50 Puff Pastry Treats

Turn store-bought dough into brunch, apps and desserts. 

Puff Pastry Basics

  • To thaw, separate the sheets, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature (or 4 hours in the refrigerator). Do not microwave.
  • Always roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to prevent sticking. (Note: We used standard 9-inch-square frozen sheets for these recipes. If yours are larger, trim to 9 inches before starting.)
  • If the dough gets sticky as you work, return it to the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Use an egg wash to make puff pastry golden and shiny or to help "glue" pieces together: Lightly beat 1 egg with 2 teaspoons water.
  • Bake puff pastry on parchment-lined baking sheets.

1. Sugar-and-Spice Waffles Brush 1 puff pastry sheet with melted butter; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons apple pie spice. Fold in half and roll out into a 7-by-12-inch rectangle; cut into six 3 1/2-by-4-inch rectangles. Cook in a waffle iron until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.

French Toast Squares (No. 2)

2. French Toast Squares Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; brush with the egg and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar. Cut into 3-inch squares (16 total). Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 15 minutes. Serve with berries, confectioners' sugar and maple syrup.

Herb Quiche (No. 3)

3. Herb Quiche Whisk 4 eggs with 3/4 cup each crème fraÎche and heavy cream, 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (parsley, tarragon and chives), 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; trim into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill with the egg mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden and set, about 30 minutes.

Beignets (No. 4)

4. Beignets Cut 1 puff pastry sheet into 1-by-2-inch rectangles (36 total). Fry in 1 1/2 inches 350 degrees F oil, flipping, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

5. Smoked Salmon Beignets Make Beignets (No. 4); cool slightly (omit the sugar). Pulse 4 ounces each smoked salmon and cream cheese, 3 tablespoons chopped dill and 1 tablespoon water in a food processor; season with salt and pepper. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with the salmon mixture; pipe into the beignets.

6. Chocolate-Hazelnut Beignets Make Beignets (No. 4); cool slightly. Before dusting, fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with a heaping 3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread; pipe into the beignets. Dust with confectioners' sugar mixed with cocoa powder.

7. Croissant Doughnuts Brush 1 puff pastry sheet with egg wash and fold into thirds like a letter. Cut out three 3-inch rounds; cut out 1-inch rounds from the centers. Chill until firm, 30 minutes. Deep-fry in 350 degrees F oil, flipping halfway, until golden brown, 6 minutes. Toss with sugar while warm. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with 1 cup vanilla pudding; pipe into the doughnuts from 2 sides. Drizzle with warm jam.

8. Jelly Doughnuts Cut out 3-inch rounds (18 total) from 2 puff pastry sheets. Spoon 2 teaspoons jelly on half of the rounds, brush the edges with egg wash and top with the remaining rounds; press the edges together. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter; roll in sugar.

Glazed Doughnuts (No. 9)

9. Glazed Doughnuts Brush 1 puff pastry sheet with egg wash; top with a second sheet and press together. Cut out 3-inch rounds (9 total); cut out 1-inch rounds from the centers. Bake the doughnuts (and holes) at 400 degrees F until golden brown, about 20 minutes; cool. For the glaze, mix 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water until smooth; tint with food coloring, if desired. Dip the doughnuts in the glaze. Let set.

10. Eggs Benedict Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square. Cut out four 5-inch rounds. Pierce the centers all over with a fork, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Bake at 400 degrees F, pressing the centers with a spoon if puffy, until golden, 20 minutes. Top each pastry with a warmed slice of Canadian bacon and a poached egg; drizzle with hollandaise sauce.

11. Breakfast Pockets Scramble 3 eggs; cool. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut out 4-inch rounds (9 total). Divide the scrambled eggs, 3/4 cup grated cheddar and 3 slices crumbled cooked bacon among the rounds; fold in half and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 20 minutes.

Spring Tart (No. 12)

12. Spring Tart Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square; score a 1-inch border around the edge with a knife and brush with egg wash. Pierce the rest all over with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes. Top with herb cheese spread, microgreens, sliced radishes, lemon zest and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

13. Asparagus and Shiitake Tart Toss 2 cups each chopped asparagus and sliced shiitake mushrooms with olive oil and 1 grated garlic clove; season with salt and pepper. Broil until the vegetables are tender, 8 minutes. Bake the crust for Spring Tart (No. 12); top with the broiled vegetables and sprinkle with 1 cup grated gruyère. Broil until melted.

14. Cheese Pizza Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 13-inch square; trim into a 13-inch round. Brush the edge with egg wash, then fold in and crimp to make a crust. Pierce the center all over with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees F until just golden, 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Top the crust with 1/2 cup each pizza sauce and mozzarella, 2 tablespoons parmesan and a pinch of dried oregano. Bake 5 more minutes.

15. Potato Pizza Bake the crust for Cheese Pizza (No. 14). Saute 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced baby potatoes and 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion in olive oil until tender; season with salt. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated provolone over the crust; top with the potato mixture and sprinkle with thyme leaves and grated parmesan. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake 5 more minutes.

16. Herb Croutons Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter mixed with 1 grated garlic clove. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme; season with salt. Cut into 1-inch squares. Bake at 400 degrees F until browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve on soup or salad.

Appetizers

17. Crackers Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square; cut into 2 1/2-inch squares (16 total). Sandwich between 2 unlined rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 30 minutes. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with poppy seeds, salt and pepper.

18. Egg Salad Canapes Make Crackers (No. 17); omit the toppings. Cool. Mix 3 finely chopped hard-boiled eggs with 2 tablespoons each mayonnaise and chopped black olives. Spread on the crackers; top with chopped chives.

19. Smoked Salmon Canapes Make Crackers (No. 17); omit the toppings. Cool. Spread with cream cheese and top with smoked salmon, fresh dill and pepper.

20. Cheddar and Chutney Canapes Make Crackers (No. 17); omit the toppings. Cool. Spread with salted butter and top with thinly sliced cheddar and mango chutney.

21. Cheese Straws Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated parmesan and a pinch each of cayenne and salt; press to adhere. Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips (16 total). Twist each strip. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 13 to 15 minutes.

22. Cheddar Biscuits Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut into thirds and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup grated cheddar. Stack the pieces and cut into 2-inch rounds (12 total). Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes.

Sesame Breadsticks (No. 23)

23. Sesame Breadsticks Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (24 total). Brush with egg wash; sprinkle with sesame seeds and flaky salt. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 13 to 15 minutes.

24. Prosciutto Breadsticks Make Sesame Breadsticks (No. 23); cool. Wrap in prosciutto.

25. Parmesan Palmiers Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated parmesan on a surface; lay 1 puff pastry sheet on top. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup more parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme; roll out into a 12-inch square. Fold in 2 opposite sides by 3 inches, then fold in again to meet in the center. Fold the dough in half like a book. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces (24 total). Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 20 to 22 minutes.

Herb Rolls (No. 26)

26. Herb Rolls Pulse 1 cup mixed herbs (chives, dill and parsley), 1/3 cup toasted almonds, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a mini food processor. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch square; trim into an 11-inch round. Spread with 2 tablespoons softened butter and sprinkle with the herb mixture. Slice like a pie to make 16 wedges. Roll up from the wide ends. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, about 20 minutes.

27. Spanakopita Pie Mix two 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry) with 3 beaten eggs, 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta, 1 bunch chopped scallions, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and dill and a pinch each of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roll out 2 puff pastry sheets into 11-inch squares; spread the filling on 1 sheet, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the other sheet; fold the edges in and crimp with a fork. Cut 4 slits into the top and brush with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 25 minutes.

Everything Pretzels (No. 28)

28. Everything Pretzels Mix 1 heaping teaspoon each dried onion flakes, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and kosher salt; add a pinch of garlic powder. Cut 1 puff pastry sheet into 3/4-inch-wide strips (12 total); twist the strips, then form into pretzels. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the seasoning mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 25 to 35 minutes.

29. Grilled Cheese Puffs Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; cut into 3-inch squares (16 total). Sandwich sliced cheddar between 2 squares. Cook in batches in a hot buttered skillet over medium heat until golden on the bottom, 2 minutes. Flip onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 10 minutes.

30. Garlic Knots Cut 1 puff pastry sheet in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips (12 total); tie each into a loose knot, pulling slightly. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 15 minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 chopped garlic cloves; toss with the warm knots, 2 tablespoons grated pecorino, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and a pinch of salt.

31. Pigs in a Blanket Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 101/2-inch square; cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips (7 total). Wrap each around a hot dog in a spiral; gently roll to seal the seams. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 25 minutes. Cut into pieces.

Chorizo Pigs in a Blanket (No. 32)

32. Chorizo Pigs in a Blanket Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square; cut in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips (20 total). Brush with egg wash seasoned with chili powder. Wrap each around a piece of fully cooked chorizo; brush with more egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes.

33. Mushroom Spirals Spread 1 puff pastry sheet with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Top with 1 cup sauteed mushrooms (cooled) and 1/2 cup grated gruyère. Roll up into a log; slice crosswise into six 1 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Arrange the pieces cut-side up in an oiled 8-inch round cake pan. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 55 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate.

34. Beef Empanadas Brown 1/2 pound lean ground beef in a skillet. Add 1/2 cup each crushed tomatoes and chopped onion, 2 tablespoons each raisins and chopped green olives and 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, dried oregano, kosher salt and pepper. Cook until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 7 minutes; cool. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 16-inch square; cut out 3-inch rounds (about 24 total). Spoon the beef onto the rounds; fold in half and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 20 minutes.

35. Tuna Empanadas Saute 1 chopped plum tomato, 1/4 each diced green bell pepper and onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a skillet with olive oil until softened. Stir in one 5-ounce can drained oil-packed tuna, 1 chopped hard-boiled egg, 2 tablespoons each chopped green olives and parsley and 1/4 teaspoon each cayenne, kosher salt and pepper; cool. Make Beef Empanadas (No. 34), filling with the tuna mixture instead of beef.

36. Lamb Empanadas Brown 1 pound ground lamb in olive oil with 3/4 cup each diced onion, carrots, rutabaga and potato, 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper; cool. Make Beef Empanadas (No. 34), filling with the lamb mixture instead of beef.

37. Baked Brie Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; trim into a 12-inch round. Place one 8-ounce brie wheel in the center of the pastry. Brush the pastry with egg wash; fold into the center over the brie, pressing to seal. Flip onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; brush with more egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 25 minutes.

Desserts

Palmiers (No. 38)

38. Palmiers Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar on a surface; lay 1 puff pastry sheet on top. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup more sugar; roll out into a 12-inch square. Fold in 2 opposite sides by 3 inches, then fold in again to meet in the center. Fold the dough in half like a book. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces (24 total). Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.

39. Chocolate-Berry Pockets Cut 1 puff pastry sheet into 3-inch squares (9 total); top each with 1 halved strawberry and a few chocolate chips. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold the corners into the centers until touching; pinch at the seams to seal. Brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake seam-side up at 400 degrees F until golden brown, about20 minutes.

Lemon-Poppy Pinwheels (No. 40)

40. Lemon-Poppy Pinwheels Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; brush with lemon curd and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cut in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips; roll into coils and brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

41. Chocolate-Berry Napoleons Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square; cut into 2 1/2-by-5-inch rectangles (8 total). Sandwich between 2 unlined rimmed baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 30 minutes. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cool. Cook 1/3 cup milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small skillet over medium heat, whisking, until thick. Stir in 2 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate; cool. Fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped cream. To assemble, layer 2 pastry rectangles with the chocolate cream and raspberries. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

42. Berry-Cream Cake Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Sandwich between 2 unlined rimmed baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool; cut into thirds. Spread 2 tablespoons berry jam on 1 puff pastry rectangle; top with 2/3 cup whipped cream. Repeat to form 2 more layers.

43. Churros Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square and brush with the egg. Cut in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips (20 total). Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 15 minutes. Toss the warm churros with 2 tablespoons melted butter, then 1 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne.

44. Cheese Danishes Beat 6 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon each vanilla and salt with a mixer until smooth. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; cut into four 6-inch squares. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Spoon the cream cheese filling onto the squares and fold the corners into the centers until touching. Bake seam-side up at 400 degrees F until the pastry is golden, about 20 minutes.

45. Pecan Rugelach Mix 1/3 cup sugar with 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch square; trim into an 11-inch round. Spread with4 tablespoons softened butter and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Slice like a pie to make 16 wedges. Roll up from the wide ends. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes.

46. Cannoli Tear off three 24-inch-long sheets of foil; tightly roll each up from a short end to make 3 tubes. Cut each tube into quarters. Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square; cut into 1-inch-wide strips (12 total). Wrap each strip around a foil tube; gently roll to seal the seams together. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, about 20 minutes; cool, then remove the shells from the foil. Mix 1 pound ricotta with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons mascarpone and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Fill the shells with the ricotta mixture; press the ends into mini chocolate chips.

Strawberry Tart (No. 47)

47. Strawberry Tart Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square; score a 1-inch border around the edges with a knife. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Arrange sliced strawberries inside the border; sprinkle with more sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 30 minutes.

48. Cherry Slab Pie Simmer 4 cups pitted cherries, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, the juice of 1 lemon and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract until thickened, 5 minutes. Cool. Roll out 2 puff pastry sheets into 11-inch squares; spread the filling over 1 sheet, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the second sheet; fold the edges in and crimp with a fork. Cut 4 slits into the top and brush with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 25 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

49. Tarte Tatin Trim 1 puff pastry sheet into an 8-inch round. Cook 3/4 cup sugar in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat, shaking often, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 6 tablespoons cubed butter; arrange 5 or 6 peeled, cored and quartered tart apples, round-side down, in the skillet to cover, then top with the puff pastry round. Bake at 400 degrees F until the apples are cooked and the pastry is golden, 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the skillet, then invert onto a plate.

50. Ice Cream Profiteroles Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet into a 10-inch square; cut out 2-inch rounds (25 total). Brush the rounds with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 14 minutes. Let cool. Melt 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate with 3 tablespoons heavy cream in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Split the profiteroles and sandwich with small scoops of ice cream; top with the chocolate sauce.
 

Photographs by Ryan Liebe