Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Puttin' the stuff in da Puff

Puff pastry can save the day -- and turn simple recipes into five-star fare:

Berries & Cream Cornucopias
•6 sugar ice cream cones
•½ of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
•Nonstick cooking spray
•2 tablespoons granulated sugar
•1 can ready-whipped cream (e.g., Redi-Wip, original or chocolate)
•2 cups mixed berries (or assorted diced fruit)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Tightly wrap sugar cones in squares of foil,
covering completely, tucking excess up into the cone cavity. Unfold
pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Cut along the fold lines to form
three rectangles. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into 4 equal strips (12
strips total).
Press the ends of two strips together and, starting at the top of one
cone, wind around, overlapping the pastry (it will not reach bottom of
cone). Lightly spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with sugar. Lay
seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cones and
Bake 16-18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool
completely on tray. Carefully remove cones from pastry. Pipe the
whipped cream into cooled cones and place on plates. Spoon fruit
near opening. Makes 6 desserts.
Note to test kitchen:
The filling and fruit can be varied in multiple ways; I chose the ready-
whipped cream because it is so simple. However, a mousse or
flavored whipped cream could also be used. This could also be taken
in a savory direction.

Wrapped Pears with Vanilla Bean Sauce

Prep: 30 minutes Makes: 4 servings
Chill: 1 hour
Thaw: 40 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
•3 cups water
•¾ cup sugar
•½ vanilla bean, split
•4 Bartlett orBosc pears, cored and peeled*
•½ cup heavy cream
•½ package (17.5 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
•Cold water
•Granulated sugar
•Fresh raspberries

Heat the water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring
occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the pears and cook for 10 minutes or until the pears are tender, turning occasionally.
Remove the pears from the sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the pears
are cold.
Stir the cream into the sugar mixture. Cook and stir for 20 minutes or until the mixture boils and is
reduced to about 3/4 cup. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce.
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it’s easy to handle. Heat the oven to
400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut the pastry sheet crosswise into 8 (3/4-inch wide)
strips. Brush the strips with the water and sprinkle with the sugar. For each pear, join 2 pastry strips by
pressing the ends together. Wind 1 strip of pastry around eachpear, tucking the end under the
bottom of the pear. Place the wrapped pears onto the baking sheet. Loosely cover the wrapped
pears with aluminum foil
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastries are golden. Spoon thevanilla sauce onto 4 plates. Top each
with 1 pear and garnish with raspberries.
*Use a melon baler to core the pears from the bottom and remove the seeds. Peel the pears, leaving
the stem intact. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear so that it will stand upright.

Apple Turnovers with Gingered Cranberry-Caramel Sauce

Prep: 15 minutes Makes: 4 servings
Bake: 20 minutes
•2 tablespoons sugar
•1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•1 package (12.5 ounces) Pepperidge Farm®

Apple Turnovers
•2 tablespoons butter, melted
•1 cup prepared caramel sauce
•¼ cup finely chopped crystallized (candied) ginger
•¼ cup finely chopped dried cranberries
•Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Stir the sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Brush the
turnovers with the butter and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Bake
and cool the turnovers according to the package directions
Heat the caramel sauce, ginger and cranberries in a 1-quart
saucepan over low heat until the mixture is hot. Serve the
turnovers with the sauce. Top with the whipped cream, if desired.

Truffle Cups

Prep: 35 minutes Makes: 24 pieces
Bake: 1 minute
•1 package (9.5 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Mini Puff Pastry Shells
•12 small (1-inch) assorted chocolate truffle candies, cut in half
•1 cup thawed frozen whipped topping

Bake, cool and remove the "top" of the shells according to the
package directions. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Place 1 piece candy into each shell. Place the filled shells on a
baking sheet.
Bake for 1 minute or until the candy melts.
Divide the topping among the shells. Serve immediately.

Petite Pain au Chocolat

Thaw: 40 minutes Makes: 8 pieces
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
•1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets)
•1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
•1 egg, beaten
•2 tablespoons butter
•1 cup confectioners' sugar
•2 tablespoons hot water

Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature for 40 minutes or until they're easy
to handle. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 10-
inch square. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 (5-inch) squares. Repeat with the
remaining pastry sheet.
Place 2 tablespoons chocolate chips in the center of each pastrysquare. Brush
the edges of the pastry squares with the egg. Fold each pastry in half over the
chocolate chips and press the edges to seal. Place the filled pastries onto the
baking sheets. Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden. Let cool on the baking
sheets for 2 minutes. Remove the pastries to a wire rack and letcool.
Place the remaining chocolate chips and the butter into a small microwave-
safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds or until the chocolate is starting
to melt. Stir until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Stir in theconfectioners' sugar.
Stir in the water, adding additional water, if necessary, until the icing is the
desired consistency. Drizzle the icing over the pastries.