Daily Archives: August 24, 2007

A birthday with a twist

About a week ago, I started to think about what kind of recipe to post on my birthday. My favorite recipe of all time? Nah, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Easiest recipe ever? Nope.

I went for calories (in the form of a holy trinity: olives, goat cheese, and sundried tomatoes) and relevance (the twists only last about a day).

Birthday Twists overhead

Birthday Twists (PDF)
Recipe 236 of 365

Together, Kalamata olive tapenade, goat cheese, and sundried tomatoes form one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations. Smeared between two layers of puff pastry and baked until golden brown, the trio will do a birthday party justice, but they’re actually called “Birthday Twists” because they have no redeeming health qualities; they go on my list of things to eat only once a year. (Unless, of course, you count unbirthdays.)

TIME: 20 minutes active time
MAKES: 8 twists

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a roughly 1-pound package), thawed in fridge overnight
Flour, for rolling out the pastry
1/4 cup olive tapenade
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 egg, whisked in a bowl with 2 teaspoons water
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Place the thawed pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll out the dough to flatten any creases. (Don’t try to make the dough much bigger, just strengthen the part where the dough was folded in the package.) Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half across the creases.

Spread the tapenade in an even layer over one piece of the pastry, then top the tapenade with the tomatoes and goat cheese. Place the second sheet of pastry on top, and roll gently to compress the filling a little. Brush the top piece of pastry with the egg, sprinkle liberally with pepper, and cut into roughly 8 strips about 1 inch wide and 5 inches long.

Grasp one strip with both hands, so you have one end in each hand. Give it a full twist from one end, and set it on the baking sheet, pressing both ends into the sheet with your thumbs as you set it down to prevent it from untwisting.

Birthday Twists Unbaked

Repeat with the remaining twists, and bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature (the sooner, the better).

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