Puff Pastry is such a fun and easy dough to make simple desserts and appetizers for parties and events. It is a flaky and buttery dough that bakes up puffy with delicate layers. Add sweet or savory toppings or fillings.
One of my favorite short cut staples happens to be puff pastry. I love how easy it is to work with and how rewarding the recipe results can be.
What is it?
Puff Pastry can be either made from scratch or be purchased in the freezer aisle at your local grocer. It retails for around $6 but can be found on sale during the holidays. Each box of frozen pastry typically comes with 2 shells which are coated in flour and tucked between layers of thick wax/parchment paper.
You can use puff pastry dough for pies, bars, casseroles, dessert squares, tarts, mini pies, and savory appetizers. The possibilities are almost endless as long as you bake it correctly.
How long to defrost?
Before working with puff pastry it needs to defrost. If you do not defrost it, it will be nearly impossible to unfold or work with. You can thaw puff pastry in the fridge. I typically will put my dough in the night before I need to use it. However, it can be sped up by removing the shells from the box and covering them with plastic wrap on a plate.
You can also thaw it quickly (about 2 hours) by leaving the box on the counter. Just be sure to check on it throughout the day.
To really speed up defrosting you could remove the shells from the box and place them on a microwave-safe plate. However, you should only use your microwaves defrost mode and only defrost in 30-second intervals. You do not want to over microwave or it will start to “cook” the dough and make it super gummy!
How to Bake
When baking, I typically follow the manufacturer’s box timing which can vary per recipe. Traditionally, dough is baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes.
Defrosted pastry can be cut into rectangles, squares, or by cookie cutters. You can even bake puff pastry in muffin tins like I do with these apple pies.
They will bake up to a light golden brown color. You will notice they will not expand width size but will expand in height.
Once the shells cool, I carefully slice them in half and fill them with fresh fruit toppings or real whipped cream for desserts.
Easy Dessert Recipes
Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite dessert recipes I have made using puff pastry. Check them out below and be sure to let us know if you have tried any of them. Many, like the Snowflake Cream Puffs are viral recipes with lots of positive feedback on Pinterest.