Happy holidays to our TSP readers! Britta and I challenged ourselves to create both a savory and a sweet recipe using the same common ingredient: goat cheese. The idea spurred as a result of the collaboration with The Savvy Couple. We had a lot of fun doing this so you might see something like this happening again…
Who doesn’t love a good herbed goat cheese spread with crackers? If you raised your hand, then you’ll have to wait for the next post with our goat cheese dessert recipe. Just kidding, you can adapt this recipe to suit your personal taste!
These goat cheese puffs are so tasty and look like something you would find at a formal cocktail hour. Puff pastry not only sounds and looks fancy, it is also delicious. And goat cheese is well… perfect, if you ask me. And, of course, the cherries bring a sweetness but also a tartness that really rounds out the whole flavor.
Working with Puff Pastry
Trust me, it’s not difficult.
First order of business: buy some puff pastry because we aren’t pastry chefs. Trader Joe’s has an all butter version, which is important, since puff pastry is just fast and flour. It’s also super cheap ($3-4) compared to grocery stores. It comes in a box with two sheets rolled up and wrapped in plastic. This recipe only needs one sheet, so take that extra sheet (and cover it with butter, sugar, and cinnamon and eat the whole thing) and save it for later.
Second order of business: let it defrost. Take your puff pastry out of the freezer about 45 minutes to an hour before you plan on working with it. Prep the rest of your ingredients in the mean time.
Third order of business: slowly unroll it. If your sheet starts to crack – like mine in the above photo – don’t worry about it. Stop what you’re done and just leave the sheet for a few minutes. Come back to it and continue unrolling, resting when needed. Trust me, it’ll unroll.
And don’t forget to brush the top with an egg wash! That’s how you get that beautiful golden brown top.
- 1 sheet puff pastry (1/2 box)
- 4 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp water
- Allow puff pastry to defrost by leaving in sleeve on counter for 30-45 minutes. Mix the thyme and black pepper into the goat cheese. Cover the cherries with boiling water and let sit for five minutes, then drain.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Carefully unroll your puff pastry onto a floured counter. If the dough is still frozen or begins to crack, just leave it for a few minutes and come back to it until you can completely unroll it.
- Roll the sheet into a 12x12” square. Cut the sheet into 16 3x3” squares. The more accurate the squares are, the easier the next step will be.
- Working one square at a time, fold one corner to the opposite side. Make sure the triangle is sitting such that the seam edge is closest to you and the matching tips is pointing away from you. Along the two ends which aren’t the seam, make a cut towards the point but leaving room.
- Unfold the cut triangle. You should have an inner square that is held by a piece of dough on two points – the two points you matched together in the previous step. Fold the loose right point to the inner left point. Fold the loose left point to the inner right point, which is now just the right point.
- Repeat until you fill up the sheet, then freeze for 5 minutes.
- Brush each puff with egg wash. Place a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture into the center of the diamonds, trying to keep as much inside the “border”. Place 3-4 cherries on top of the cheese.
- Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Makes 16 bites. Bites can be frozen before baking and baked directly from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.