It's time for another confession. Back when all the Daring Bakers were making puff pastry from scratch, I was overwhelmed with feelings of respect, obviously, but also of smugness. I kept saying to myself "Suck-ahs!" because the ease of preparation and high quality of the storebought stuff has always been and will probably always be good enough for the Gracemeister.
I'm no fool--I understand that if successful, the pride and sense of accomplishment one would have after preparing puff pastry from scratch would be incredible. I can only assume that it tastes better than the Pepperidge Farm version too. So I tip my hat to you folks--well done!
Me, I'll stick with the easy stuff until I stumble upon the fountain of ambitiousness and take a drink. :)
Behold, my recipes for some awesome beastly pastries:
1 cup almonds, ground
1 cup pecans, ground
1/2 cup sugar
2 sheets puff pastry, ambitiously homemade or lazily storebought
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To prepare the goo, simply mix together the nuts, eggs, and sugar until well-combined.
Roll the thawed puff pastry into a large rectangle (9 x 12 inches, give or take) and make twelve 3-inch squares. Apply an egg wash to the top of each square. Plop about two tablespoons of goo onto each square and form it into a log on the bottom end. Roll the bottom about one-third of the way to the top and then fold the top down to meet it. Press gently to seal. Make four diagonal slits into the bear claw-in-progress. Pinch to form the traditional shape, egg wash the top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Repeat with second sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool on wire rack and top with a powdered sugar glaze if so inclined.
2 cups granulated sugar
cinnamon to taste
dash o' salt
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour 1 cup of the glorious mixture on a flat surface. Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. Roll the dough into a 12 x 12-inch square and press the sugar into the puff pastry on top and bottom. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book, making 6 layers. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with second sheet.
Bake the cookies for 6 minutes until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.