Is it ridiculously dorky that I'm blogging about this already, even though the party was this evening? I don't care. These were so tasty, and it was one of those things that when I bought the ingredients, I was practically bouncing up and down for a whole day waiting to make them, because I was KNEW they were going to be delicious. And hey, guess what? They were.
Oh yeah, so a party, right? Summer and I decided to throw a little party to get to know some of our fellow bloggers and local creative-types, and of course we had to get nerdy and pick a theme. It wasn't hard to go for pink, since Summer already has that glorious pink tree. While we didn't have any trouble coming up with ideas for pink sweets to lay out, (cake balls! meringues, an idea that was scrapped at the last minute because of the rain, boo- strawberry cupcakes! candy canes! etc.) we grasped for a few minutes to think of a savory item, before I chimed in with, "Beets!" I love beets. Whenever I roast them for something specific, I have a hard time not just gobbling them up when they're fresh from the oven. I managed to restrain myself to put together these adorable little appetizers, and it was worth the wait.
Initially, I thought I'd just throw together a roasted beet salad, but Summer mentioned something about puff pastry and the wheels in my head just started clunking around. I came up with this easy recipe (if you can even call it a recipe- how about "serving suggestion" ?) in a few minutes and the rest was delicious history.
Puff Pastry Appetizers:
5 oz. chevre
8 oz. cream cheese
handful of chopped fresh tarragon
1 package of Trader Joe's frozen puff pastry (or whatever brand you can get.)
a splash of milk
Roasted beets (roast them the night before and refrigerate or get extra lazy and buy canned beets, if that's your thing. My mom adores canned beets. I prefer to roast my own, peeled, and wrapped in tinfoil with a little bit of olive oil and salt.)
For the filling:
In a large bowl, mash together the chevre and cream cheese. Add milk a few splashes at a time while mixing until it reaches the consistency of very thick sour cream. Stir in chopped tarragon.
To make puff pastry cups:
Remember these? I just used the exact same technique to make a pastry cup. Roll out the pastry to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut rounds using a biscuit cutter or a glass or whatever round thing you have around in the size you want. Then, match up the rounds into groups of 2. Use a slightly smaller cutter to cut the middle out of every other round, so you end up with a 'rim' to stick on the other rounds. Use water to adhere the rims. The recipe for the persimmon tartlets says to weigh down the centers with a bunch of fancy crap, but when we tried to do that last time, they just puffed up and made a mess of the rice we used to try and weight them. This time, I didn't bother weighing them and I just pushed in the center right after they came out of the oven and they were still a little pliable. I ended up making them in a bunch of different sizes, because each time I cut out the center of a round to make a rim, I ended up with a smaller round, which I'd make a smaller rim for. Eventually I ended up with a bunch of puff pastry scraps, which I rolled out and punched out a bunch of tiny shapes just to nibble on. This recipe calls for 1 package of puff pastry, which is what I used, but I ended up with some leftover filling. No big deal, I just scooped it in a bowl and served it alongside the tiny puff pastry bits I baked, and dipped them in the cheese.
Pipe the filling into the pastry cups (a plastic baggie with the end cut off works just fine) and top with a slice (or, if you're feeling cutesy, find some fondant cutters and make some flower shapes like I did) of cold roasted beet.
The amounts of everything can be adjusted depending on how many people you want to feed- this made enough to keep a party of about 10-15 people happy. Honestly though, I could have nibbled on these all night. You might want to double it if you're having a large get together. Also, I think the smaller pastry cups had the best filling-to-pastry ratio, and if (or should I say "when") I make these again, I'll definitely be doing them on the small side.
Keep an eye open, we've got a couple more awesome party food recipes coming up, just in time for holiday parties!