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Parmesan twists

(Food Styling/Sheryl Julian &Amp; Catherine Smart; Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
December 15, 2010

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Makes about 30

The two popular brands of commercial puff pastry are made by Dufour Pastry Kitchens (available at many Whole Foods Markets) and Pepperidge Farm (at most supermarkets). Dufour is the puff pastry that many commercial kitchens use; it contains only butter, flour, water, salt, and lemon juice.

1 package (about 1 pound) frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator

1 egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt (for the glaze)

1 1/2 cups shredded (not grated) Parmesan or Romano cheese (or a mixture of hard cheeses)

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

2. Unfold the pastry. Cut it into pieces about 8 inches in length. Use the pastry without rolling. Working with one piece at a time, brush a piece of dough with egg glaze. With a long, flat-bladed knife, pizza cutter, or other roller, make long strips about 3/4-inch wide. Sprinkle with cheese. With your hands, twist the strips (some cheese will fall off). Set them on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Lightly press the ends of each twist onto the parchment. Continue rolling and twisting dough. Brush the twists again with egg glaze. Sprinkle with cheese that has fallen off. If the dough becomes too soft, refrigerate it until cold.

3. Bake the twists for 20 minutes or until they are puffed and starting to brown. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for 5 minutes or until they are golden at the parts where they twist. (Total baking time is about 25 minutes.) Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Sheryl Julian