Decadent, Sophisticated and Oh So Easy: Nutella Puffs!

The phrase, "less is more," applies to more than just aesthetics.  The same concept pertains to food as well.  You can rock the house with five ingredients or less, but it's all in how you use them.  The more I entertain guests at home, the more I find myself hopping in the kitchen and delighting company with something simple, but delicious.  First thing's first, who doesn't enjoy the velvety goodness of Nutella?  You could spread it on a shoe and it would taste good (but please don't try that at home lol).  I got to wondering just how many ways I can use the stuff, and I started by making little Nutella toaster pastries, but I wanted something a bit more sophisticated.  Puff pastry was just the thing, and it made for a delicate, flavorful pillow of indulgence.  You can't eat just one!

-  1 sheet puff pastry
-  about 1/4 cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
-  powdered sugar for dusting
-  1 egg, beaten

Make sure to thaw out your puff pastry before use.  Store bought brands typically fold one sheet into thirds, which makes sizing these morsels much easier.  You can either handle thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, or wax paper (I prefer the latter for easier clean up).  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Split the puff pastry into thirds, and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut about 18 equal rectangles.  With a pastry bag, or a little sandwich bag with a cut corner, pipe about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Nutella in the center of half of the rectangle.  Fold the other half of the pastry over the nutella, and gently press around the filling to let any air bubbles out.  Crimp all four side of the pastry with a fork, but be sure the crimp the folded side last, that way the filling will be less likely to escape.  Paint beaten egg over prepared puffs, giving a thick coating that will provide a toasty shine when baked.  Bake the puffs on a cookie sheet for 25 minutes, or until the pastries begin to turn golden brown.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

Now, don't limit this dessert to just nutella, there's a multitude of fillings you can use and they will turn out just as tasty.  Throw a few chocolate chips inside, or use your favorite fruit jam.  You can even turn this recipe into a savory treat by using spinach and cheese as your filling, or maybe even a little piece of ham.  The possibilities are endless, and your guests will never forget it.  You might find yourself suddenly entertaining more often since your friends will want to come back for more!

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