These little puffs are filled with two kinds of cheese, and they're a cinch to make. They're a perfect vegetarian party appetizer because they're so fast and easy.

Makes 1 dozen puffs


Note: Puff pastry is commonly sold in a 17.2-ounce box with 2 sheets per box; for this recipe, you need 1 sheet, which measures about 8 inches square.

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (fat-free or light is okay)
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but still cold (see note)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. all-purpose seasoning blend (like Lawry's, Grill Mates, Mrs. Dash)
  • Salt and pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. water


    Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cooking spray, making sure to spray thoroughly to prevent the puffs from sticking; set aside.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the pumpkin purée and cream cheese. Some small cream cheese chunks are okay; set aside.

    Unwrap puff pastry and place on a clean, lightly floured counter or work surface.

    Spread pumpkin and cream cheese mixture over the puff pastry, leaving a half-inch margin on all sides.

    Sprinkle seasoning blend evenly over the top.

    Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if using, to taste. (Take care not to oversalt: Some seasoning blends are already heavily salted, and both the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese have salt.)

    Evenly sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

    Roll up the puff pastry in an as-tightly-wound cylinder (log) as possible.

    With a very sharp knife or bench scraper, slice the log into 12 equal-size pieces. This is messy; some filling will leak out, the slices will seem very thin and skimpy—all normal and okay. Just get them into the pan any way you can, pretty or not. Place one slice in each well of the prepared pan; set aside.

    In a small bowl, lightly beat together the egg and water to create an eggwash. Brush eggwash over pastry slices,;distribute evenly until it's gone.

    Bake for about 20 minutes, or until puffs are golden, puffed, set and done. The cheese and egg will be glistening and a bit bubbly.

    Allow puffs to cool in pan for about 5 minutes before removing. Wedge the tip of a rubber spatula into the pan to "pop" them out if they're being stubborn. Serve immediately. Extra puffs will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to three days; reheat gently in the microwave before serving.

    These are delicious as is, but you can also serve them with mustard, horseradish, ranch dressing or ketchup (especially for kids—everything is better with ketchup).

    From Cooking with Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie (Countryman Press) by Averie Sunshine.

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