Cinnamon Cream Cheese Open Danish

Cinnamon Open Danish -- A Pinch of Joy
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Open Danish -- A Pinch of Joy

Officially these cinnamon cream cheese treats are called Cinnamon Cream Cheese Open Danish.  Cinnamon Flats is the name Wheels gave them and how they are known around our house.  Leaving off the top layer usually given a Danish and spreading the dough in a larger jelly roll pan instead of a 9×13 reduces the carb count without reducing the deliciousness.  You could serve these for breakfast.   You could probably also eat them at lunch – I’m pretty sure you can.  Maybe even serve them for a  brunch or a tea party.   We use them for dessert at dinner.  Cinnamon and cream cheese baked on a crescent roll base – good any time. 

I use Pillsbury Crescents.  And I prefer the sheets, if they are available.  If not, just be sure to pat the perforations closed.  (This is a great job for little hands.)  Mixing the cream cheese until it is light and somewhat fluffy allows you to spread it more easily on the dough.  You can substitute Neufachetal Cheese (which is lower in fat) but I use Philadephia Cream Cheese.  Let cool about ten minutes before cutting.  These are really good when served hot, but they are also good the second day.  Warm about 30 seconds in the microwave before devouring.  Actually, I like them better the second day as the cream cheese is a little more firm and the flavors have developed more deeply.   Bytes likes to spread a bit of strawberry or grape jelly on them.

This is a quick and easy recipe which will serve more than one meal (or feed hearty eaters).  We are getting ready to take the kitchen out of commission for a while (I’m so excited!)  so you’re likely to see quick n easy and slow cooker recipes for the next weeks. 

Consider yourself warned :-)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Open Danish

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 20 servings

Serving Size: 3\\\" x 3\\\"

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Open Danish

Creamy cinnamony -- so good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time, brunch time, anytime!


  • 2 packages crescent rolls
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Unroll the two packages of crescent roll dough and pat out across an ungreased 11x15 jellyroll pan.
  3. Place the cream cheese, vanilla and ¾ cup sugar in medium mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture across the crescent roll dough.
  5. Mix together the ½ cup sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Melt butter in the microwave and spoon or pour over the cinnamon sugar layer.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

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Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce

Apple dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce -- A Pinch of Joy
Apple dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce -- A Pinch of Joy
Apple Dumplings are one of my very favorite desserts.  Absolutely adore them!!!  And who wouldn’t?  Great apple taste and texture wrapped in flaky crust and baked in a cinnamon butter sauce.  Serve warm.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to take the dessert to celestial levels.  Let cool and serve with an extra spoonful of syrup from the pan for cinnamon zing.  Refrigerate and have for breakfast.  Except there won’t be any left overnight unless you hide it in a Velveeta box — cooled and wrapped well. :-)   Not that I would ever use that trick. 

Apple dumplings are not a quick fix.  But they are SO worth the bit of time and effort!!!  Especially for a special treat for a holiday.  Or a special someone.  Or a family in need of a WOW!   They are, however,  straightforward and easy to make.

Step 1 Start with your favorite pie crust — home made or purchased.  If you buy piecrust, there is always the problem of getting from two circles of dough to one long rectangle.  Problem solved this way:  Lay the two circles side by side on your rolling surface with about an inch of overlap in the middle.  Cut an inch off the top of each circle and place in the “indentations” as shown.  Repeat for the bottom.  Press the patches and middle seam together. 

Step 2Roll out 2
Roll the pie crust into a long rectangle.   The finished rectangle will be about ten inches by twenty four inches.  See the original recipe card in the photo?  Those brown cinnamon  stains certify this is a gooooood recipe.

Step 3 Measure
Get out your ruler.  Leave blue tape on it so you can spot it on the dark counter in the photo — optional :- I’m usually not this picky but this is actually the “lazy” way to make sure the dumplings are all adequately covered with crust.   Cut the rectangle in half, which gives you two strips of pie crust about 4.5 inches wide.   Cut each strip into five even pieces about 4.5 inches long.  Measurements do not have to be precise but you will need about 4.5 inches square to cover the apple. (A table knife from my dinnerware has a blade exactly 4.5 inches long and they are easier to find than a ruler in a houseful of project people.  Might work for you, too. )

Step 4 Peeled apples
I like sweet so I always choose something like Gala, Honeycrisp, even Red Delicious apples over Granny Smith or other tart apples.  Some people like the contrast of the tart apple with the sweet syrup.  Feel free to use my share of tart!   Coz I’m not gonna use it!  This also shows my hybrid method of peeling.  A lot of the nutrients are in the peel and I hate to throw them away.  But trying to cut through a dumpling with a lot of peel inside is a little messier than this dessert deserves.  Even desserts need to be able to reach their full potential.  Especially desserts, come to think of it.  So I take off about half the peel.   Compromise is an art.

Step 5 Halved and Cored Cut each of five apples in half and remove the core.

Step 6 Half apples
Yeah, I know I told you to cut the dough earlier.  I took this picture while I was sizing everything up.  You can wait till you have the apples ready before you cut the dough, if you want.  Not trying to be bossy here! Place apples round side down on the crust.  Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and spoon about half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar into the cavity of each apple half.  Top with a pat of butter and a dash of nutmeg. 

Step 7 Fold Pastry Fold the corners of the square to the center of each apple half.  For a medium apple halved, the 4.5 inch square should meet in the middle.  You will have a pretty classic apple dumpling!   But we all know that pretty happens only about 50% of the time in life.  You’ve never had a bad hair day?  Your dumplings will all be perfect, I’m sure!  When apple dumplings have a bad hair day — say the crust won’t quite meet because the apple is bigger or the crust tears  or some other unpretty thing — there is a solution.  Turn that bad boy over so the smooth crust covered curve is on top and press all the problems to the underneath.   I told you this was my favorite dessert! 

Step 8 Pour syrup
Be sure to boil the cinnamon sauce for three minutes before pouring over and around the dumplings.  I like to add red food coloring for visual appeal, but it is certainly optional.  Yield is ten servings.  Great for a group.  But if you need a smaller amount,  you can freeze what is not needed for immediate use.   Just don’t wait too long before popping the packages into the freezer.  The contents will disappear.

Step 9

Bake until lightly golden and syrup has thickened somewhat. Cool a bit so the tender dumplings don’t fall apart as you take them from the pan.  

Step 10 Put a fork in it
Put a fork in it.  The world falls away while you are in the midst of the Aurora Borealis and harp music.

Step 11 mmmmm
The proper ending for an apple dumpling. . . .

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Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce

Yield: 10

Serving Size: 1 dumpling

Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Sauce

Apple wrapped in flaky crust and baked to perfection in cinnamon sauce!


  • Pastry for 2 crust 9” pie
  • 5 apples
  • 1-2 Tablespoons butter for pat on each apple half
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, approximate, divided into dash for each butter pat
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons butter for sauce


  1. Roll out pastry into rectangle and cut into 4.5 inch squares.
  2. Place peeled and cored apple half on each square, cavity up.
  3. Mix cinnamon and sugar and put ½ teaspoon of mixture into each apple cavity.
  4. Add water to remaining cinnamon and sugar, add 3 tablespoons butter and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and boil for three minutes. Remove from heat promptly.
  5. In the meantime, add a pat of butter to each apple cavity.
  6. Sprinkle each half apple with a dash of nutmeg – about 1/8 teaspoon each.
  7. Bring pastry points to middle of apple, pressing to seal.
  8. Place in 9x13 baking pan.
  9. Pour hot cinnamon sauce over and around apple dumplings.
  10. Bake at 425 for 40-45 minutes until lightly golden and syrup has thickened somewhat.
  11. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!

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Linking up to these awesome parties here and, [Read more...]

Super Delicious Big Batch Cookies

Super Delicious Big Batch Cookies - A Pinch of Joy
Super Delicious Big Batch Cookies  - A Pinch of Joy

In high school, my brother JayCee did farm work for a family in our community.  He worked hard and long hours, eating with the family to save time.  These delicious cookies were a speciality of the lady of the house and JayCee would come home raving over them every time they appeared. Super delicious!  Best darn cookies ever made, he declared.    The recipe eventually made it home and was tried with great expectation.  JayCee was right!  Crunchy, crispy but not hard.  Every fabulous flavor we all liked. Thick and kind of chewy.  Super delicious!   Best darn cookies ever! 

I’ve made them to rave reviews ever since.  Bytes and his brother loved them; so did Wheels.  Cookie exchange hosts asked for them.  They make a great addition to a Christmas cookie tray.  Or to a bake sale table.  Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you.  These are quick and easy to make, too.  Would a busy farm wife make them if they weren’t? 

I gather up all the ingredients on the counter before starting.  I measure, add and put away the ingredient packages as I go.  Works great.   I have tweaked it a bit.  The original recipe called for  cup  of brown sugar, but reducing by a quarter of a cup still gives flavor and allows the cookie to still brown nicely.  Cream of tartar is a by product of winemaking – the sediment left in the barrel following fermentation.  It’s acidity works with baking soda to cause the cookie to rise and to prevent sugar from crystalizing.  It’s a bit unusual to call for cream of tartar in a modern cookie recipe, but essential for this one.  Baking powder is already a mixture of soda and cream of tartar activated by the moisture of the batter or dough.  I don’t know why this recipe calls for soda and cream of tartar and not baking powder – but decided not to mess with success! 

I often use parchment paper for baking cookies to keep them from sticking to the cookie sheet, but these don’t need that because of the oil.  They can be a bit tender and break apart while hot, so if you have trouble moving cookies to the cooling rack, parchment paper can be lifted off with the cookies still on it.  Remove cookies from paper when cool. 

These also make great gifts to welcome new folks to the neighborhood!  I’m looking forward to meeting the new neighbors across the street that have worked magic with the big yard and house before moving in even!  They get a box of cookies and a welcome note from the neighborhood association.     And you can download a copy of the welcome card!  

To save this recipe to your ZipList Recipe Box, click the blue button.  To find out about ZipList and how it can make life easier for you, click here.

Super Delicious Big Batch Cookies

Yield: 8 dozen cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Super Delicious Big Batch Cookies

A unique crispy shortbread type cookie textured with oatmeal, coconut and chocolate chips. Super delicious treat!


  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. In large mixer bowl, blend butter/margarine, oil and sugars until there are no lumps.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, beat well.
  4. Measure 1 cup of flour and add to mixture, blending well.
  5. Measure second cup of flour, and soda, salt and cream of tartar and mix well again.
  6. Add remaining flour, coconut and oatmeal and mix well.
  7. Stir in crisp rice cereal and chocolate chips.
  8. Bake on ungreased and/or parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes, until set and golden brown on around the edges of the cookies.
  9. Let cool about 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!

Linking up to these awesome parties here and,  [Read more...]

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