Honey Nut Danish Braid

 An easy, yet absolutely delicious, flaky and buttery Danish braid filled with a light almond cream, honey and walnuts. Fear homemade Danishes no longer because if we can do it, so can you!

HONEY ALMOND DANISH

I have to admit, I was pretty intimidated to me attempt a danish braid. They always look so pretty and so perfect… little did I know how easy they are to make. And now that I’ve done it, I know you can do it too 🙂

I attached a video below that I found to be super helpful when I was trying to learn the braiding technique. The most important part is to make sure you don’t cut the pieces of the braid too long because if the slits are too far long, then when you bake the danish, the filling will most likely spill out all over the place. (Trust me on this one.)

Let’s talk filling.

I have a thing for almond anything… especially those Bubbie’s almond cookies that I’ve been trying to get the recipe for… (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, Bubbie!). You see, Bubbie and I have the same taste for sweets: sugar cookies (heavy on the icing), oatmeal cream pies, and ALMOND anything. Almond extract to be exact. Almond extract doesn’t taste exactly like eating almonds. It’s more like vanilla extract— it’s a similar flavor, but somehow more. Warmer, sweeter, nuttier and a little bit stronger.

When buying almond extract, I recommend going for a “pure” version rather than an imitation version. Imitation extract smells the same, but doesn’t have quite the same burst of flavor, especially once mixed into a batter and baked. This is one of those pantry staples where I think it’s worth buying the real thing despite the extra cost.

Spoiler alert: Did you know that the reason wedding cakes are so good is because they have almond extract in them!

Now that I have filled your mind with the fact that I love almond extract and why I think it’s so important… you could probably have guessed that my favorite danish filling is almond.

HONEY ALMOND DANISH 1

So I present you with the most amazing almond filling… the filling is so delicious you don’t even need to make your own pastry dough. The almond filling takes center stage and makes up for any “store-bought” stigmas. For the almond filling you’ll need sugar, ground almonds, butter, eggs and salt. That’s it! I added honey and walnuts along with the filling in the braid and that combination totally sent this danish braid over the top. The walnuts give a little extra crunch and the honey leaves you with those sticky fingers that we all know and love.

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What I love most about this recipe is that it is perfect for anytime and anywhere… whether you have family in town and need an easy make ahead breakfast, or you have a potluck to attend, or even just a good ‘ole craving for something sweet on your breakfast table.

HONEY ALMOND DANISH 3

P.S. I’m all about shortcuts, but if you are looking for a completely homemade danish braid… feel free to make your own danish dough recipe and fill it with my almond filling. 🙂

Enjoy!

Honey Nut Danish Braid

 An easy, yet absolutely delicious, flaky and buttery Danish braid filled with a light almond cream, honey and walnuts. Fear homemade Danishes no longer because if we can do it, so can you!

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 box (2 sheets) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds, processed in a blender into an almond meal
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temp, sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup almonds

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Directions:

To make the almond filling:

  • In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, combine sugar, almond meal and salt, until well incorporated.
  • Blend in the butter and then add the egg. Mix on med/high speed until the whole mixture is creamy and fluffy. The mixture will take about 3-5 minutes to become thick and fluffy – the mixture should be more white in color than yellow. If it looks yellow, keep beating until it becomes more white and thick. Set aside.

To make the danish braid:

  • Take the pastry sheet out from the refrigerator and unfold onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll out your pastry sheet to make a 12×6 inch rectangle.
  • Cut off two corners at the top of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end to create a flap. (see video in original post for more detail)
  • Spread 1/2 of the filling down the length of the center of the strip. Drizzle with honey and top with 1/4 cup of walnuts. Cut slanting strips (1-2 inch in width each) along both sides with a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter. Make sure to leave some uncut/unfilled space between the filling and the slits or else the filling will spill out when the danish bakes.
  • Beat the egg wash ingredients together. Brush the strips with egg wash and plait (braid) the strips together. When you get to the bottom, fold the end up to “seal” the filling in and allow the braid to rest for 15-20 minutes as you preheat your oven. (For further detail on how to plait the danish refer to the video in the original post.)
  • Repeat with the second pastry filling and the rest of the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Brush the top of the danish braids with more egg wash. There will be enough egg wash for both braids. The egg wash gives your pastry that glossy finish.
  • Bake each braid for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan halfway through to ensure the braid is browns evenly.
  • Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Drizzle with more honey, slice, and enjoy! The danish is best served on the first day, but it keeps in an air tight container for up to 4 days.