Puff pastry might be the most underrated item in our freezer. It goes sweet or savory and is a savior during the holiday season when you’re called upon to whip up tarts, quiches, and cookies at a moment’s notice. Take these almond wreaths: chances are you have most of the ingredients on hand (and you can substitute any nut you like for the roasted salted almonds). Don’t skimp on the egg wash, it helps to hold the wreaths together but also gives them a golden sheen. Be sure to let the cookies cool completely before packaging: if you wrap them up warm they can steam and get soggy.
½ cup roasted salted almonds
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (½ of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed according to package directions
All-purpose flour, for work surface
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°F. Process almonds, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds.
Whisk together egg and water in a small bowl. Roll puff pastry into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured surface. Brush pastry with half of egg mixture. Sprinkle almond mixture over half of pastry, pressing to adhere. Fold other half of pastry over almond mixture. Re-roll folded pastry into a 14- x 6-inch rectangle. Brush top of pastry with remaining egg mixture. Cut pastry crosswise into ½-inch wide strips. Twist the strips, and form each into a circle, pinching ends together to close. Place wreaths 1-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 20 minutes.
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