Originally created 12/10/97

Desserts, appetizers wrap best of holidays



Wraps are miniature hors d'oeuvres and desserts wrapped in puff pastry, easy to prepare and serve for the holidays.

"Wraps are an easy way to combine different flavors in a way that not only tastes great but looks terrific, too," says Diane Phillips, author of It's A Wrap! (A Griffin Trade Paperback Original, $14.95).

Using prepackaged, ready-to-use frozen puff pastry, home cooks can select their favorite ingredients, wrap them all up and bake.

"You can prepare ahead, cover, refrigerate and then bake wraps when you're ready to serve," Ms. Phillips says. "That way, you can spend time with guests and not in the kitchen."

Mini Wraparound Appetizers can be made with your favorite fillings. Phillips suggests filling puff pastry with prepared pesto. Or, if you prefer spicier Mexican flavors, try pairing cream cheese with slices of jalapeno pepper. For dessert, fill puff pastry with chocolate, jams, fruit or miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

MINI WRAPAROUNDS

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1 package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

Assorted fillings (see below)

Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix egg and water. Set aside.

Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll each sheet into 12-inch square and cut into sixteen 3-inch squares. Place filling in center of square.

Brush edges of square with egg mixture. Fold two opposite corners to center over filling and pinch to seal. Place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Makes 32 appetizers or mini desserts.

Use one or any of the following fillings:

Appetizer Fillings: 1 teaspoon chopped ham or pepperoni; 1 teaspoon cream cheese (plain or flavored) and a jalapeno pepper or green olive slice or chopped ham; 1 teaspoon prepared pesto or chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and 1 teaspoon cream cheese; a small, marinated mushroom or 1-inch piece marinated artichoke heart; 2 teaspoons prepared deli seafood salad.

Mini Dessert Fillings: 1 teaspoon peanut butter, chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit, chopped nuts, miniature chocolate peanut butter cup or caramel.

To prepare ahead: Make and assemble mini wraps on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving, bake as instructed and serve warm.

CHOCOLATE CRESCENT WRAPS

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

1/2 package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

6-ounce package semisweet miniature chocolate chips

Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix egg and water. Set aside.

On lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 16-inch square. Cut into eight 8-inch by 4-inch rectangles, then cut diagonally into 16 triangles.

Arrange 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips in a line down the center of each triangle. Starting with the wide end, roll each one up and place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Bend edges in. Brush with egg wash. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 16 servings.

Tip: For best results, bake crescent wraps on a nonstick baking sheet.

To prepare ahead: Make and assemble crescent wraps on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving, bake as instructed and serve warm.

Recipes from: Pepperidge Farm