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Puff Pastry Dough: Our Secret Weapon for Holiday Appetizers

I love hosting holiday parties whether it’s a potluck with friends, a cocktail party for colleagues or even a family feast. Over the years I’ve learned one of the best party food hacks around can be found in frozen puff pastry dough.

2 min read

First of all, puff pastry is impressive and it makes everyone think you’ve pulled off a major culinary feat. Secondly, it’s versatile -- use it full size for a tart or cut it into smaller pieces for bite-size treats. Most importantly, it’s EASY. Pick it up at the grocery store and when you’re ready to use… defrost and voila.


Here are some of my favorite uses:

Brie en Croute

The basic recipe is to roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface with a rolling pin, place the brie in the center, and fold all 4 sides of the dough over the brie. Seal the dough by pushing the edges together. Brush with egg wash and bake for 22 to 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 425 degrees.

Here’s the fun part: before you seal the dough, get creative by adding different flavors, perhaps an apple compote? What about a bit of leftover cranberry sauce? Even store-bought jams work great.



Another one of my favorite uses for Puff Pastry is this recipe for Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Pinwheels from Food Network’s Michael Chiarello. I made it one year for my parents’ New Year’s Eve Party and it was a huge hit. I added a bit of grated parmesan and a small sprinkle of salt on top of the pastries before baking and they came out great.

Holiday Creations

Last year, I was inspired by this idea for a Pesto-Stuffed Christmas Tree from Genius Kitchen. It came out adorable and tasted phenomenal. But if I were going to make it again, I’d make a template to keep the shape and slices more even.


Puff pastry dough is a blank canvas for a tart: just roll out the dough and top with whatever you’re craving - caramelized onions, mushrooms and olives work great, so does goat cheese and tomatoes, or any sliced vegetables plus a cheese is never a bad idea.


What do you like to make with puff pastry dough during the holidays?


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