I have been playing around with fun, quick things to make-ahead for cocktail parties. Working with pre-made frozen puff pastry sheets couldn’t be easier.
There are so many things you can do with these cocktail sticks. You can season them with hard cheeses, spice blends and savory jams, or make them into dessert sticks by brushing them with raspberry jam before baking or dip them into chocolate once they are baked.
You can twist them or make the, straight. Better yet, you can make them ahead, freeze the sticks, then always have them on hand – Instant, impressive hors d’oeuvres.
I buy pre-made puff pastry from Dufour. This is an excellent product. You can find it at Whole Foods in the freezer section. Their website is not working at the moment but check it at a later date to locate other places that sell Dufour.
It’s not inexpensive but if you consider the time it takes to make good puff pastry (and if you feel the need to do so then I highly recommend Martha Holmberg’s Puff) – Dufour is well worth the money. I try to always have a package in the freezer as it’s so versatile and I don’t have the time to make puff pastry.
Here is my most recent savory twist:
Z’atar Spiced Puff Sticks
Allow the puff pastry to defrost for about 2 hours before using. Remove from package. There are 2 sheets, I usually only need one for making sticks for a party of 12.
On a floured surface, place the dough and sprinkle with more flour. Roll out until the you have a nice even rectangle. Cut the puff into long thin strips, about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. I use a pastry cutter because I like the ruffled edges, but a knife will work too.
Brush the strips with egg whites and sprinkle on the za’atar, extra nigella and sumac. Have a cookie sheet ready that is lined with parchment paper. Gently pick up each end of one strip and place on the cookie sheet with several twist of the wrists, lightly lift and pull the strips and then place them down on the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining strips.
They can fit relatively closely together on the cookie sheet, just don’t have them touching. Press each end firmly down. Once cookie sheet is filled, place the pan into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once they are frozen, you can store in a freezer safe container until you want to bake them.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the sticks for 12 minutes. Allow to cool before removing them from the cookie sheet. Enjoy!