Crazy-Delicious Cheesy Cherry Danish


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 drop vanilla extract
1 tablespoon jet-puffed marshmallow creme
1 tablespoon fat-free whipped topping, thawed from frozen

Half an 8-ounce tub fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light vanilla soymilk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup frozen unsweetened dark sweet cherries, thawed
1 tube refrigerated seamless dough sheet or reduced-fat crescent roll dough (recommended: Pillsbury)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the icing: In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine powdered sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cold water. Mix until the ingredients have dissolved.

Add marshmallow creme and microwave for 5 seconds, or until the creme is soft enough to fold into the mixture. Stir until smooth. Add whipped topping and stir again, until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate the icing until you're ready to ice the Danish.

Cook's Note: Spray measuring spoon with nonstick spray to prevent the marshmallow creme from sticking to it.

To make the Danish: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, oats, granulated sugar, soymilk, and almond extract, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Fold in cherries and set aside. This is your filling.

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Roll out the dough on the sheet into a large rectangle of even thickness. If using crescent roll dough, pinch together perforated seams to seal. Arrange baking sheet in front of you so that the short sides are on the left and right and the long sides are on the top and bottom. Spoon the cherry filling lengthwise across the middle third of the dough, leaving 1/2-inch borders on the left and right of the filling.

Starting from the top, make 12 vertical cuts-about 1 inch apart-along the top section of the dough, stopping about 1/2 inch from the filling. Repeat with the bottom section of the dough. This will create 1-inch-wide strips of dough on both the top and bottom of the filling.

Alternate folding the 1-inch strips from the top and the bottom over the filling, covering the filling completely and creating a crisscrossed, "braided" appearance. When you reach the last few strips, cross them toward the middle of the Danish. After all the strips have been folded, fold the left and right sides of the dough in toward the filling, so the filling cannot escape, and pat firmly to seal.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until pastry is crispy and golden brown. Allow it to cool completely.

Just before serving, stir icing and drizzle it over the entire Danish. Cut Danish into 8 slices and indulge!

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