Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Strawberry Amaretto Pastries

First things first - these are every bit as good as they look. Strawberries are coming into season, which means you can buy better quality at a lower price. Isn't it amazing how that works? In a couple of months, I'll go picking with my best friend, and there's no telling what I'll post on here! For now, however, let me introduce you to a dessert that requires little effort yet is sure to please. One more note - this isn't healthy. I know it's got strawberries and a light, fluffy cream filling, but it's also got puff pastry (AKA: pure butter) and a whole lot of sugar. Eat a serving, enjoy it, and share the other eleven. (Displayed on the Trifle Bowl stand.)

Strawberry Amaretto Pastries

1/2 package frozen puff pastry dough (1 sheet), thawed
1 tbsp. sugar
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whipped topping, thawed
12 large strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unfold pastry dough, and slice in 12 squares. Sprinkle granulated sugar over dough's surface, lightly pressing in. Separate squares, and bake on Large Bar Pan for 16-18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool completely.

Whisk sour cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together. Fold in whipped topping.

Split open each pastry, and fill with 2 heaping tablespoons of filling and strawberries. Top with other half of the shell, and serve immediately.

Rebecca, a friend of mine who was over for dinner, happens to be a master of all things strawberry. She sliced these bad boys beautifully! Her station includes the Large Cutting Board, the 3 1/2-inch Paring Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection, and a Small Square Plate from the Simple Additions Collection.

After sprinkling puff pastry with sugar and slicing it into squares/rectangles, transfer it to the Large Bar Pan for baking. Hi, Mini-Serving Spatula. Thanks for getting under the dough without ripping it apart!

This is Rebecca. She's great, and she happens to love getting puff pastry squares off hot pans. These will cool on the Cooling Rack while Rebecca and I finish the filling.

If you don't have a Measure-All Cup, get one. This thing is incredible for measuring anything you can think of, but it really shines when you need sour cream, honey, peanut butter, and all that other not-solid-not-liquid stuff. Push it down, fill it up, and pop it out. I'm using the Classic Batter Bowl and the Classic Scraper for this mixture... classic.

This is my tweaked version of a Pampered Chef recipe, and one of my tweaks is that I use vanilla instead of almond extract. There's no reason other than my lack of almond extract and unwillingness to go buy it. The original recipe also includes almonds, which I didn't have. So now you know why these are called Strawberry Amaretto Pastries. Admittedly, I have abused the recipe, twisted it around, and passed it off as my own. Someone slap me. Moving on: This is the best Vanilla you'll ever use. Yes, I'm making a bold statement. Double-strength means the bottle lasts a really long time. Behind my display, you can see an Easy Read Measuring Cup with a little brown "eh" inside. That's why you never measure over your recipe: 1/4 tsp. becomes 1 tsp. very easily with a spill. Surgeons are allowed to break the rule since they have those crazy, steady hands. As for the rest of us, let's be realistic about our limitations.

This is where it all comes together! Don't you love this point in a recipe? You've done the work, and now you can enjoy the final step! Split each pastry with the Mini-Serving Spatula, fill it using a Large Scoop (2 heaping tablespoons basically equal 3 tablespoons, which is what the Large Scoop measures, right?), add some strawberries, and prepare for awesome in your face. Just be warned that puff pastry crumbs will be all over the table when you move the Cooling Rack.

If the first picture didn't inspire you to make these, this one should. If you can resist the urge to go buy strawberries and puff pastry right now, you're stronger than I. And probably thinner. Make these this spring and summer, and experiment with other fruits, extra layers, and maybe double-fisting. Enjoy!

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