There's just something about food that's cutely shaped that makes it a little superior. That's exactly why we totally fell in love with cut-out puff pastry bites. Choose whatever shape you like, but stars have the right razzle-dazzle for happy hour. These guys also have the dusting of smoked paprika on top going for them, so they feel just elegant enough when paired with a glass of wine. And if you're wondering what wine would go best, we've got an answer for you.
Smoky Puff Star Bites: Watch the Video
A 3-Ingredient App That Comes Together in Under 10 Minutes
If you have a box of puff pastry in your freezer, you pretty much have everything you need to make this cocktail snack. Cut the thawed dough using a mini star-shaped cookie cutter (any small shape you have will work), brush them with an egg wash, dust them with smoked paprika, and bake. Paprika lends a rich, smoky flavor that really makes these bites stand apart, but if you don't have it on hand, don't fret — garlic powder, grated Parmesan, or even just salt and pepper will still result in crowd-pleasing nibbles.
Make It a Party! What Wine to Drink
A simple cocktail snack like these puff pastry stars needs something simple and easy-drinking, which is why I like Beaujolais.
3 Great Bottles of Beaujolais Under $15
Why Beaujolais Pairs Well
Beaujolais is a light-bodied, fresh, and fruity French red wine that is hard not to love. These stars are buttery but they aren't a heavy appetizer, so they match well to a wine that also isn't too heavy. At the same time, the paprika gives them a smoky element that's often a background flavor in the wine. To best enjoy Beaujolais, serve it chilled, at around 55°F (that means about an hour in the fridge, or 15 minutes in the freezer before popping the cork).
How to Throw a $20 Cocktail Party
There's nothing better than a fun and festive cocktail party with your friends — but hosting one definitely doesn't need to put a big dent in your wallet. This week, we're showing off six appetizer recipes and the budget-friendly wines that pair best with them to inspire you to throw an "Appy Hour" any night of the week.
Smoky Puff Pastry Stars
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
All-purpose flour, for the work surface
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the paprika and salt in a small bowl; set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
Unfold one puff pastry sheet onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a 1 1/2-inch wide star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out individual pastry stars and place them on the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry sheet.
Brush egg wash on top of each star, then sprinkle the smoked paprika mixture evenly over the stars.
Bake until the stars are puffed and golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.