If you have no time to whip up an appetizer from scratch, consider gussying up some store-bought ingredients. One of my pantry favorites is puff pastry.
Buttery sheets of puff pastry are perfect for making many appetizers. You can cut the pastry sheets into different shapes and press them into baking cups. Or you can cut and twist them to make cheese straws, an appetizer favorite. This recipe uses one sheet of puff pastry to make super-easy Palmiers — crispy, spiral-shaped appetizers, with hints of salty prosciutto and Parmesan cheese.
Puff pastry is sold frozen and needs to thaw in the refrigerator before using. When unfolding puff pastry, press it out along the seams; don’t roll it out with a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin, you are pressing down on the buttery layers, which can prevent the pastry from rising and puffing up as much. You can make these ahead and freeze. Reheat in a 325-degree oven to re-crisp.
Puff Pastry Palmiers
Makes: About 24 appetizers / Prep time: 10 minutes / Total time: 25 minutes
Adapted from the St. Petersburg Times. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons honey mustard
6 thin slices prosciutto
Unfold the puff pastry sheet, pressing out the seams. Spread with honey mustard to 1/4 inch from the edges. Place prosciutto slices on top and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
Roll up tightly into a log and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the log and slice into 1/4 -inch pieces. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with more Parmesan. Bake until golden brown and puffed.
Nutrition based on 1 Palmier: 96 calories, 6 grams fat, 5 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 516 mg sodium, 13 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber.