Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Black Sesame, Parmesan & Garlic...Za'atar & White Truffle, Vanilla Sugar & Cinnamon....

photos by shirley serure photography

You know those breadsticks you sometimes find on your table at a restaurant? The crunchy, salty, simple breadsticks. They usually only taste good because you are hungry and they happen to be right in front of you. Well, here is my version of the breadstick- crisp, light, but these are full of flavor. I use store-bought puff pastry to twist up long straws that I brush with butter or olive oil, and then sprinkle with intense flavor combos: black sesame seeds, parmesan and garlic, za'atar and white truffle salt, or vanilla sugar and cinnamon! I bake them until they are golden and fragrant- then set them out on display in tall drinking glasses and small vases. They are showstoppers- but my guests never just look at them. These are devoured in no time. They are great-looking on my dining table at cocktail or dinner parties...and of course, always a hit at Yom Kippur break-fast because they are so appealing! Best of all, I prepare them in advance, and freeze them on baking sheets without actually baking them. Then, on demand, just before my guests arrive, I place them straight from the freezer into a preheated oven and voila! The smell of golden, crisp pastry will fill your home, and delight your senses...A simple, delicious way to bring something special to the table.

Puff Pastry Twists

Yield: 12- 15 twists

1 sheet puff pastry (I use Pepperidge Farm), slightly thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 400. Place the puff pastry sheet on a piece of parchment paper, and roll out gently (until it is about 14”x9”). Brush egg wash all over the pastry, and sprinkle with the topping of your choice. Use a sharp knife to cut pastry into 1-inch strips. Twist the strips gently and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden or freeze immediately on baking sheet. If freezing, you may bake them frozen in a preheated 400-degree oven.

Za’atar & White Truffle Topping:
1 tablespoons za’atar
½ teaspoon white truffle salt

Black Sesame, Parmesan & Garlic Topping:
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Vanilla Sugar & Cinnamon Topping:
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

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