Jeremy has been out of town the past couple days, and normally that means I get lazy with cooking and treat myself to In n' Out and street burritos (much less sketchy than they sound), but with the wedding less than two weeks away I've been making an effort to eat healthier, and as such have cut out sweets and white breads for a bit. I thought I'd be able to do this without too much difficulty, but I hadn't taken into consideration the fact that I'd made pretty much nothing but desserts the past couple weeks and would be staring at image after image of a dazzling array of sweets splayed across my computer screen for photo edits.
So, to distract myself, I chain-watched True Blood last night up until the season finale (Alcide!) while printing out and folding in half 100 wedding programs. It worked for the moment, but later while I was laying in bed, these pastries haunted me. I was particularly bereft with the knowledge that somewhere in my house, I had another bag of Walkers shortbread cookies leftover from this recipe, just hanging all lonesome-like with no one to eat them. But I stayed strong! And dreamt that I was living in a house with Bill Hader on Halloween and we were going trick-or-treating. I think it was some kind of mental reward for my perseverance.
But honestly, the first thing I am going to do when I get back from Oregon is make these little guys again, tear into that bag of Walkers mini shortbread fingers like it's the end of the world, and eat a giant bowl of mac and cheese. There were two things that stuck out to me about this recipe: 1) It's so, so tasty. Like a snack-sized pluot pie! and 2) It's ridiculously easy to throw together, thanks to the invention of frozen puff pastry. And yet it looks so impressive! Like you've spent years training at a French patisserie...when in reality it took you roughly an hour to throw together. Exxxxcellent.
For this recipe I used one of Walkers new mini-cookie bags that has a nifty resealable flap on the front, and in celebration of back-to-school season, they are generously offering to giveaway the full set of their four mini-cookie flavors to one of you! Included will be their buttery new mini crunchy oatmeal cookies (made with whole wheat flour and whole grain oats!), mini chocolate chip shortbreads, mini shortbread fingers, and mini shortbread rounds. YUM. They're also offering a buy two get one free coupon for use on their US site through August 29th with the code ACSCHOOL. To enter, use the rafflecopter widget below, the giveaway ends on September 5th. Good luck all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Pluot Puff Pastries
3 large pluots, any variety, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon water
Shortbread Crumb Topping
1/2 cup Walkers crushed shortbread cookies
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey, hot
1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. To prepare the shortbread crumb topping, mix together all of the ingredients until combined. Set aside. To prepare the pluot slices, stir together the brown sugar and cloves in a medium-sized bowl until well blended. Add the pluot slices and toss gently until coated. Set aside.
Cut the sheet of puff pastry into 9 equally-sized squares with a pizza cutter and place them on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the egg and water until blended, then lightly brush each square with the egg mixture. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the shortbread crumb mixture evenly atop each square, then top with about 3-4 slices of the pluots laid flat like a fan. Once all the pastries are assembled, place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 - 25 minutes, or until the puff pastry actually puffs up around the edges and turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then whisk together the honey and water and brush each pastry with the mixture for a nice sheen. Serve immediately.