Les Petites Gourmettes Sweet & Savory Puff Pastries

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I prefer to use Trader Joe’s puff pastry for this recipe. The sheets are in a perfect square, without any folds. Pepperidge Farm is the other easy-to-find choice and will also work. The end product will be shaped slightly different, as their pasty comes folded in thirds and is a rectangular shape. It is also thinner, so no need to roll out, but you will need to thaw according to package directions before unfolding.

Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Tartlets

2 cups peeled, cored, chopped Granny Smith apples (2 or 3 small)
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash

Combine apples, walnuts, Gorgonzola, and honey in a small bowl.
Season with pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Working with one frozen puff pastry sheet at a time, cut into 9 even squares.

Allow to thaw for about 2 minutes before using a rolling pin to roll out slightly in both directions, just to thin the pastry a little. Transfer the squares to a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Place a tablespoon of the apple mixture in the center of each square. Bring up and pinch the edges to create little free-form tartlets.

Use a pastry brush to paint the outside portions of the pastry with a thin egg-wash glaze.

Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the second puff pastry sheet with the remaining filling.

Place in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until puffed up and lightly browned. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve either warm or at room temperature. Can be made and baked several hours in advance.

Makes 18

Inspiration for the recipe came to me after enjoying a White Chocolate and Limoncello Cupcake while visiting my daughter in San Francisco. 

Limoncello pairs remarkably well with white chocolate. If possible make the white chocolate cream the day before so it is fully chilled. I use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter for the puff pastry cookies.

White Chocolate and Limoncello Cookies

1 cup heavy whipping cream
14-ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
2 sheets (1 package) puff pastry
2 tablespoons cold limoncello liqueur
1 teaspoon additional lemon zest

In a large microwave- safe bowl or a glass 4-cup measuring cup, heat the cream to the point just before it boils.  Add the white chocolate to the hot cream and let stand for 4 or 5 minutes before stirring the mixture.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before using. 

Combine the zest of 1 lemon with 3/4 cup of sugar.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.

Sprinkle a work surface with 3 tablespoons of the lemon sugar and place one sheet of puff pastry on top.  Sprinkle the top of the puff pastry with another 3 tablespoons lemon sugar and roll into a square that is 1/4-inch thick.  Use a 2  1/2-inch round cookie cutter and cut out rounds. 

Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets.  Repeat with remaining puff pastry sheet and remaining lemon sugar mixture. You should end up with about 30 rounds.

Prick the rounds all over with a fork and place in the oven to bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top.  Set aside to cool.

Remove the white chocolate cream from the refrigerator and transfer to the bowl of standing mixer.  Using the whisk attachment beat the mixture until it becomes stiff.  Mix in the 1 teaspoon lemon zest and limoncello, combine well.

Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a swirl onto the top of each cookie round.

Top the cookies with white chocolate shavings.  Chill until you are ready to serve.

Makes about 30 cookies

To make chocolate shavings you will need a block of white chocolate.  Heat the block of chocolate up in the microwave on low for a few seconds.  Run a vegetable peeler along the softened chocolate to make shavings.