Cheese & Bacon Pull-Apart Pastries
Today's recipe is perfect when you want to impress guests and is ready in no time and the great thing about it is that you can use your imagination to create a whole host of sweet and savory fillings and flavors. Because this recipe uses sheets of ready made puff pastry it is so fast to prepare and when combined with smoky bacon, cream cheese and a few other tasty treats it creates these golden puffs of deliciousness but you could easily omit the bacon for a tasty vegetarian option too.
Ensure that your bottom sheet of pastry is still quite firm before you start, so it is easier to spread the cream cheese. If it is too soft it will be difficult to spread. You can pop it back into the freezer to firm up a bit and then continue. The top or covering sheet of pastry must be sufficiently soft before twisting into shape or it will snap if too hard.
Nutella, chocolate spread, nuts, cinnamon sugar filling, jams all make good sweet options
Savory dips, pesto, smoked cheeses, herbs, finely chopped ham/salami/basil all make good savory options
If you can't get your hands on Philadelphia cream cheese with Sweet Chilli Sauce, simply add a layer of plain cream cheese and some sweet chilli sauce - it will be just as delicious!
YOU WILL NEED
2 square sheets puff pastry about 25cm x 25cm/ 9"x 9"
1/3 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese with Sweet Chilli Sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped smoked bacon pieces
1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 egg lightly beaten OR a little milk
A little extra grated Parmesan
Preheat your oven to 200°C/390°F.
Line your baking tray with baking paper and place one sheet of pastry in the tray
Lay one, still firm, pastry sheet on the tray.
With a spatula, spread the cream cheese/sweet chilli sauce, thickly and evenly over the pastry sheet.
Evenly sprinkle the chopped bacon and grated Parmesan cheese over the cream cheese, leave a small gap around the edge so when you twist, it does not all ooze out at the edge, a bit if fine though, don't worry too much about it as it adds to the rustic appeal
Top with the second sheet of pastry and GENTLY press together.
Once the top sheet of pastry has also softened, use a sharp knife to cut even slices, being careful not to cut through the baking paper, leaving a circle in the center of the pastry - see picture above.
Gently twist each piece making individual "curls" - see picture above.
Brush with the beaten egg or milk (if you want a vegetarian option) and then sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, sesame seeds and a little extra Parmesan cheese if desired.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and serve warm. Serve with dip if desired
SERVES 4-6 AS AN APPETIZER