I recently made the mistake of buying some frozen puff pastry vol-au-vent cases thinking I was buying a puff pastry sheet. I wasn’t in the mood for making vol-au-vents, nor deciding what to stuff into them, so I rolled them out into thin sheets, sprinkled with finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a dash of cayenne, then folded and rolled again…
These are lovely little crispy, flaky-cheesy bites with a bite; perfect served with a chilled glass of wine.
The trick is to prevent them from puffing up, as you’ll see – but overall, this is a very simple recipe that’s a perfect way to use up any puff pastry you may find lurking in the back of your freezer.
You’ll need two cookie/baking sheets of equal size.
QUICK FLAKY CHEESE CRACKERS WITH CAYENNE
A sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1-2oz (28-56g) of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or sharp cheddar, mixed with dash of cayenne (optional)
A sprinkle of finely milled sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C
On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry until it’s very thin and trim it into a neat rectangle. Sprinkle the cheese and cayenne over half of the pastry and fold the remaining half over. Roll again until the cheese is well distributed.
Cut into small squares or rectangles and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment; scatter a little sea salt over the pastry squares, then cover with another piece of baking parchment.
Place the second cookie sheet on top. This will prevent the pastry from puffing up but will still give you a crispy cracker.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
These crisp little nibbles will keep for a week in an airtight container at room temperature.