With all the cooking I've done over the years, one would think puff pastry and I would have been well acquainted, but that's not the case. Where has it BEEN all of my life?
Maybe it's because I don't really do that much entertaining. Maybe it's because I thought it was too hard. Maybe it's because I was confusing puff pastry with phyllo dough--which is a real pain to work with, in my opinion. In any event, I've only recently discovered the wonders of puff pastry, and I'm sure that from now on, I'll always keep a box on hand in the freezer for any kind of entertaining emergencies that may arise.
I swear you could wrap just about anything in puff pastry and it would be excellent. When I was stumped for an appetizer to bring to a get together a couple months ago, a friend told me to put a little brie cheese and a little jalapeno jelly into the center of a little square of puff pastry, bring the corners up and around, and pinch them together. I made about two dozen of them and put each little bundle into a mini muffin tin that I'd sprayed with cooking spray. I baked them at 400 degrees until they were brown and bubbly. Well golly gee that stuff was good!
When I wanted to bring something to my Saturday get together with the stitchery gals, the same friend told me to thaw a sheet of puff pastry. (One secret here that they don't tell you on the box is to let it thaw about 20 minutes and then unfold it to let it thaw the rest of the way. If you wait to unfold it until it's completely thawed, it gets stuck together.) After that, spread some mustard on the sheet of puff pastry . . .
. . . and cut it into squares--these are actually a little small but worked out okay. Wrap a little hot dog in each square of pastry and overlap the ends so they stick together.
Put these tasty little treats on a baking sheet that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees until browned. (You don't have to place them too far apart because they don't puff up too much--not like regular dough.) Unfortunately, I was running out of time, so mine were a little pale (see first photo), although they were cooked through all the way and tasted really great.
Want to hear about another recipe I "discovered"? I cut puff pastry into squares (about 3" squares) and put them in the bottom and up the sides of a sprayed muffin tin. I then added canned, cooked apple pie filling and baked them at 400 degrees until the pastry was browned. I served each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce topped with a little whipped cream. It was a scrumptious and classy dessert that really took very little time to make.
Yep, puff pastry is my friend. It may not be doing my waist or hips any favors, but it sure is good!