Secret Recipe Club: Danish Puff

. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was/am for this post.  I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this day to come around.

The Secret Recipe Club (SRC).  For the bloggers, many of you may know what I'm talking about.  The Secret Recipe Club was created by Amanda from Amanda's Cookin' and the 'secret' group started out with only a small handful of bloggers.  But today?  It's grown into a full blown club that requires applications, acceptance, and tight lips!

The concept is quite simple but so genius.  Every month, you get assigned a group and within that group, you are assigned a different blog.  Your responsibility is to browse through their recipes and make any one of their creations (baking or cooking).  Then, on an assigned day, you post the recipe and reveal who you're assigned blogger is.  AWESOME, huh?!  You might not share my enthusiasm but this is the first club I have joined in the blogging world AND it's been a loooong road to get here.  Okay, not long, but it required patience.  The first time I applied to join the club I was rejected because my blog was too young and I didn't have enough recipe posts.  That was a sad day.  But I kept at it, was eventually accepted, and here we are!  So for the coming months, you'll be seeing SRC posts once a month and I'm so excited!

So now for my reveal.  For my FIRST SRC post, I was assigned Cathy' blog, Wives with Knives.  Gosh, where to start with this woman!  I can't tell you how many times I ventured back to her blog, searching through her recipes and trying to get a a real sense of who she is.  I found out through her 'About' page that she's lived in Oregon's Willamette Valley for her entire life and many of her dishes come from recipes handed down through her family.  That caught me right there.  Who can resist a family tradition?!

Her recipes are simply unique and I can tell you I have yet to come across a blog like hers.  Stalking Browsing though her blog, I got this wonderful sense of German foods and the holidays.  Maybe I'm totally off what she's going for, but it's just how I felt.  For the past month I've struggled with what I was going to make from her blog because her recipes are so enticing.

To make it [a bit] easier, I decided that I was going to recreate one of Cathy's recipes that I normally wouldn't pick out on my own.  Yet again, I had some difficulty picking the final entry because her recipes are mouthwatering [check out Cathy's Dresdener Stollen, Maple Nut Coffee Twist, Dungeness Crab and Cheddar Omelet, and Cinnamon Sugar Popovers, to see what I mean].  But with the help of Robbie, I decided to make her unbelievable Danish Puff.

To start, this is a family recipe handed down from Cathy's mother.  Okay, I couldn't resist doing this recipe simply because of that.  And, of course, because Cathy labeled this as her 'favorite coffee cake.'

And now it's MY favorite coffee cake/dessert/breakfast treat.  Let's see if I can do this goodie justice.  Okay, first, it's ridiculously easy.  Beyond, beyond, beyond easy.  Convinced?  The puff looks intricate and from the way it tastes, you would think it took days.  But it maybe took me 15 to 20 minutes to put the two puffs together.

What about the flavor, you ask?  Well, the puff starts out with a simple pastry base, almost like an extremely soft butter cookie [but don't think crunchy cookie, think Melting Moment-esque].  And the base is topped with a pate a choux dough, which is what eclairs and cream puffs are made out of [if that helps at all].  I truthfully had no clue what the pate a choux was going to turn out like or taste like because I had never worked with it.  But my life will never be the same.  And then, the entire goodie is adorned with a rich glaze and toasted walnuts [if you choose!].

All together, you get an unexplainable melt-in-your-mouth, piece-of-heaven.  Just to be frank.  I will forever keep this recipe and whip it out for those special occasions.  Cathy, thank you so incredibly much this one-of-a-kind family recipe, I had an absolute blast looking through your blog!  Glad to be your newest follower ☺ .

My Notes:
  • I actually used my food processor for making the pastry base and it worked out wonderfully.  However, I put in the original directions below.
  • You can choose whether you want to use the walnuts or not.  Since I wanted to at least taste the original recipe from Cathy, I did one puff with and one puff without walnuts.  But they are equally amazing.  I will say that the walnuts completely change the flavors of the puff though, so I HIGHLY recommend trying out both variations.
  • To toast the walnuts, place the walnuts on a baking sheet in an even layer.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 350°F or until the walnuts are fragrant.
  • For the glaze, I ended up adding in an additional 2 teaspoons of water to get the consistency I was looking for.  But you can add less or more, depending on how liquidy you would like the glaze.

From Wives with Knives

Pastry Base:
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
2 tbsp. water

Pate a Choux Dough:
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. all purpose flour
3 eggs

1-1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 to 2 tbsp. water

1.  Heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.  For the pastry base, in a medium bowl, cut in butter with flour using pastry blender or your fingertips.

2.  Sprinkle water over mixture and mix well with fork.

3.  Form the mixture into a ball and divide in half.  Pat each half of the mixture with your hands into 12x3-inch strips on prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.

4.  For the pate a choux, combine butter and water.  Heat to boiling (making sure butter is all melted).

5.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  

6.  Using a whisk, mix in flour, stirring to keep from lumping.  

7.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

8.  Divide the pate a choux dough in half and spread evenly on each strip.  Bake 60 minutes or until topping is crisp and browned.

9.  For the glaze, mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and water until smooth (if needed, add 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time until glaze can be poured over coffee cakes).  Glaze coffee cakes as desired.  Top with toasted walnuts.

Yield: 2 coffee cakes


  1. This was a dish I grew up making, but haven't attempted in years! You executed it perfectly, Jess...and I know I'll have to bake it very soon :) I love Cathy's blog, too~

  2. I love danish, so I must put this on my to-bake list.

  3. Really love danish, look really amazing!! gloria

  4. Hi Jess - First, I want to tell you how happy I am to meet you and then thank you ever so much for your very kind words about my blog. There isn't a better compliment than knowing that others are enjoying my recipes. Your photos are terrific and truly show off your beautiful version of this recipe. I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

  5. Oh my! This looks amazing! My mouth is seriously watering right now...I can't wait to make this!

  6. Wow, I admire your pastry skills! Pastry is not easy to make, and you've done an amazing job with this. It looks absolutely delicious.

  7. GREAT job!!! This is a wonderful coffee cake! (Cathy is my Mom and she is an amazing cook!) =o)

  8. My family has a version of this (we're good German stock, too) that uses almond extract and sliced almonds. I haven't tried it since going gluten and dairy free. You're totally making my mouth water, though - and now I totally want to try to convert it. Super duper yum.

  9. Wow - this is a must try!! And Deanna's comment about using almond is inspired :). Thanks!

  10. I am impressed! This looks absolutely scrumptious! Great SRC post!

  11. Wow, I've been cooking for years, where has this recipe been? I love to serve brunch when my kids come home to visit. The next visitors will be served this!
    Welcome to SRC, glad you are with us!

  12. Oh yeah, this looks so wonderful. maybe someday I'll get brave enough to try making pastry kind of things.

  13. Those are beautiful! Looks incredibly scrumptious!

  14. I have tried several of Cathy's recipes! The stolen is delicious and she makes delicious crab cakes!
    Your entry looks delicious!

  15. So, I just applied to be a member of the SRC. Your enthusiasm just popped out of your post! So nice! I feel as though Cathy is a personal friend, as we've emailed back and forth. I think you captured a lot of who she is. She's talented, and a great photographer. I've made some of her recipes. I'm glad you chose this one, as I think it's going in my ever expanding "to try" pile.

  16. Jess, I've never had anything like this before. This is going straight to my "must try" list!

  17. Great job on these danish! Awesome to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. Here is my post from group C - http://su.pr/2rtACr

  18. ooo Danish Puffs!!! my mouth is watering!! I need these!! saving them now!!
    Glad to be in Group C with you

  19. I have never had these before, but that will change now that I have the recipe. Love the choux center! Bravo on your choice for SRC. Yum!

  20. I love your recipe! Would you come over to CAST PARTY WEDNESDAY tomorrow and share it with us?
    I hope to see you there!

  21. Jess that looks fantastic! I have a recipe for a Kringle which has the similar "layers" of dough. So easy and so fabulous! These look wonderful, thanks for sharing with SRC!
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets

  22. Stomach is growling!! Robbie and your co-workers are sure lucky they get to sample this!!

  23. This looks so good! I'm a new follower from Something Swanky and I love your recipes. :)
    Crazy for Crust

  24. Hi Jess, you have done a good job with SRC!, loved the step-wise clicks , I would really want to try this out, I know my kids would like it...

  25. Oh my, this looks delicious! I will have to try it. And the idea of a secret club is so fun to me. Thanks for sharing!

  26. That looks so tasty. Thanks for linking to Success U @ TheStuffOfSuccess.com

  27. I grew up with this too, but with almond flavoring and almonds on top! Love it!

  28. Holy cow! This looks amazing. I'm totally surprised at the number of steps. I thought it would be yeasted and involve 100's of steps. Thanks for linking it up to the Holiday Sweet Swap.

  29. My family will definitely put me on a pedestal if (WHEN) I make these!! thanks for your hints!!

  30. Yum! I love Danish and yours looks delicious. I'm your newest follower and so glad to find your blog. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. You did a fabulous job with it!

  31. Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

    Yours in poultry,
    Kathy Mormino
    The Chicken ChickTM

    Join me on Facebook
    Follow my blog: The-Chicken-Chick.com

  32. that's it's really pufffy, creamy, delish and apetising secret sweeet recipe i want to taste it :D


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