I’ve invented a new cocktail canape, one that is not only delicious, but decorative too. You might like to try these light and crispy “Puffed Herb & Cheese Cocktail Appetizers.” I’m amazed at the picturesque quality fresh herbs give to the rounds of pastry; a tiny sprig of cilantro, for instance, becomes a lacy green tree. Here’s the recipe:
Puffed Herb & Cheese Cocktail Appetizers
Ingredients for 2 dozen canapes
2 sheets (one box) frozen puff-pastry dough, thawed
One egg, beaten
One 12-oz tub whipped cream cheese, blended with 4 tablespoons of finely snipped chives
Fresh herbs of your own choosing: cilantro, tarragon, parsley, rosemary, etc.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Prepare the pastry rounds: Unfold thawed pastry sheet, and lay it out on a lightly-floured board. Brush the dough with beaten egg, and then cut out one dozen rounds, using a buiscut-cutter. Place the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the same procedure with the second sheet of dough.
Decorate with herbs: Gently press small sprigs of herbs into rounds, making creative patterns with them whenever possible, as in the photo above. For tough-stemmed types, such as tarragon and rosemary, use tender leaves only. Sprinkle the rounds with Kosher salt.
Refrigerate: To insure the cut-out dough holds its shape for baking, refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Baking: Set the baking sheet on the center oven rack, and bake for 15 minutes, until the pastry puffs up, and the tops become golden brown.
Whipped Cream Cheese & Chive Filling: When puffs have cooled, split them open with a knife, and fill each with a tablespoon of whipped cream cheese.
One of the advantages of these canapes is that you can make them in advance. Bake the pastry rounds early in the day, and fill with cream cheese 30 minutes before serving time. This way, all will be accomplished before your guests arrive.
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