Monday, June 4, 2012

Sweet nothings

This week it was my turn to bring dessert for our weekly neighborhood potlucks. I decided I wanted to try something different, so I dug through my recipe box and pulled out something called Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

I had to buy baking chocolate, but I already had everything else I needed.

I opened a sheet of puff pastry (there are two sheets per box)...

...and sliced each sheet into 18 small squares, which I then rolled until they were about 4" by 4". These I tucked into muffin cups.

Though the recipe didn't call for it, I decided to add bit of corn syrup...

...which I mixed into the peanut butter.

Then I broke up some baking chocolate into small pieces.

Then to each bit of puff pastry tucked into the muffin cups, I added a dab of sweetened peanut butter...

...and topped it with a piece of chocolate (this was semi-sweet chocolate, by the way). Then I baked them at 400F for 11 minutes.

They came out looking, well, puffy.

Meanwhile I figured, why not fill the puff pastry cups with something else besides just peanut butter and chocolate? I decided to experiment a bit.

This mixture is equal parts ricotta cheese and cream cheese, with some powdered sugar added to taste.

I added some orange juice concentrate to give it a little zip.

Then I whipped some cream...

...and sliced some strawberries.

Then I rolled out all the remaining puff pastry and tucked the pieces into muffin cups, and baked them empty. The theory was these would form nice tidy cups into which people could tuck their favorite ingredient. However for the most part they turned out (ahem) too puffy for that.

By this point it was too late to make anything else, so I just hoped people could sort of "pile" the puff pastry with their ingredient of choice. I packed everything into a basket and we went to the potluck.

Well oh my goodness, they were a huge hit. Besides the pre-made peanut butter ones, folks just piled mixtures of the other sweet ingredients onto the pastry and enjoyed the flavors. Out of the 36 pieces I brought, this was all that was left.

So I've decided to add these to my dessert repertoire and dubbed them "sweet nothings." You can put anything in them.

I love puff pastry, it's the most amazingly versatile (and delicious) base for so many dishes, both sweet and savory.


  1. Thou art most assuredly a bad girl.


    And no doubt verrry popular at those potlucks! And rightly so!


  2. Puff pastry is a wonderful luxury! Can't wait to try your latest invention!
    Try this: Unfold a sheet on a nonstick baking pan to thaw. Cut in diamond shaped bites with a pizza wheel. Or squares, whatever. Brush with butter, cover with finely shredded cheese, top with finely chopped (or snipped) bacon bits. Bake as directed on the package, till puffy and golden. Irresistible. If I ever get tired of these, I'll experiment with a pizza theme on puff pastry dough.

  3. Flash of brilliance! Your Sweet Nothings shells topped with Enola Gay's lemon curd! **ecstasy**

  4. One can NOT go wrong with puff pastry. Wish it weren't so spendy - or maybe it's good that it is since I lack self-control.

  5. My mom used to make cream cheese pizzas. If you want them to form better cups try using a couple ceramic pie weights as "filling". This will help them stay down in the middle and more cup like.