Chef Darin’s Perfect Puff Pastry

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This sweet treat is perfect for the holidays

Danish Puff Pastry

I first made this when I was about 9 or 10 years old.  The recipe came from the Gold Medal Century of Success Cookbook that was published as part of the company’s centennial celebration.  This two-part recipe is quite easy and produces delicious results! It was often the item I would bake to take to school as a Christmas gift for my teachers and was also something I made for Christmas morning breakfast for my family while I was growing up.  It’s still a favorite that I enjoy sharing with guests in my classes because of the impressive results that anyone can produce! — Chef Darin

2 coffee cakes of 5-6 servings each

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons water

½ cup butter

1 cup water

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs

Powdered Sugar Glaze (recipe follows)

*1 cup toasted chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut ½ cup butter into 1 cup flour until particles are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over flour mixture; mix with fork.  Gather pastry into a ball; divide into halves.  Place each ball of dough on opposite sides of an ungreased cookie sheet and pat out into 12”x3” rectangles, leaving at least 3 inches between rectangles.

Place ½ cup butter and 1 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan.  Heat to a rolling boil; add almond extract and flour and stir vigorously over low heat until it forms a ball, about 1 minute; remove from heat.  Set aside until cool to the touch or beat by hand or with an electric mixer to speed up the cooling.  When mixture is cool to the touch, add eggs; beat until smooth and glossy.  Spread half of this mixture over each rectangle.  Bake until topping is crisp and brown, about 1 hour; cool.  The topping will shrink and fall, forming a custardy top.  Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze and sprinkle with nuts.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Mix with a whisk until it forms a mealy consistency.   Using a whisk, beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and of a drizzling consistency.

*To toast nuts:  Scatter evenly on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes (depending on quantity), or until nuts become fragrant.  

Originally published on Chef Darin’s blog