A Trifle Easy

December 5, 2011

This year I have vowed to keep things simple at the holidays, so I am sharing with you 2 easy go-to ideas to bring to any party or when people come over.

The first is Ina Garten’s Ham & Cheese in Puff Pastry –
so good & all 4 ingredients can be on standby for a fancy appetizer.
The best thing about this idea is you can substitute any great combo
such as Brie & Raspberry Jam, Turkey and Cheddar, Fig Jam & Goat cheese,
or whatever you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 pound black forest ham, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10 by 12 inches. Place it on a sheet pan and brush the center with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm.

The second Idea is for an easy trifle – the holiday dessert that looks so pretty in
a glass bowl with layers.

Chocolate Peppermint Trifle:
Layer brownies, vanilla ice cream, and crushed peppermint candy in 3 layers, finishing with whipped cream and candy pieces.  You can think of other easy to grab cakes, such as angel food cake or pumpkin bread, and pair with ice cream and candy flavors that complement the cake & the season.

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