekend such as this makes me feel like a misguided mother–in serious need of order and organization.
*
But then, I remember the view from my back porch this morning, where four stocking-footed children ran themselves silly, trying to get their Easter kites sky bound in the March wind. I realize, as much as I’d like those socks plopped into the hamper when they are finished being used, it is springtime and the days are getting warmer. So, I make myself a plan which I think will be much, much more effective than the last one. A plan to implement it immediately, unmercifully, and without fail…
*
Plan B: Buy flipflops.

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Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Danish

A simple, sweet cream cheese filling, flecked with the mild zest of meyer lemons, then wrapped in the embrace of a rich, buttery bread. Top it off with a generous lemon-spiked drizzle, the scent of which will remind you of thyme scented tangerines, and you’ve got a beautiful breakfast offering, or the most pleasant of treats to set upon a dessert table. This recipe will make three braids. Do be careful not to overcook them, follow the cooking time impeccably to ensure the dough does not become overly brown and overly dry tasting.
1 1/2 c. very warm water
2 T. yeast
1/2 c. honey
3 eggs
1/2 c. powdered milk
2 t. salt
6-8 c. white flour
1 c. butter, frozen then grated
In a large bowl, combine water and yeast. Allow to proof for a few minutes, then stir in the honey, eggs, powdered milk and salt. Slowly begin to add the white flour, mixing in just enough to make the bread kneadable but not sticky. As you knead, slowly add the grated butter to the dough, working it through until the dough becomes elastic. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Cut dough into three equal portions. Roll one section out into a large, flat rectangle (about 1/4 inches thick. Use a knife to cut approximately 1/2 inch slits down each side of the rolled dough. Fill the center with cream cheese filling, then “braid” the sides of the dough over the center of the filling by alternately pulling a strip across the center and carefully pinching it in place. Transfer to a greased baking sheet. If desired, mix a single egg yolk with 1 Tbsp. of water and brush it across the outside of the uncooked danish. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or just until the edges of the pastry begin to barely, barely brown. Glaze with Meyer Lemon glaze. Enjoy!
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Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
I love this simple filling, which cooks up warm and soft inside the danish dough. If you can’t find meyer lemons, regular lemons will do just fine here, as well.
16 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. sugar
Zest of 4 Meyer lemons
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients with an electric mixer until very smooth.
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Meyer Lemon Glaze
Though traditional lemons will substitute beautifully into this recipe, do try to find Meyer lemons if you can. There is something so intoxicating about their sunny orange peels and thyme-laced scent. I set them upon my kitchen ledge for three days just because looking at them made me somehow fulfilled. Imagine that?! To feel a sense of accomplishment because one purchases a gorgeous bag of lemons. Either I am significantly too content with myself, or these lemons are full of mystical endorphins. Either way, they make a light, glorious glaze. One with which, I am sure, you will be mystically contented.
Juice of 4 Meyer Lemons
3-4 c. powdered sugar
4 T. melted butter
In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together until smooth. Pipe over a cooled danish for a sparkling touch of flavor.

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Tune in tomorrow for a special video post wherein I spill some of my finest cheeky secrets for making gorgeous cakes and cupcakes.
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15 Responses to “Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Danish”

  1. 1

    Holly on April 5, 2010 at 12:11 am Reply

    Love this post, thank you!

  2. 2

    Dee on April 5, 2010 at 8:49 am Reply

    Were you in my house this weekend? I have the same issues with socks, backpacks and dishes. I keep thinking.. Oh their poor wives, I've ruined them! I think that is every mother's dilema, but you posted about it so beautifully!

  3. 3

    Jamica on April 5, 2010 at 9:20 am Reply

    You've been reading my journal again, haven't you. Thanks for capturing my emotions so completely!

  4. 4

    Natasha on April 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm Reply

    Oh I totally know how you feel.
    We went for a family walk (we drove to it!) With the girls squabbling and crying the Daddy shouting and me crying from tiredness. We passed a family all out on their bikes and I felt a pang of jealousy at how fit and healthy and happy they seemed!

  5. 5

    tickledred on April 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm Reply

    What a sweet, truthful, realistic account :) Snuggling is always better. Love your Plan B.
    PS: I like the new look.

  6. 6

    Memória on April 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm Reply

    Cool! I made lemon-lime danish braids a few days ago. Your danish looks so refreshing!

  7. 7

    screwdestiny on April 6, 2010 at 12:42 am Reply

    Springtime is deeply depressing in Wyoming. It's been snowing all day and currently feels like 9 degrees outside. I wonder why God hates this state so. Maybe that danish would cheer me up. It certainly looks wonderful.

  8. 8

    Jas. on April 6, 2010 at 5:09 am Reply

    I love this post…

  9. 9

    Federica on April 6, 2010 at 9:03 am Reply

    mmmmmmmmmm..che goloso!

  10. 10

    Ginny on April 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm Reply

    Will you be my mommy? lol. Not that you'd be near old enough for the job… but I'm very happy that somebody's kids somewhere get to have you as a mother. :)

  11. 11

    madebymegs on April 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm Reply

    Thanks for this lovely recipe. I am going to try and make this. Your pictures are so refreshing :)

  12. 12

    Cumorah on April 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm Reply

    My dear Brooke…I love the danish…and I loathe socks. We must get together – we apparently have so very much in common. You can read about my short and simple sock woes here: dcmcomber.blogspot.com
    Ciao!

  13. 13

    brittany on April 12, 2010 at 8:57 am Reply

    We're like 2 peas in a pod, you and me. I can't tell you how many times I've had a day just like that and vow similar vows.

    Then the reality of flighty and romantic me comes back into play, and I just can't impliment the regiment I see in other families.

    But it's okay. I'm glad that I can see the benefits of the creative lifestyle. We can only be who we are, right? I'm glad you share yourself with us here. You're some good fun:)

  14. 14

    Jaime Richardson on April 15, 2010 at 11:08 pm Reply

    Love the photograph with the blue bowl, Brooke. It looks like a still life painting. Nice composition.

  15. 15

    Jaime Richardson on April 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm Reply

    Oh, and very well written, too.

    Hey, Brooke, why is this comment thing making me use my Blogger account? It won't let me just use my name and URL anymore. And for some reason, that OpenID thing never works for me.

    Hope you're doing great! Call me.

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