Dec 15, 2011

Vegan Christmas Tree Pastries

These tree-shaped pastries are easy and fun to make, and inspired by a post that has stuck in my head for a couple of years from VeganLovlie.  She used homemade pie crust pastry, but I went the quick route and used store-bought puff pastry.  Each package makes four 4-6" trees (more if you try making smaller ones), and you can fill them with anything you like- savory or sweet.

Start with your sheet of puff pastry and cut in half.  Then make two 1 to 1 1/2" cuts on the middle bottom for your tree trunk.  Then carefully score the outline of the tree (triangle) without cutting all the way through.  Trim the upper corners so you don't have too much dough to work with (use scraps for something else), then trim the bottom corners too.  Lastly, cut strips on either side of the tree- not an exact science, but about 1/2" each, stopping at your scored guide lines.

I added a layer of Tofutti cream cheese mixed with garlic salt, dried basil, and cracked black pepper, to make an herb spread.

Then I added a layer of a saute- spinach, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted pine nuts- sauteed in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Make sure this mixture is not wet!

Starting from the top, simply fold each strip towards the center, overlapping one side, then the other side.  Wrap firmly over your filling.

When you get to the last two side strips, fold up the two bottom corners.  You may want to trim these a bit if it seems like too much dough.  Then go ahead and finish the two remaining side strips, tucking the last one under a bit.

Place it on a prepared baking sheet (I used parchment paper), and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Then broil the tops for a minute or two- watch it until it turns golden and puffs up. Let them cool a bit before picking them up with your hands.