Typically, I’m a chocolate person. When I need something sweet, my preferences are likely to point me in the direction of Oreo’s, Hershey Kisses or M&M’s (plain, peanut, pretzel, you name it). There are occasions, though, where I’m in need of a buttery, flaky, pastry. Maybe something light, and delicate, and perhaps even aesthetically pleasing.
For example last summer, one of my Kitchen Kapers shopping sprees added a tart pan to my collection of kitchen toys; I decided, in the dead of summer, to make a blackberry tart. From scratch. Maybe the heat and humidity got to my head; I learned very quickly that working with pastry dough in inferno-like conditions is absolutely impossible. Not only was I practically melting in the hot kitchen, the dough itself pretty much liquefied.
Taking advantage of the chilly conditions, I was able to make a simple, buttery pastry that’s delicious for breakfast with jam or satisfying as a dessert. Though I spent the day making the dough from scratch (which will be posted to CleanPl8.com), here is a recipe using store bought, frozen pastry dough.
1 package of frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 cup (or more!) of granulated sugar
Sprinkle ½ cup of sugar on a clean work surface. Roll thawed pastry sheet on top of sugar, pressing gently. Sprinkle ½ cup of sugar on top of dough and roll gently to press the sugar into the sheet. With the short end of the dough facing you, roll each long side on your left and right toward the center. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into ½ inch slices. Keeping the rolled shape, place slices on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet. Bake about 14 minutes in lower third of oven, turning the baking sheet halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheet.
Talk about “semi-homemade cooking”! The fancy French confection that looks complicated to make is pretty elementary, thanks to this recipe. Using store-bought puff pastry dough, the most complicated step in the process is eliminated. The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, total, but I was way more liberal with my measurement (more like 1 ½ cups). If you have raw sugar on hand, I would give it a try; you’ll wind up with more visible granules of sugar, making for a prettier presentation sweeter taste. My only word of warning (other than the temperature of your working conditions, as learned from experience): plan ahead. Because of the butter content in the puff pastry dough, it must be cold when it goes into the oven in order to create the flaky texture. Putting the rolled and sugared dough back into the fridge for an hour is absolutely necessary.
The cookie-pastry hybrid is just as nice to look at as it is to eat, though I can guarantee it isn’t too pretty to devour. Don’t let the appearance fool you; the delicate, scrolled palmier may not look like much, but the combination of butter and sugar is enough to make you diet for a week. And every bite is worth it.