‘Mom, the shortcrust pastry is all cracked and falling apart.’
‘Just bake all of it in the oven.’
‘…. YOU PASTRY MONSTER!’
Dad likes recounting stories of how he met Mom – what he jokingly refers to as the worst mistake of his life – on the bus, and their courtship (isn’t that such a charming word?). They used to share pastries/pies/tarts and Mom loves the pastry bits, so that’s what she would have, and Dad would eat the fillings or toppings. He would say, ‘I’d smile at her and tell her that of course I love the filling, yes, when actually I like the pastry too!’
Good thing I came along to take over from Dad and happily ate all the tart/pie/pastry fillings, especially that of Cantonese egg tarts!
I’ve grown to love the combination of both now, but the entire family knows that where there’s pastry, crumble, crumbs, especially brown bits from cakes and biscuits, they’re rightfully my mother’s. Even then, I thought that we could make something out of this, rather than have my mother munch on plain pastry (as much as she’d enjoy it), and I’m glad I found just the answer when I was blog surfing.
To start with, it was an easy recipe, but I’ve simplified it a little further so there’s less work involved. The original recipes use puff pastry, but you can most certainly use shortcrust too. Of course, that means they’ll be more substantial than the crispier puff pastry. There’s also plenty of room for variety, whether savoury or sweet, like using Nutella, jam or peanut butter, omitting things you don’t like and making up your own version of these twists/straws. Yay for perfect and easy party nibbles that look and taste great!
(Makes sixteen twists/straws per sheet of pastry)
2 sheets of puff or shortcrust pastry, defrosted
Flour for dusting
3 tbsp of melted butter
Cinnamon Twists (per pastry sheet):
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
Cheese Straws (per pastry sheet):
1/4 cup of grated Mozzarella
3 tbsp of grated Parmesan
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Lightly flour your workbench and lay out one pastry sheet at a time.
For cinnamon twists: Brush melted butter onto pastry sheet, and sprinkle cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt on top. Use fingers to pat down the toppings.
For cheese straws: Brush pastry sheet with beaten egg, and add Mozzarella, Parmesan and salt.
Slice each pastry sheet into eight long strips with a floured knife or pizza wheel. Next, cut these strips into halves.
Twist these, making sure the filling stays inside, and then stretch them into about double the length.
Lay them out on the baking tray, and brush lightly with melted butter.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden.
Check that the underside is also baked well or flip them around and bake in the oven for a few more minutes.
When cool, store in an airtight container, but it’s best to consume the day that it’s made.
Time to party!