Puff pastry is an incredibly versatile, flaky, buttery dough. Whether made into puffs, tarts, or turnovers, it is the perfect vehicle for practically any sweet or savory ingredient you can think of, including veggies, fruits, meats, nuts and cheeses. We tend to crave puff pastry recipes in the fall and winter, when the colder weather spurs our desire for comfort food. So we’ve gathered some sinfully delicious — and easy — puff pastry ideas for you to try this holiday season.
How To Make Puff Pastry Dough
Pre-made puff pastry dough (or the ever-popular tube of crescent rolls) is easy enough to find in your local grocery store, but part of what makes the holiday season so special is making things from scratch. Cooking and baking with our hands, from beginning to end, fills our creations with love. (Besides, it’s cold out — what else are you doing?) Luckily, making puff pastry dough is surprisingly simple! All you need is:
2.5 sticks cold butter
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups all-purpose flour
Dash of salt (if using salted butter, this isn’t necessary)
Making puff pastry dough from scratch requires ice cold butter and ice cold water. The cold ingredients are the key to making a successful dough.
Add your dash of salt to the flour first and mix together. Then it’s time to mix in the cold butter. To do this, many people like to either grate the butter stick (as if it were cheese) or chop it into small cubes. Mix in with the flour for a very rough, crumbly mixture. Drizzle the cold water in evenly, then work the dough until it becomes soft and supple. Powder the dough with a little flour so it doesn’t stick, and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for at least an hour.
When you take it out, flour the surface you’ll be working on as well as the rolling pin you’ll be using to flatten the dough into a rectangle. To get the “puff” part of “puff pastry,” you’ll need to fold the dough several times to create layers. Flatten it out with the pin again, then turn the dough and repeat the folding and flattening process. Here is a great video to watch to help you visualize how to make puff pastry dough.
10 Puff Pastry Ideas
Sweet and savory puff pastry recipes make for fun, tasty, and eye-popping nibbles. Here are some puff pastry ideas that utilize both sugary and salty ingredients, many of which you can find right here at Supermarket Italy.
Gruyere, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Tarts
Gruyere is a mild Swiss cheese with buttery, nutty tasting notes. It is one of the best melting cheeses, and is popularly known for being a go-to fondue cheese. It is also extremely common in gourmet mac and cheese recipes. The point is, gruyere makes the perfect, gooey companion for savory puff pastry recipes. This recipe from LittleSpiceJar.com combines it with cremini mushrooms and onions caramelized with balsamic vinegar.
Feta & Spinach Puffs
The Greeks are famous for their spanakopita, a spinach pie with feta cheese. These pastry puffs from WellPlated.com take that classic idea and transform it into small, individual puff pastry appetizers using a muffin pan.
Goat Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Squares
Goat cheese is one of the most popular puff pastry ingredients because it is creamy, tangy, and pairs well with a variety of sweet and savory elements. Sun-dried tomatoes make the ideal partner for goat cheese because they, too, provide bright, acidic, yet rustic flavor. Follow this recipe from SaporitoKitchen.com to make your puff pastry squares.
Apple Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels
These puff pastry appetizers will go over like hot cakes at your holiday feast. This savory puff pastry recipe combines salty bacon, fresh fall apples, and sharp yellow cheddar for a heavenly swirl of heartwarming flavors — literally, because they’re pinwheels! ParsnipsandPastries.com happens to use Tillamook cheddar for this recipe, which we have right here on SupermarketItaly.com!
Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Balsamic Tarts
These thin puff pastry tarts from SouthernLiving.com make use of a beloved autumn ingredient: butternut squash. Apply a simple coating of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, pop them in the oven, and then top with shaved ricotta salata and a balsamic glaze drizzle. Think of it as an autumn-inspired flatbread! If you love fall cooking, be sure to try your hand at soulful butternut squash pasta and other cheesy baked pasta dishes for fall.
Raspberry & Baked Brie en Croute
Brie en Croute is a fancy name for brie cheese that is enveloped in a puff pastry shell. This recipe from SimplyRecipes.com uses tart raspberry jam as a beautiful compliment to the creamy, gooey brie cheese that oozes out from inside the puff pastry. For more of a Thanksgiving vibe, try it with cranberry jelly.
Southern Pecan Crisps
If you’re absolutely enamored with pecan pie, you’ll love these Southern Pecan Crisps. Pepperidge Farm provides an easy puff pastry dessert recipe for these sweet, nutty, bite sized treats. Aside from puff pastry dough, all that’s needed is chopped pecans, brown sugar, and butter!
Apricot Pistachio Tart
Make use of Supermarket Italy’s extensive jams collection when you bake this sweet, nutty puff pastry tart. Chopped pistachios and halved apricots coated in a sugar and orange liqueur glaze sit on a bed of apricot preserves in this elegant dessert tart from Williams Sonoma.
Fig, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Star Bread
Get creative with your presentation with this one-of-a-kind, savory puff pastry recipe from TheBitterSideofSweet.com. Using classic Mediterranean ingredients — all of which are available at Supermarket Italy — this gourmet, pull-apart appetizer employs a unique braiding technique. Shop figs and prosciutto.