These delicious and savory appetizers are a nice addition to your festive holiday table!
Use product immediately upon removal from refrigerator as there is no need to thaw! No need to use flour and a rolling pin to stretch the dough.
Dough will roll out and cut easier if it is chilled. If you're trying to create a specific shape, keep the pastry as cold as possible (but not frozen) and it will be easier to make precise cuts.
If you want to keep the inside from rising as much as the edges, just use a paring knife to score a border. Don’t cut the dough all the way though! Use a fork to prick the dough. The pastry will still be light and flaky with the edges puffed up and the center will stay down.
Pop the dough in the fridge after working with it, while the oven preheats. This step gives the fat in the dough a chance to re-solidify, to get an even better baking result.
Egg-wash: Just before baking, brush your puff pastry with egg wash (1 large egg with about 2 tablespoons water, beaten) to give it an attractive shine and color.
To seal the pastry edges for any stuffed pocket-style pastry, just brush a thin layer of water or egg whites along the edges and press them together to make them stick.
Crimp edges of smaller pastries like hand pies with a fork. Larger pastries can be crimped with your fingertips.
Serve soon after baking! Puff Pastry is best when fresh, so ideally bake close to serving. Only few recipes are great to make ahead. Puff Pastry is best when baked and served the same day.
To unroll the dough, remove dough from package and gently separate the dough and parchment paper from the roll, so that the dough on paper begins to lay flat. Be careful not to separate the dough from the parchment paper. There may be some sticking, but the dough and paper should easily pull away from the roll.
Once the dough is lying flat on the baking tray, cut off or tuck any excess paper under, so it does not hang over the edge.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Unroll refrigerated Puff Pastry Dough and cut in half.
3. Spread the pesto sauce on one half of the Puff Pastry sheet all the way to the edges.
4. If making your own pesto: Combine basil leaves (no stems), parsley leaves (no stems), pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until combined. With the machine running, slowly dribble in the oil until the mixture is smooth. Add the cheese and process just until combined. To prevent the pesto from browning, place it in a bowl and cover with Saran Wrap (touching the pesto) to seal. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Gently place the second half of Puff Pastry on top of the first half that has the pesto sauce. Press to seal the two halves together.
6. To make the tree shape, cut the dough in half horizontally. Then cut each of the two pieces in half diagonally. You should have four total pieces. Stretch or trim the triangles as needed to create even trees.
7. Form and slice the "branches" of the trees. Starting on one side, make horizontal slices into the sides of the triangles, being careful to stop before you reach the center. Repeat the same process on the other side of the triangle, again being careful to stop before reaching the center.
8. Starting at the bottom, twist the branches. Press the edge of the branch firmly into the parchment paper to keep the branch from untwisting.
9. Brush the entire pastry with egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven until puffy and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.