Last week I had some puff pastry left over so I decided to do a little experimenting. I modified a Bon Appétit recipe for Caramel Hazelnut Tartlets and what I ended up with was something that I dubbed "The Jerry Brown". Much like our newly elected governor; it's nutty, flaky, sweet and easy on the wallet...if I had to describe it, I'd say my version of the recipe was more like a mini-sticky bun. Anyhow political humor aside, this treat makes a great accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or tea on a crisp autumn day.
The Jerry Brown
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 c. hazelnuts, toasted, husked and chopped
1 1/3 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- For caramel filling: Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, 2 Tbsp. water, and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to boil, then boil 2 minutes without stirring (mixture will bubble up and thicken slightly). Remove pan from heat. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously); stir until smooth. Pour caramel into 2-cup measuring cup; cool 10 minutes.
- Roll puff pastry sheet out and using a circular cookie cutter, punch out 24 circles.
- Prick pastry with a toothpick or fork several times to aerate it.
- Place one circle of pastry in each opening of mini muffin pan. Press down so that the pastry conforms to the shape of the pan.
- Place pastry in oven and cook for 7-10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Fill each puff pastry with chopped hazelnuts, push down a bit on the middle so that the hazelnuts settle.
- Place pan back in oven and bake for 5 more minutes until pastry is done.
- Remove pan from oven. Spoon caramel over hazelnuts in crusts, filling crusts almost to top.(Caramel will absorb into the puff pastry slightly).
- Serve warm.