From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is one of those quick-fix recipes that every cook should have in their repertoire. These puff pastry bites are simple to make, but they make an elegant presentation on a buffet or tea table, and despite their simplicity they are always well received. The recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook and I've kept it in near constant use since I found it. The trick to good puff pastry is a really hot oven and avoidance of the tendency to peek at the pastry as it bakes. If you can keep that in mind, you'll have puffs that look like they came from a high-end bake shop. This recipe actually gives you three types of glaze with which to finish the pastry bites. I'm featuring the lemon glaze because I think it will be the most popular, but I also love these bites when they are topped with the the toasted almond glaze. I do hope you'll give these a try. Here is how they are made.
Simple Lemon-Glazed Puff Pastry Bites...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
1 (9 x 9-inch) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (i.e. Pepperidge Farm)
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1) Move one oven rack to upper-middle position and another to lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2) Roll pastry to a 12-inch square on a lightly floured counter and cut into 64 1-1/2-inch squares. Transfer pastry to prepared pans, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until fully puffed and golden, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking.
3) Meanwhile, whisk sugar and lemon zest and juice together in a bowl until smooth. Let pastry cool slightly, then dip tops in glaze. Let glaze set before serving. Yield: 64 pastry bites.
Coconut Pastry Bites: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract and 2 tablespoons milk for lemon zest and juice. Dip pastry tops in 1/2 cup toasted coconut immediately after dipping into glaze.
Almond Pastry Bites: Substitute 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and 2 tablespoons milk for lemon juice and zest. Dip pastry tops in 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, chopped, immediately after dipping in glaze.
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