Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Kitchen: Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Stars

After my famous chocolate brownies, my most popular recipe of all time is this Classic Cheese Straws recipe. This tells that around this time of year with your cocktails (may I recommend a Pomegranate & Rosemary Spritz, a Clementine 75 or a Classic Champagne Cocktail?) is something light, slightly cheesy, slightly spicy and made of pastry? So, I thought this year I'd share a festive nibble that is even easier to make, can be made out of a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry and that will only take less than half an hour from start to finish.
Parmesan and Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape
Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape Parmesan Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape
Literally all you need to do is cut little cookie cutter stars out of the pastry (or use a ruler and a sharp knife to cut pastry straws if you don't have one to hand), brush them with egg wash and grate over some fresh parmesan or sprinkle over some spices. Let them puff up in the oven, and pile them up on a plate ready for people to enjoy. Honey & Worcestershire Cocktail Sausages always go down a storm as an accompaniment. 
Spicy Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape Christmas Kitchen Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape Parmesan & Spicy Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape Christmas Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Star Canapes #christmas #newyear #canape
You'll get around 46 stars out of one pastry sheet if you're careful about getting as many stars out of the pastry as possible (if you've made my Easy Apple & Cinnamon Hand Pies you'll know that pre-rolled puff pastry does not take kindly to being squashed up and re-rolled), which should fit happily on two baking sheets, one for the parmesan stars, one for the paprika ones. You can always just make a big batch of your favourite, but different people like different things, and I love how the two contrasting colours look piled up together on a plate.

  • 1 x 320g (12 oz) Puff Pastry Sheet
  • Plain Flour
  • 1 Small Egg
  • Splash Milk
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper 

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees (375 farenheit) and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Lay the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and cut out as many stars as you can, dividing them between the two baking sheets as you go. Brush each star with the egg beaten with a splash of milk. Grate parmesan over one tray of the stars, and sprinkle spices over the over. I like to use a ratio of 2 parts paprika with 1 part cayenne measured roughly with a teaspoon into a mini sieve or a circular tea strainer for easy dusting. Bake in the oven for around 8 minutes until the stars have puffed up and the parmesan has gone golden. Allow to cool, then serve piled high on a serving plate.

A little crib sheet for this recipe. None of the ingredients are fancy, but I use Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets as they're often on offers like 2 for £2, and freeze well. Any baking sheets and baking parchment will do, and you should find a star cutter for less than £1 in any bake shop this time of year. I typically use one for dusting icing sugar and cocoa powder over desserts, but I'd really recommend investing in a mini sieve, as they're only a pound or two and so helpful for putting a professional finish on things, like these stars! 

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