Puff pastry is such a fun ingredient. Just watching tiny sheets of pastry grow into huge pillowy towers of buttery goodness in the oven is fun. Most of the time, you bake puff pastry for a savory or dessert tart of some type -- but there are so many other ways you can use puff pastry.
Ever been to a restaurant and been served a basket of buttery, twisty breadsticks? Those were puff pastry, and you can make them at home. Just roll out the puff pastry, poke with a fork to let the steam come out (which is called docking), and cut the pastry into strips.
Then, if you'd like, twist them for the cool effect. Either way, finish the breadsticks by brushing them with butter and topping with Parmesan cheese and garlic. Bake and serve!
Looking for a cool party food appetizer? Why not serve jalapenos, olives, hot dogs or precooked chicken fingers wrapped in puff pastry? All you need to do is roll out a sheet of puff pastry, dock it and cut it into squares of the same size as what they will wrap. Roll the puff pastry around the ingredient and bake. Serve with a dipping sauce.
Whatever you wrap in the pastry will not cook fully, so use precooked ingredients or foods that can be eaten after only a little heat.
This is the same idea as a tart, but it's still a fine way to eat pizza. Roll out the puff pastry and dock it very well so that it doesn't rise much. Bake about five minutes less than the package suggests. Then, pull the puff pastry out of the oven and cover with pizza sauce, toppings and cheese. Finally, bake until the cheese is nice and melty.
A classic use of puff pastry is to make fruit turnovers for dessert. Why not take the same idea and serve calzones for dinner? Roll out your puff pastry, dock and fill with cheese or cream cheese, sauce and pizza toppings. Fold and bake about 10 minutes more than the package indicates.
For a quick dessert, roll out and dock your puff pastry and bake until done (this can be done during dinner). Then, just press down on the top, fill with store-bought pudding, top with berries and serve.