Puff the Magic Pastry, oh the possibilities!

Everyone knows just how much I love Pinterest, and it’s no secret that I am a recipe hoarder.

I have at least three boards for recipes, ranging from entrees to crockpot to sweets… and I’m slowly but surely working my way through cooking as many of them as possible!

It’s harder for me to cook several of the recipes, because they’re more of my taste than Joey’s. That means I have to cook them when I’m actually hungry.

stuffed puff pastry

Prior to baking today’s puff pastry recipe, I hadn’t eaten for two days. Now, it’s not because I’m starving myself or doing anything stupid and extreme for dieting. It’s because the medication I’m on suppresses my appetite, and makes food unappealing 90% of the time. The other 10% I obsess over eating and crave certain foods. Usually the same foods – sushi, salmon, pickles, avocado, banana, coffee, water (yes, my autoimmune disorder often causes me to crave water because the disorder dehydrates my muscles).

stuffed puff pastry

Any recipe that includes those items are a win in my book, but unfortunately, Joey doesn’t agree about some of them. Haha, avocado for him is guacamole, and he’s super finicky about that, too. He is totally against salmon, but he does like sushi, he just doesn’t obsess over it like I do.

So recipes like this puff pastry fall completely on my shoulders to pick out, bake up, try and make the “ultimate” decision on.

stuffed puff pastry

Sometimes, I’m just not good at making those decisions.

The preschooler kept saying, “Yum! Honey, I like this! Yes, honey, I like this.” And he ate. the. whole. thing.

I’ve never seen him do that before.

It’s funny, because the little turd won’t touch avocado, but he devoured it in these pastries!

stuffed puff

I followed most of the recipe, but on a few I played with ingredients. Nothing special, and they didn’t really turn out fantastic, in my opinion, but then again, I’m not sure if it’s my taste buds being off or the combination of ingredients.

The main recipe calls for salsa, avocado, cream cheese and the puff pastry. That recipe can be found at Averie Cooks. I made a few minor modifications, which I’m sharing below.

stuffed puff pastry

Strange Puff Pastry Stuffed with Random Ingredients that I’m not sure really works, but Avocado, recipe 1

adapted from Averie Cooks

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 small avocado, smashed
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup salsa (I used Peach-Mango Jalapeno Salsa from Kroger)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Before preheating the oven, thaw the parchment paper. My particular brand recommended a 40 minute thaw time. I followed this suggestion and let it sit on the counter for 45 minutes prior to working with it.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Prepare the puff pastry by dusting your counter with some flour, and rolling the pastry sheet. You don’t want it super thin, just thinner and a bit larger.
  4. Once the pastry sheet has been rolled out, use a pizza wheel or knife and cut into squares that are about 2″ x 2″.
  5. Carefully spoon the ingredients onto the squares, being careful to keep them within the center of the square. Do this on only half of the squares, leaving the other half to use as a cover. Spread the avocado, place a small drop of cream cheese, a scoop of salsa, then season if you want  with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover the filled squares, using a fork to press and seal the edges.
  7. Using the beaten egg, lightly brush the tops of the pastries.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and puffy.

 

That is the original recipe. I also played with the variation a bit, and created something similar, but different. This variation was alright, there is still room for improvement.

_MG_6531

I think what makes puff pastry so much fun is that you can put anything in the middles, and keep at it, until you find the perfect sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • Sun dried tomato hummus
  • smashed avocado
  • feta
  • tomato slices
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Follow the same directions as above, except at step 5, spread hummus on one side, top with avocado, sprinkle with feta, place a tomato slice, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover the filled squares, using a fork to press and seal the edges.
  3. Using the beaten egg, lightly brush the tops of the pastries.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and puffy.

puff pastry

There are quite a few ideas floating around in my head with these puff pastry sheets. I think that’s what I’m most excited about – using puff pastry sheets for new and interesting fillings each time. I’m even thinking about using fruit fillings and creating a nice sweet glaze. Fruit handpies?! Yes. Please.

Hubby even tossed out an idea for an Italian puff pastry with salami, provolone, banana peppers… yum! That will probably happen next.

What ideas do you have for puff pastry filling?

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Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies, part II

This cookie recipe for the Carrot Cake Spice cookies has seriously been bugging me for days. I wanted thick, fat cookies and it just isn’t happening with my recipe. I tweaked the recipe multiple times, baked ’em up and was heart broken each time.

I couldn’t figure it out, so I embarked on some internet research.

I think I figured out my dilemma.

After comparing recipes and photos, the reason I’m not getting the fat cookies I envisioned has to be the lack of oatmeal in my mix. The big cookie pictures all featured oatmeal. My family doesn’t care for oatmeal styled cookies. So I’m not tweaking the recipe to add it in.

The last batch of Carrot Spice Cake cookies were amazing, even if they weren’t super fat. I did shred the carrots a bit thicker, and it was obvious in the cookies.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Yum.

They turned out so well that they’re almost gone. Already.

Little E has been requesting them like crazy; to the point that I had to put them away so that he wouldn’t eat them all!

carrotcakewhoopiepie

I enjoyed these babies as well. Then I had the brilliant idea to turn them into whoopie pies/cream pie style babies.

carrotcakepie3

Oh my word.

Brilliant!

I whipped up a Cream cheese/honey mixture, but I think next time I would go with a basic cream cheese icing. Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of the honey, and had a love/hate relationship with it. I wanted to eat it, but at the same time it wasn’t happening for me.

carrotcakepie4

Before Little E realized how delish these were…

But Little Man devoured it! He enjoyed it, so I think it’s just me.

Carrot Cake whoopie pies

…after Little Man took off with the other half!

When you whip up this frosting, make sure to whip it for a good solid 5 minutes. That will ensure that it is perfectly fluffy and soft. The original recipe called for just honey and cream cheese, however, I added powdered sugar to my version, and that made it better for me.

Honestly, the only reason I’m telling you this is because I believe in full disclosure. I’m going to share the recipe I used for the frosting, and leave it up to you. My son enjoyed it thoroughly; I liked it after I added powdered sugar, but I don’t think I like honey. Odd thing to say, but the medication I’m on affects my taste and it definitely affected this one!

carrotcakepie3

Now for the recipes, which I know you’ve been dying for!

Carrot Cake Spice Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (this is a secret ingredient if you want super soft cookies!)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (it doesn’t make them taste like pumpkin, trust me!)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 -1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (can omit if prefer)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat (if you’re awesome and own one).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
  3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.
  4. Add in egg, mix until incorporated, then add in yolk and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  5. Fold in carrot, coconut and nuts.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Scoop onto cookie sheet, with enough space in between to prevent cookies from touching when they spread during baking. I only baked 6 at a time.
  8. Bake at 350 degree for 9-12 minutes. With my oven, 9:30 was perfect – still slightly underbaked but not overdone.
  9. Immediately transfer to wire wrack to allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Honey icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup powdered sugar, to taste

Directions:

  1. In mixer fit with whisk attachment, combine honey, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Whisk at least five minutes or until thoroughly combined and soft/fluffy.
  2. Taste, add more powdered sugar as desired until preferred taste is found.
  3. Spread in between two cookies and enjoy!

Carrot Cake Spice Whoopie Pies

These cookies are wonderful as is, or with the icing in between. I really like this recipe, and once again, it’s one I developed and tested!

I’m proud to say that I’ve now developed two original cookie recipes. Kinda proud of myself!

Have you ever worked on a recipe? How did it work out?

xoxo,

Honey

Carrot Spice Cookies – Recipe Development, part 1!

Sorry it’s been a few days since my last post; with the holiday we’ve been spending time with friends and family.

Plus, I’ve been working on this recipe for Carrot Cake Spice Cookies.

Recipe Development for Carrot Cake Spice Cookies.

It’s not ready yet. I thought it was, but my test batch didn’t turn out the way I wanted, so this isn’t a recipe share post. More of a “I’ve-been-busy-look-at-these-flat-cookies!” post, and how can I fix it discussion.

Recipe Development - Carrot cake spice cookies

It’s a recipe in development.

That just means I get to bake up another batch.

And that means there will be taste testing!

Recipe development - carrot cake spice cookies

In this case though, the issues I have with this cookie aren’t centered around taste. I’ve got the right combination of flavoring; I don’t care for the flatness of the cookie.

Carrot cake spice cookies. Under development!

I love thick, soft cookies. Not thin cookies. These guys spread way too much for me to be totally happy with them. On the plus, they are incredibly soft, moist, and would make perfect Carrot Spice Cream Pies!!

Carrot Cake Spice cookies. Recipe Development!

I think I know where I need to reconsider my recipe – I used a cup of butter and I browned it. So I started out with liquid butter (which is usually said to be a no-no anyway) because I love the flavor boost it adds to baked goods, but I didn’t consider that I would need to increase the flour. I only used 2 cups of flour.

In my next batch, I’m going to forego the browned butter and use 1/2 cup of softened butter instead. I’m going to keep it at 2 cups of flour, and we’ll see if that helps minimize spread.

I also put in 2 eggs, but I seriously considered doing 1 egg, 1 yolk. I would like to do 1 egg, 1 yolk next time, as that helps create a beautifully soft cookie (as does the cornstarch!).

Carrot Cake Spice cookies, under development!

For the next day or so, I’m going to be reconsidering the measurements of the recipe, but I’m planning to bake up another test batch within that time frame. You shouldn’t have to wait so long for the recipe, but I want to make sure it’s right. This batch was delish, but too thin. I’m going to work on that!

Carrot cake spice cookies

In the meantime, which do you prefer – a thin cookie, or a thick one?

 

XOXO,

Honey