Puff Up Your Sweet Tooth

I can't think of a more fun ingredient to work with than puff pastry. It's delicious, easy, and you can do a lot of creative things with it. And no pretense here – it is not a health food at all; it's got plenty of butter in it. But every once in a while, it is certainly a worthy treat in both savory and sweet applications. I did an awesome little savory one not so long ago with puffy Asiago straws. I had a little left over in my freezer and wanted to use it for a improv little treat. I had just the thing: mini cinnamon rolls and mini jelly rolls. Yum!

The first thing to do is thaw the sheet of puff pastry. There was not even a full sheet left, so it was perfect for one mini cinnamon roll and one mini jelly roll for each of us, and no leftovers.

Once the piece was thawed, I brushed one side with some melted Smart Balance. I then cut it into long strips, about three quarters of an inch wide or a little more. On two of the strips I generously sprinkled a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. On the other two I spooned a thin layer of raspberry preserves. Then I began rolling each one from its end into a roll, taking care not to let any of the precious ingredients spill out. I turned each on its end and placed them spread out on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet. It's important that they don't tip over in the oven, so I pushed each one down on the bottom so that it wouldn't be prone to tip. Lastly, I brushed a little more Smart Balance on top and sprinkled the lightest amount of sugar over the layers.

I then placed the sheet in a 400 degree oven for 17-18 minutes. As you might expect, these little rollups that were probably no more than an inch in diameter when they entered the oven, puffed up to several inches wide. They were puffy, crispy and golden on the outermost layers and dense and moist in the center layers. Sticky and delicious, sweet and indulgent of course. And so easy to make! Maybe that's a dangerous thing. I'll have to avoid the frozen puff pastry in the grocery store again until I have another special treat to use it for.

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