So you’re having an impromptu gathering. You have exactly 1 hour to pull yourself together (AKA change out of PJs/gym clothes), clean your place up, and concoct some form of a snack to munch on while you sip your wine. Cue panic attack.
Or not! I realize that I may be one of a subset of people who believes that frozen puff pastry is a freezer essential, but I promise once you keep a constant supply on-hand, you’ll be ready to join this little cult. No, this post is not sponsored by Pepperidge Farm. Puff pastry is a freezer essential because it can be easily transformed into something sweet or savory with a relatively small amount of effort. I like this particular recipe because I always have all of the ingredients, and it’s faster to pull together than an artfully arranged cheeseboard (also, a lot more cost effective).
These parmesan pinwheels are decidedly vegetarian but there’s no reason not to experiment with adding cured meats to the mix – jut be aware that you’ll likely end up with a bit greasier pinwheel, and be sure to select something that tastes good with parmesan. The pinwheels taste best fresh and at room temperature, so let them cool while you pour your guests a glass of wine and take their coats.
- 1 sheet thawed puff pastry
- 1 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 TBSP chopped herbs (thyme and parsley work well)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mise en place, and read this recipe all the way through.
- Flour your counter top or cutting board and unfold the puff pastry. Roll to smooth the seams and create an even rectangle. You're not aiming to thin the dough, just even up the edges.
- Brush the egg wash over the top of the puff pastry and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a quick grind of pepper. While the parmesan will be salty, the pastry itself may need some extra seasoning.
- Sprinkle the parmesan evenly over the dough, leaving a quarter inch gap along the long end that is farthest from you. You will pinch this together to seal the pinwheel log prior to cutting the pinwheels.
- Sprinkle the herbs in an even layer over the parmesan.
- Gently run a rolling pin over the cheese - don't press too hard, just run the pin over the top to help press the cheese into the egg washed pastry.
- Starting from the long end of the pastry that has cheese all the way up to the edge, start rolling the pastry into a tight log.
- When you get to the end, gently pinch the pastry together to seal it. The egg wash will help the seam stay together.
- Roll the log over itself once or twice to flatten the seam, but try not to stretch it.
- Trim the edges if needed and cut into 16 pieces by cutting the log in half, then cutting each half in half, and so on until you have 16 even slices.
- Arrange in 4 rows of 4 on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the pastry is browned.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.