Can I make a confession? I absolutely love
ready-to-bake puff pastry sheets. They're so easy to work with, and seem so fancy! (Plus, puff pastry from scratch is just a bit challenging. Trust me, I've tried... it ended up in the trash.)
Bacon-wrapped Puff Pastry Twists
are a showstopper appetizer, perfect for the holiday season. Flaky puff pastry breadsticks, filled with cheese and wrapped with bacon. They've got a sweet and smoky brown sugar rub that makes for the perfect combination of flavors. They're a bit labor intensive, but made easier with the help of packaged puff pastry.
Start with your puff pastry. (Just a note - it helps to make sure you thaw it out first... doh! It only takes about 40 minutes at room temperature to thaw.)
Each package comes with two pieces; unfold one of them and place it on a cutting board. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. I added a generous sprinkling, because I like the heat. You could certainly add less or even leave it out completely.
Then, add about 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Colby or cheddar would work great. Next, taking a rolling pin, lightly press the cheese into the puff pastry to make sure it stays in place when you cut the strips. Then, cut the pastry into 10 strips.
Fold each strip in half, pinching the ends together. Twist it several times; repeat with remaining twists. Take a half slice of bacon and wrap it around each pastry twist. (Just a note: As much as I love the thick-cut Chief smokehouse bacon, it isn't the best choice for this recipe. The thick bacon will take a very
long time to cook, so choose something that's cut much thinner.)
Now for the brown sugar rub. Combine some brown sugar, fresh minced rosemary, salt, and pepper on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Gently press each bacon-wrapped pastry twist into the brown sugar mixture, to coat the bacon. Place the twists on a greased wire rack sitting inside a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry twists. (And, repeat with the other sheet of puff pastry.)
Bake the twists at 375*F for 40-50 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp, and the bacon is cooked through. I like my bacon super crispy, so I let mine go for the full 50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
These were a HIT at a small holiday party we had last night... so fancy, but definitely do-able by the average home cook. Let me know if you give them a try!
Bacon-wrapped Puff Pastry Twists
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 cup colby cheese, shredded
- 10 slices bacon, cut in half
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375*F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray with cooking spray.
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry onto a cutting board and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste, and then sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over pastry. Gently press in the cheese with a rolling pin. (This helps secure it in place.)
Cut into 10 strips. Carefully, fold each strip in half and pinch the ends together. Twist the strip several times; repeat with remaining strips. Wrap half a slice of bacon around each pastry twist.
For the brown sugar rub, combine brown sugar, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish or on a plate. Dredge each bacon-wrapped pastry twist in the brown sugar mixture; then, place on the prepared wire rack.
Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes, until pastry is crisp and bacon is cooked. Allow to cool a few minutes before using a spatula to lift the twists off the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
adapted from Half-Baked Harvest