These twists just might be the easiest (and cheesiest) thing you can make with store-bought puff pastry. The hot honey-lager drizzle will keep you coming back for more, too. If you have any of this wickedly delish topper left over, rewarm it and drizzle over pizza, roasted veggies, fried chicken, cheese and crackers, cooked winter squash or tangy fruit salad (think tart apples, grapes and raspberries).
Ingredients for the Cheese Twists
1 large egg
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) honey lager
1 454 g package puff pastry, thawed but still very cold (see tips)
2 cups (500 mL) grated Parmesan cheese (140 g) or other hard cheese (see tips)
Ingredients for the Hot Honey-Lager Drizzle
1/2 cup (125 mL) honey lager
1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid honey
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) red pepper flakes
Small pinch cayenne pepper
Directions for the Cheese Twists
Place racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk egg with honey lager until blended. Set aside.
Dust work surface lightly with flour. Working quickly to keep pastry cold and using a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll out puff pastry into two 10-inch squares (see tips).
Lightly brush 1 pastry square with egg mixture and sprinkle half of the Parmesan overtop. Using rolling pin, very gently roll over Parmesan to ensure it sticks without enlarging pastry square too much (11 inches or less is ideal).
Top with remaining pastry square, aligning edges. Lightly brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Repeat rolling to ensure Parmesan sticks without enlarging pastry square too much (12 inches or less is ideal).
Using a pizza cutter or sharp chef’s knife, cut square into 8 equal strips. Working with 1 strip at a time, pick up both ends and twist in opposite directions several times to create a corkscrew effect. Arrange twists at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake on top and bottom racks in preheated oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through, until twists are golden brown and centres are no longer doughy, about 22 minutes. Let cool on pans on wire racks just until cool enough to handle.
Directions for the Hot Honey-Lager Drizzle
While twists are baking, in a small saucepan, combine honey lager, honey, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened (but thinner than the honey you added), velvety and reduced by two-thirds, about 12 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle over twists and serve warm.
For best results, use puff pastry within a few hours of thawing. The warmer and softer it is, the harder it can be to work with.
Puff pastry comes in different formats. Some packages contain pre-rolled sheets; if you have this type, simply unroll, check the dimensions and roll gently until it’s the size called for in the recipe. Other packages contain blocks; if this is the case, dust your work surface with plenty of flour and roll out the pastry to the desired size, turning and flipping the pastry as necessary to keep it from sticking to the work surface.
Other hard cheeses — such as pecorino, crumbly aged cheddar or grana Padano — are just as delicious as Parmesan in these twists.