I made these for Christmas 2005 with my daughter. She enjoyed making and eating them. The plate was empty in a few minutes. This recipe came from a little book called 'Bites' by The Australian Women's Weekly - Creative food
- Preheat oven to moderately hot (400°F - 205°C - Gas Mark 6).
- Combine butter and pesto in small bowl. Spread pesto mixture over pastry sheets, sprinkle with cheese.
- Using a 5.5 cm cutter, cut stars from pastry sheets, place onto lightly oiled oven trays.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until puffed and browned, cool.
This is unbelievably easy and super quick to make. I made the recipe exactly as stated (with 2T of butter, 2T of pesto and one sheet of Pillsbury Crescents). I spread the mixture basically evenly on the pastry sheet. (Note that I used a silicone cookie-sheet liner and didn't grease the cookie pan, and it was just fine). Instead of cutting into stars (which would, to me, waste a lot of the goodness of the recipe), I cut the pieces into little squares. I cooked for almost 10 minutes (about 9 1/2, to be exact) at 400-degrees and they were awesome. Next time I make these, I might try adding a bit of garlic and parmesan cheese to top off.
Overall, winner! I experimented with these, based on reviews. I used 1 sheet of puff pastry and initially got 9 stars. I decided to really load on the pesto sauce since some folks had complained of low flavor. I couldn't see mixing butter with pesto sauce, since pesto is so rich to begin with. Instead of butter, I sprinkled some Emeril essence (spicy) and just a pinch of Parmesan cheese. Baked these and they came out beautifully. However, they were too salty and pesto-laden. With the leftover puff pastry dough, I was hesitant to gather it in a ball and reroll it (like cookie dough), but that's what I did, because all I had were scraps. I cut back on the pesto topping for the second tray. I learned that you really cannot treat puff pastry dough like cookie dough. My second tray of stars were teeny tiny, not very puffed, but still flavorful...although not as good as the first tray. Upshot: even though the stars are so cute, I'd use just 1 sheet of puff pastry next time, score it into small squares (to use it all in the first baking), cover it moderately thick with pesto and some kind of spice seasoning (even just a dusting of cayenne), a pinch of Parmesan and call it a day. I would not add butter. They'd truly be too greasy and rich, in my opinion. The other thing about these (sorry to be lengthy) is that they are best enjoyed straight from the oven, piping hot and flaky. I don't know how you'd save them for a dinner party or make them ahead without losing their tenderness. I made them for the family and we scarfed 'em down fresh from the oven. And we thought they tasted fabulous!!
These were great. I cut them in circles because I could fit them together with less wasted puff pastry. I cut the circles out and put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I put them in the freezer until I was ready to bake them. ( about 2 hours) I left out the butter and just put a small spoonful of pesto on the middle of the circle and topped with the parmesan cheese and baked.