I'm sure a lot of research has taken place to find out how to get consumers to purchase as much as possible, in a supermarket. The location of the special offers and the sweets near the till, for the tired toddler who's calling the shots after an hour long shop, are all part of the plan to get us to buy more. Many I don't succumb to, however one supermarket tactic that I can't ignore, especially if hungry, is the smell of freshly baked breads and pastries. Many's the time I've been lured to the baking department and a couple of pastries will ultimately make their way into my trolley. Perfect to accompany that momentous cuppa after returning home from a shopping trip with four children.
One part of Saturday mornings that I truly relish is having the time for a proper sit down breakfast, with all the children. It may just be cereal and juice, but everyone around the kitchen table is always a good start to the day. This weekend I decided I would make some little pastries to have with breakfast. I had some shop bought puff pastry in the fridge so whipping them up was no difficult fate. My absolute favourite pastry is the pecan and maple variety, so these are what I made. They are fairly sweet, and you certainly wouldn't eat them every morning, but as a treat they work out rather nice.
Maple & Pecan Puffs
1 sheet of puff pastry, if frozen thawed
100g pecans, plus a few extra for topping
60mls maple syrup
50g soft brown sugar
25g soft butter
1. Pre heat the oven to 200 C/ 390 F.
2. Roll out the puff pastry and place on a sheet of grease proof paper.
3. Place the pecans in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds. Add the maple syrup, butter and sugar. Blitz to a smooth mixture.
4. Using a sharp knife cut the pastry into 2 inch wide strips from the outer edge of the pastry and about the quarter of the way to the middle of the pastry.
5. Spoon the mixture in the middle of the pastry.
6. Fold the strips of pastry towards the centre, over lapping each of the strips, which will form a plait effect. Brush with a little water and sprinkle over a few chopped pecans.
7. Place on a large baking tray, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
8. While still hot, brush with a little maple syrup, which gives the pasties a nice shine.