There is a fascinating recipe for Pareve Cheese Flavor Crescents in Tzipporah Kreizman’s wonderful Delights of the Jewish Kitchen. They are super easy to make, there is absolutely no dairy involved, but they taste uncannily like cheese danishes.
The recipe is fairly similar to the dough for the sour cream twists, except that the recipe calls for water and salted margarine instead of butter and sour cream. After refrigerating the dough for an hour and a half, the dough is divided up, and each portion is pressed out into a large circle. The circle is cut into wedges like a pizza pie, and each wedge is rolled up into a crescent shape.
The secret to these crescents is that they are dipped after baking into a sugar syrup that is flavored with fresh lemon juice and lots of vanilla. The moisture from the syrup and the lemon/vanilla flavor give these pastries a taste that evokes cheese danishes.
Here is how they look on the inside:
I followed the recipe as it was written . . . well, mostly. I tried baking the crescents for the full 35 minutes suggested and also for a shorter bake time of 25 minutes. I think that 25 minutes is better. I also might add more liquid to the dough next time. Well, maybe. I definitely think the crescents need to be thoroughly soaked in the syrup. Otherwise, they are too dry. Especially if you bake them the full 35 minutes. I dipped the crescents briefly at first, but the syrup level did not seem to go down. Then I gave each crescent a second brief dip. I think a third dip is a good idea. You should use up the syrup.
I would imagine it is possible to make these vegan by substituting a cup of water for the four eggs.
I tried adding toasted almonds to these danishes, but I’m not sure it is worth it. They are perfectly fine plain.