If you are still on the look out for an easy appetizer that you can add to your menu, count this in! This Parmesan Cheese Puff Pastry Bites are perfect for any day appetizer, breakfast or as pairing for soup or salad. It is very easy to make, simple ingredients and a great make-ahead freeze and bake options for busy days.
About This Recipe
- Ease in Making the Recipe: This recipe comes so quickly you can make it in just an hr or even less. There are no baking or cooking skills needed, you make definitely make this.
- Ingredients: the ingredients for this recipe is very easy to find, and quite basic. The main ingredients are puff pastry and Parmesan cheese. The rest are seasoning , spices and oil and butter. This recipe was made even easy by busing a store bought puff pastry. I love making blitz puff pastry, but for this recipe I highly recommended to just use shore bought puff pastry to make your life extra easy.
- Texture, Taste & Flavor: Crunchy, crispy, flaky buttery and flavorful. Every bite in this piece is just enjoyable to eat. It feels light because of the flaky puff pastry.
- Make-Ahead: Definitely one of the best thing about this is that you can make this ahead of tine, even weeks if you want to. Simply roll, flavor and cut into desired portions then freeze. On the day that you are ready to serve it, bake it straight from the freezer. Such a relief having something that you can easily puff out from the fridge and bake when needed. Works like a charm.
Let’s Talk About the Ingredients for Parmesan Cheese Puff-Pastry Bites
I would like to group the ingredients into 4 parts:
Seasoning, Herbs and Spices: the bulk of the long lots of ingredients here are just seasoning and spices. This are not set into the stone. You can mix and match spices that you like, and remove what you don’t like. I like using Italian Herbs because it is already a mixture of different kind of herbs, if you don’t have this then mix and match what you have. Salt and different kind of peppers are key for flavoring and taste too. If you do not like using a lot of pepper, feel free to decrease or omit them. I opted to use fresh garlic for a better and strong flavor, this gives a nice garlic butter infused mixture for brushing the puff pastry. If you do not have fresh garlic, you can substitute it with garlic powder.
Oil & Butter: I like using a combination of oil and butter for brushing the puff pastry. You can opt for all olive oil or all butter. I think the combination is better, but you can certainly do as you please.
Parmesan Cheese: I used the powdered Parmesan cheese which I think is nice because it doesn’t make the puff pastry extra wet when baked. I haven’t tried using freshly grated Parmesan Cheese but I don’t see any reason why it will not work. It could be even better with stronger flavor and taste. If you are substituting this with a different cheese, make sure to use a something dry and non-melting cheese that could make the puff pastry soggy.
Puff Pastry: Last but not the least, the star of the show the Puff pastry. As I mentioned earlier, using a store bought puff pastry is the best and easiest option for making this recipe. You save a LOT of time and you get better result. I like buying the sheet puff pastry that is ready to use. There are puff pastry that looks like cubes that still require rolling and flattening. If you can, avoid that one.
How to Make Parmesan Cheese Puff-Pastry Bites
As always, the details will be in the instructions section below. I also created a short video to show you how I made this. Just to give you an overview and quick summary of what you need ti do, here it goes.
Start by making the garlic butter mixture. If using fresh garlic, I suggest melt the butter with the seasoning and spices in stove stop. The direct heat extract the flavor of the garlic better than using microwave. You can of course use microwave if you want to make it faster with less extra pan to cleanup. Make sure to let the mixture cool completely before using it to brush the puff pastry. Hot mixture will make the puff pastry soggy.
Once that is done, start working on the puff pastry. Roll the puff layer and Brush the top of puff pastry with the cooled garlic butter mixture, sprinkle cheese and roll again. Brush the outside with garlic butter oil, sprinkle more cheese and spices. Doing all this before cutting it simply the process. I used cut it first before brushing each piece with garlic oil and I find it more time consuming.
Wrap the puff pastry and freeze for 30 minutes before cutting. Arrange in a baking sheet with wire rack on top and bake until puff up and nicely browned. I put a wire rack on top of the baking sheet for 2 important reasons. 1.) it keeps the puff pastry dry. Puff pastry uses a LOT of butter and this butter melts as the puff pastry bakes. The wire rack keeps the puff pastry from soaking with the puddle of melted butter as it bakes this keeping it dry and crunchy without being too oily 2:) Better air circulation. Since there is a gap between the puff pastry and bottom of the pan, the air circulation is better. This helps the even baking of the top and bottom of the puff pastry.
Important tip when using wire-rack, use a fine mesh wire rack as possible. This helps hold the puff pastry better without it going through the gaps. If you do not have a wire-rack, bake it in cast iron pan or a high rimmed baking sheet. Cast iron pan is great in retaining heat which makes the puff pastry crunchier. Just remember that melted butter cannot be avoided to soak the puff pastry if you bake it in the pan without the rack. I’ve tried it before and it also works. See my separate post here using cast iron pan.
Bake at high temperature to encourage the puff-pastry to puff-up. This is best served while warm so you can fully appreciate the flaky crunchy pastry.
What Kind of Puff Pastry Should I Buy?
There’s no shame in using a readily available puff pastry, you got to do what you got to do, so go grab them. There are 2 types that I normally saw in the grocery, but this could vary depending on where you are located. You may or may not have them, so juts make use of what is available in your area or make your own.
- There’s one that are cut into 2 thick square. This type of puff pastry will require you to roll and flatten it into about 1/8 inch thickness. It’s not difficult to do that, but that still adds time when you are in a hurry. Also, you have to target of at least having an even surface. I box contains 2 cut puff pastry.
- Then there’s my favorite type,puff pastry sheet: They normally come in 2 pcs per box, and all you have to do is thaw it a little bit in the fridge , unroll and cut them to size and shape you like. The thickness is even, so it’s you are assured that they will bake at the same time. The little time you save will make a huge difference when your tight on schedule. That will give you some time to clean up and relax before the party starts.
Can I Make This in Advance?
It’s not as if this is difficult to make, but I just want to make your life even more easier by letting you know that this can be prepared ahead of time. Do everything until step 5 (cutting the dough) the arrange it in a tray lined with parchment paper, freeze until hard and no longer sticky then transfer in a big ziplock bag so as not to crowd the dough. Keep it in the freezer and when you are ready to bake it, brush the top with spices mixture and sprinkle cheese on top. No need to thaw, just add 2 -3 more minutes in the baking time. So easy! I know that we are not supposed to return the puff pastry in the freezer once it’s been thawed, but I tried it anyway and it still works fine for me.
Let me show you how easy it is to make your own puff pastry at home. Watch till the end to see what can make with this puff pastry. Enjoy!
I like waking up in the morning especially during weekends and knowing that I could make myself some homemade breakfast without going through so much hassle. This is why I love puff pastry. This pastry is going to be you best friend especially during the holiday season or any day of the year. Regardless if you want to make a sweet or savory appetizer, puff pastry will never fail to deliver the quality of appetizer that your guest will love. Best of all, they look fantastic and easy to prepare!
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 7 tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese (or more if desired) – set aside 3 teaspoon for sprinkling before baking
- 1 clove minced Garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Herb blend (dried thyme, oregano, rosemary)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Black or White Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 sheet refrigerated Puff Pastry (I have easy Homemade Puff Pastry) recipe if you want to do it by yourself)
- Parmesan Cheese can be substituted with grated Asiago cheese or any dry (less moisture cheese). Avoid using melting cheese like Mozzarella as this could make the puff pastry soggy
- Italian Herb can be substituted by a combination of Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley or any of your favorite herbs and spice
- Paprika can be substituted with Cayenne Pepper or Red Chili Flakes (for spicier taste)
- Preheat you oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a cast iron pan for a more crunchy texture or use a baking sheet and put a wire rack on top of a baking sheet
- Prepare the Garlic & Spices: In a small pan, put olive oil, butter, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and paprika and cayenne peppers and mix just to combine. Heat in low heat for 3 minutes or until fragrant. We only want to extract the spices flavor and NOT to toast the garlic (if using fresh). Set aside to cool completely.
- Alternatively, microwave the mixture for 1 minute
- Roll out the Puff Pastry. Brush the surface of puff-pastry with cooled garlic and spices mixture and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Roll the puff pastry into a thin log shape. Brush the outside with garlic butter, sprinkle more cheese and spices.
- If you are using a home puff-pastry, roll the puff pastry to 10 x 10 size about 1/8-inch thick.
- Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make the cutting easier and will help maintain the shape when cut.
- Cut into 8 small rolls (diagonally) about 1 or 2-inch thick.
- Arrange the Puff Pastry: Place the cut puff pastry rolls onto the prepared baking sheet top with a fine mesh wire rack or cast iron pan
- If using a baking sheet: It is best to use a baking sheet or pan with high side because the oil with come out while the puff bakes.
- Bake: Place into oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.
- If not using wire-rack: Take out from the oven at 20 minutes and remove oil dripping. You can also transfer it to another baking sheet or pan. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Note: Check oven regularly when baking. If the top turns brown fast, cover top with aluminum foil and continue baking.
Makes 8 pieces
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