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Quick & Easy Puff Pastry Decorations Four Ways

With these four puff pastry hacks, you’re thinking your dessert repertoire right out of the box. So feel free to puff to your heart’s content!

THE BRAID

MAKES 2 PASTRIES

1 sheet thawed puff pastry

6 tablespoons cream cheese filling, recipe follows

5 tablespoons chocolate chips

Powdered sugar, to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut the pastry dough horizontally into two rectangles. Make 5 slits into each side of the dough (making 6 strips on each side approximately ½ inch thick). Leave 3 inches in the center of the dough intact.
  3. Spread half the filling in the center of the dough. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips on top. Fold the dough strips down to cover the center diagonally, alternating each side. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

STRAWBERRY PASTRY DIAMOND

MAKES 9 PASTRIES

1 sheet thawed puff pastry

9 tablespoons cream cheese filling, see earlier recipe

5 strawberries, halved with stems removed

Powdered sugar, to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 9 equal squares. Taking one of the squares, fold one of the corners to the opposite corner. Leaving a ¼-inch border, cut about three fourths of the way from the bottom of the triangle to the tip on both sides, making sure the cuts do not touch. Unfold the square. Taking the top flap, fold it toward the 2 cuts near the bottom. Take the bottom flap and fold it toward the top edge.
  3. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle, then place a strawberry half on top. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

RASPBERRY PASTRY FLOWER

MAKES 4 PASTRIES

1 sheet thawed puff pastry

4 tablespoons cream cheese filling, see earlier recipe

20 raspberries

Powdered sugar, to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares. Leaving a ¼-inch border, make 8 total cuts along the edges of the square, with each cut going about a third of the way through the length of the edge. Make sure the cuts do not touch.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle of the square, then top with 4 raspberries. Take one of the edge flaps and fold it toward the center, looping over the raspberry. Repeat with the other flaps. Place a raspberry in the center, on top of where all the flaps overlap. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

BLUEBERRY PASTRY PINWHEEL

MAKES 9 PASTRIES

1 sheet thawed puff pastry

9 tablespoons cream cheese filling, see earlier recipe

36 blueberries

Powdered sugar, to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 9 equal squares. Make 4 cuts on each square, with each cut starting from the out
  3. side corners of the square and stopping just short of the center. Take one of the flaps and fold it toward the center. Fold every other flap toward the center until you have created a pinwheel shape.
  4. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle, then place 4 blueberries on top. Repeat with the remaining pinwheels.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

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