sweet puff pastry twists
I love playing with puff pastry dough. I’ve used store-bought (in the freezer section) often. Making your own puff pastry dough is a major project–one that I usually have no time to do. (But try it at least once…it’s fun and a great learning experience as to what goes into the stuff–think BUTTER!).
I’ve used Pepperidge Farm brand, Dufour, and Trader Joe (which they only sell during holiday season — why is that? I don’t know). And they all work beautifully.
Here is a twisted recipe. You can try this twist with a lot of fillings. I used to make twists like these using biscuit dough and filling it with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Then glazing the finished twists with vanilla icing. A kind of cinnamon bun in a twist.
But here’s how this recipe goes (we did it in class, too).
Roll out one puff pastry sheet of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it till it’s about 30 percent bigger than it started out. Keep the rectangular shape. Spread your favorite jam in a thin layer on top.
Meg & Tim making pastry twists
Meg spreading the jam
Now cut the dough in half lengthwise (I use a fluted cutting wheel). Separate the pieces a bit. On one half sprinkle mini-chocolate chips. Just in a single layer and you don’t have to fill ever spot. Place about a 1/2 cup of sliced almonds in a plastic bag. Roll a rolling pin over them crushing them into small pieces. Sprinkle the small pieces of almond on top of the mini chocolate chips. Place the half with just the jam over the other half face down (so the 2 jams sides are touching) lined up evenly. Now cut across the shorter end into 3/4-inch strips (again, I use the fluted wheel).
Give each strip a double twist and place them on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet.
ready to bake
Continue with the rest of the dough. Egg wash the strips. Sprinkle sparkling sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes until golden. Voila!
pastry twists in Kodachrome
Next time I’ll show you my fav savory pastry twist…with olive paste, sun-dried tomatoes and sesame seeds. But first: dessert!
Crispy Chocolate Pastries
Really. I never used to like sweets. I could down a whole loaf of bread before even looking at a Danish.
But all that has changed. Somewhere over the last few years sweets have lured me in. It probably has something to do with the cooking classes I teach. I like to include a dessert in each menu if possible. So I began experimenting with cakes, pastries, tarts, pies. Free form, in French pans, mini-treats in cupcake tins. I’ve discovered that the possibilities for baked sweets are endless. A frontier strewn with history and constant invention. I’m now on the trail and inexhaustibly interested!
Of course, easy is always a goal. I love easy with spectacular results. That’s what you’ve got here with those unassuming mini-pastries in the picture above. Here’s how it goes (Filo dough. Filo dough makes these crispy):
12 sheets filo dough
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Lay the filo sheets flat on a clean work surface. Cut them lengthwise into 3 columns. Lay out one strip of dough and brush with butter. Lay another strip on top and brush with butter. Lay a third on top and brush with butter. Place about a tablespoon of chocolate chips at the lower end of the 3-layer strip. Fold over one corner over the chips to cover them, then continue folding like a flag until you have a completed triangle. Fold over the dough edge at the top and brush with butter to seal.
Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and brush top with butter. Repeat with the rest of the dough and chocolate. Makes a dozen.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 400 degree oven until golden. Serve warm or at room temp. Dust with powdered sugar.
Yes, the chocolate melts. Yes, you bite into light, flaky, crispiness. And then get the prize melted chocolate. Invite people to share these with you or you will eat them all. Addictive.