Though Americans cannot take credit for inventing the Danish (we clearly have Denmark to thank for that!), we still love it nonetheless. And why wouldn’t we? Like palmiers, Danishes are made from laminated dough. That means that we start our Danishes by alternating layers of butter and dough (made from flour, milk, sugar, eggs, salt, yeast, and butter) on top of each other. After we customize the Danishes with some sort of filling (our choices include almond, apple, cheese, cream cheese, raisin custard, sweet potato, and taro), we stick them in the oven then sit back and start salivating.
What will drive you crazy is the aroma. There’s something utterly intoxicating about the smell of sugar and melted butter. It’s the same drool-inducing scent that wafts from every Cinnabon. Try not to hang around the oven for too long – the aroma will start to mess with your mind. You’ll spiral into a Danish-tortured state where you obsess over what the pastry will look like, what it will taste like, etc. Physically, you’ll lose control over your jaw and drooling mechanism. It’s happened to us before. Don’t let it happen to you.
After what feels like an eternity, the pastries emerge with a glistening, sugary glaze that shimmers in the light and beckons to you. They’ve got you in their grip – you’re completely entranced, and your eyes grow large like saucers. You grab one Danish and slowly pull at its edge – the outer layer gives way easily. You put the morsel in your mouth. It tastes just as good as it smells. The sugary glaze immediately cracks and dissolves on your tongue. You don’t even have to start chewing, and the flaky, buttery layers of dough begin to melt. What stands out most for you is how moist everything is. It’s ironic that a treat so sinful tastes so heavenly. The plump devil on your shoulder tells you to inhale all of the buttery goodness in one bite. The slender angel on your other shoulder advises you to walk away. But there’s no contest here. As you work your way outside in, you finally reach the prize – the filling. Whether it’s cream cheese or taro, the smooth, creamy center just pushes the pastry over the top and sends you straight into the Devil’s lair.
Sure, a Danish is not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s so worth it. We’ll even go as far as to say that you haven’t experienced life until you’ve experienced the Danish. It’s just one pastry. So for just a few moments, forget your health resolutions and your fiber cookies. Take a walk to the dark side. We all know it tastes good to be bad.