For a unique look, cut out shapes in the puff pastry with cookie cutters. Puff pastry comes frozen from the grocery store, so thaw in the refrigerator several hours or overnight before using. Dip your cookie cutters into some flour before using to prevent them from sticking to the dough. When you cut out shapes in puff pastry with cookie cutters, make sure you just push down on the cutter, and then up. Do not twist the cutter back and forth in the puff pastry as this will seal the sides and will prevent the pastry from rising to its maximum. Flavor your pastry cream with strawberry jam or ground pistachios, or chocolate and add to taste. If you want brighter colors add a drop of food coloring. To add the chocolate, take a small amount of the pastry cream designated to be flavored chocolate and thoroughly mix in the warm chocolate. Mix this pastry cream into the remaining pastry cream. Mixing the warm chocolate into the smaller amount of pastry cream helps ensure the chocolate will mix in smoothly and completely.
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