Holiday Angel Wings:
Savory Bites of Bliss
by Kate Heyhoe
Gaaaa! What happened to October??? Where did it go?
Already the holidays are here and I'm completely unprepared. Well, not really. I always try to keep some staples on hand for spontaneous holiday entertaining—ingredients we'd enjoy on any given day, but which can also be transformed into artistic flurries of fanciful flavors.
Like these pretty little bites, made with a favorite shortcut: crescent dough. I recommend serving these hot from the oven, and if you have a warming tray, just slide the parchment sheet of savories directly onto the tray. They look like a little army of red and green angels.
What other items are good for impromptu holiday cooking? I like to keep these on hand for spontaneous party-fixings—they can turn simple dishes into magical bites of bliss:
- Pesto (green basil and red tomato)
- Hummus (black olive and red pepper)
- Nuts (whole and chopped, toasted)
- Seeds (cumin, caraway, sesame, sunflower)
- Olives (whole and chopped, black and green)
- Flavored cream cheese (green onion and chive)
- Fresh herbs (Italian parsley and cilantro)
- Lemon (a squirt of lemon juice brightens flavors)
- Flavored oils (basil, hazelnut, lemon; Boyajian makes a wonderful garlic-oil)
- Capers (for a puckery, salty blast)
- Cheese (any kind: melted cheese is a party in its own right)
- Feta cheese (softens but doesn't melt)
- Barbecue sauce (gussy it up with balsamic vinegar)
- Mini-tomatoes (grape, cherry, red, yellow, orange)
Whether you use crescent dough, puff pastry, pizza shells, or good bread or crackers, these items can make your holiday bites merry and bright.
To show you what I mean, here's the recipe for Red 'n' Green Angel Wings: mini-tomatoes, cheese and parsley, with balsamic-barbecue sauce, cradled in crescent dough pastry. Yum!
Red 'n' Green Angel Wings
by Kate Heyhoe
As editor of FoodWine.com, I've written two books on finger food: Great Bar Food at Home was a James Beard Award Finalist and Macho Nachos (iPad version or Kindle version) has moved from print to popular ebook. I'm a big fan of festive, tasty party food, and I love the red and green colors of these pull-apart, bbq-tomato-cheese bites. Some of the "angels" unfold their wings as they bake, others hold tight—either way, they look (and taste) divine.
Note: My thanks to the folks at Pillsbury, who commissioned me to develop this recipe. Visit the Pillsbury Holiday Recipe Collection for more time-saving treats.
Total Time: 30 minutes
• Prep: 20 minutes
• Cook: 10 minutes
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
- 2 tablespoons prepared barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 5 ounces string cheese sticks (5-6 sticks)
- 16 grape tomatoes
- 1 can Pillsbury® Grands! Crescent Big & Flaky (8 ct)
- 32 leaves Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Steps (jump to photos below):
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line an 18x13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set out all ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, combine the tomato pesto, barbecue sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
3. Slice a string cheese stick lengthwise into 4 long strips. Cut the strips across into thirds (about 1-1/2 inch pieces). Continue to make 64 pieces. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise.
4. Unroll the dough; separate into 4 rectangles, and arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Firmly press perforations to seal. Cut each rectangle into 8 squares (do not slice through the parchment). Slightly separate the squares and space them evenly on the parchment.
5. For each dough square: smear a small amount of pesto mixture across the dough from opposite corners. Place a parsley leaf over the sauce on one corner. Arrange 2 lengths of cheese on top of the sauce, and set a tomato half between them.
6. Fold opposite corners of the dough up and over the filling; pinch to seal. (You should have a tomato half peeking out one end of the bundle and a parsley leaf on the other.)
7. Bake 10 minutes, or until the dough puffs up and is golden brown.
8. Slide the parchment directly onto a serving platter, cutting board, or warming tray, and serve warm. If desired, serve any extra sauce on the side.
- • The parchment keeps cheese from sticking; it protects the pan when cutting the dough, and you can slide the whole sheet of cooked pastries from the pan to a serving platter or board—so they're out of the oven and ready to serve!
- • For even sides, line up the uncooked dough edges with the back of a knife, or a dough scraper.
- • When pinching the dough corners together, keep the dough surfaces free of sauce or moisture, so they stick together.
- • You'll have extra sauce, which you can serve on the side if desired. Any extra cheese bits go to the cook and handy helpers.
1. Set out the ingredients.
2. Combine the tomato pesto, barbecue sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
3. Slice the string cheese stick and tomatoes.
4. Form dough into rectangles and cut into small squares.
5. Top dough with pesto mixture, parsley, cheese and tomato.
6. Fold dough corners up and pinch to seal.
7. Bake until dough puffs and turns golden brown.
8. Slide parchment onto a serving platter, serve warm.
Copyright © 2013, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified November 2013