I’ve been pretty behind with posts lately – the Christmas season will do that to ya! I wanted to get this recipe posted before New Years, in case anyone needed a good appetizer recipe. This has been a favorite in my family for the past couple of years… originally a Barefoot Contessa recipe, I made a few changes to kick up the flavor a few notches. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever type of cheese or seasoning you want as the puff pastry provides a good canvas for most anything you can dream up.
The key is to finely grate whatever cheese you chose to use (unfortunately most cheese you buy pre-grated at the store is a bit too large, and usually falls off when you twist the sticks). I use a microplane which can be purchased almost anywhere these days, or you can use the smaller side of a box grater. Whatever seasoning you use make sure its chopped up fairly small – again larger chunks tend to fall off during twisting. One more tip – don’t skip the egg wash or you’ll end up with a pile of cheese/spices on the counter instead of the sticks.
Puffy Pastry Cheese Sticks – Makes about 20-24 sticks
1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry – thawed (throw it in the fridge overnight)
Flour for dusting
1 large egg
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups finely grated swiss cheese
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
2. Place one sheet of puff pastry on a floured cutting board. Roll the pastry out until it’s a tad bigger than a legal sized sheet of paper (about 10 inches by 12 inches)
3. Brush the sheet with the egg wash
4. Sprinkle the puff pastry with half of the parmesan, swiss cheese, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
5. Gently press the toppings into the puff pastry with the heal of your hand (this will help the ingredients stay on while twisting)
6. Cut the puff pastry into one inch strips (this should give you about 11-12 strips per sheet) with a sharp knife or pizza cutter
7. Twist each strip so that the ingredients are on the inside of the twist
8. Place each twist on a cookie sheet with parchment paper
9. Bake the sticks for 12-15 minutes (or until the sticks are slightly browned). Be careful not to over bake!
The sticks are served best at room temperature.