Monday, August 29, 2011

Garlic & Cheese Twists: Crunchy Goodness

A Little SomethingI bought A Little Something when it was first published, making it one of the few cookbooks in my collection that I bought in a regular ol' bookstore, paying publisher's prices. Back in '98, I was four years out of college, and starting to entertain like a grown up...or, at least, like I thought grown ups entertained. Today's recipe was one of the recipes that made my eyes go wide. This? This is Grown Up.
Garlic and Cheese Twists

These look lovely on a buffet table, but you'll also enjoy munching them while watching a good movie.

Makes about 20

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 puff pastry sheets (10 by 15 inches), thawed
1/2 cup milk
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Open the puff pastry and lay the sheets flat on a clean surface.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the milk and egg whites together. Brush evenly over one side of each pastry sheet.
  4. Sprinkle each sheet with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 cup cheese. Roll lightly with a rolling pin to adhere. turn over and repeat.
  5. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into long strips. Twist each strip. Sprinkle evenly with remaining garlic powder and cheese.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes, until golden.
For Cinnamon twists, omit the garlic powder and cheese. Substitute 1 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. After brushing each pastry with the milk and egg mixture, sprinkle each sheet with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Roll lightly with a rolling pin to adhere. Turn over and repeat. Prepare and bake.
Okay, so it's not rocket science. It's not hard. It's not frou frou. It's dead simple, as long as you plan ahead far enough to defrost your puff pastry.

It's also really tasty, really pretty, and a bit of fun to eat. Breadsticks are all well and good, but puff pastry twists are flaky bits of crunchy goodness.

I made these once with my sister, Kelly, who's known for being a bit of a picky eater. I mixed up a peanut sauce for dipping, and while that wasn't entirely her favorite thing ever, the twists were a hit.

Even picky eaters like puff pastry.

If you take the "with a good movie" recommendation from the recipe description, you should also take my recommendation: Serve these with champagne. Puff pastry and champagne add instant elegance to any occasion, even if that occasion is a rewatching of "Megafault" on Netflix.

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