Challah Cheese Flowers

How do you turn challah dough into pure Danish delight? This is how! This is a fun project to make with some extra challah dough. Whip up a simple cream cheese filling and easily shape these challahs into beautiful cheese Danish flowers. Is it dessert? Is it the meal? Does it matter? The kids will feel like they’re eating a treat, the adults will wash it down with coffee, and everyone will be happy. This recipe is a sneak peek from my upcoming cookbook, “Rising! The Book of Challah for KIDS” (March 22/Feldheim Publishing).
Yield: 8-12 cheese flowers
24-36 ounces classic or brioche dough
1 egg yolk
8 ounces J&J brick cream cheese, softened
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pearl sugar or Belgian waffle sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
In a medium bowl, beat egg yolk, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to thicken.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll a 3-ounce piece of dough into a ball, then flatten with your palm.
Grease the bottom of a small (½-2” diameter) shot glass and place into the center, holding it down firmly (you want to make a deep indent, but not cut through to the bottom).
Using a knife or bench scraper, make 9 cuts from the glass to the outer edge to create a “fringe” of 10 pieces.
Pinch together each set of 2, creating a flower with 5 petals.
Remove the shot glass and brush the entire flower with an egg glaze, then scoop a rounded tablespoon of filling into the center of each flower.
Sprinkle pearl sugar or Belgian waffle sugar in the center of the cheese filling, if desired.
Bake for 25 minutes. The cheese filling will set while cooling.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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