Friday, 26 February 2010

Cheesy Puff Pastry Bites

These little hors d'oeuvres came about by a happy coincidence. I was really wanting to make some jam puffs (like these) and I went out to buy some really nice puff pastry, however I ended up buying a gluten free variety. I wasn't sure how that would work when I wanted a light flaky puff for my jam puffs, so I decided to make something with one of the sheets to see how the pastry reacted.

I had half a tub of cream cheese in the fridge, so I googled puff pastry+cream cheese and found this recipe for Feuittetes Fromages from Recipezaar. It looked nice and easy and it used all my leftover cream cheese.

All that needs to be done is to mix the cream cheese with an egg, some balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, some crushed dry herbs (I used oregano, rosemary and thyme), some salt and pepper and some gruyere cheese. I didn't have any gruyere so I just used cheddar.

I was going to take both these and the jam puffs to work for a Monday morning treat, but I started making these quite late (and before making dinner!) . Once they came out of the oven and we discovered how tasty they were, we ended up eating all of them for dinner instead and I never made the jam puffs.

So these are distractingly, morishly good. The balsamic really adds another dimension to the mustard/cheese flavour combo. I like my toasted cheese sandwiches to be made with mustard and I was a little concerned at how this recipe would turn out, however the balsamic transformed it into something completely different. I'll definately make these again, especially since now I have an excess of puff pastry in my freezer.

Feuittetes Fromages Savory Puff Pastry Packages & Cheese
from this recipe by Bergy as posted on Recipezaar

Note: I halved this recipe and only used one sheet of puff pastry, I did have cheese mix leftover though

1 (397 g) package puff pastry, defrosted
1 (250 g) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
170g swiss gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mixed crushed dry herbs (your choice but I like rosemary & thyme)
salt & pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Roll out each slab of pastry in a rectangle 10 1/2" x 21" and cut each rectangle into 18 pieces 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" You will end up with 36 pieces from the two slabs.

Whisk together the beaten egg and the cream cheese, add remaining ingredients (except egg yolks) and whisk some more until well blended Place a tbsp of the cheese mixture in the center of each pastry square.

Beat together the egg yolks & water.

Brush all four corners of the square with the egg yolk wash and then pull up the corners and squeeze together at the top forming a little package.

Place packages on a lightly oil sprayed cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 205 degrees C. Brush outside of the packages with the remaining egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Serve hot (warm).

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