Go on and add puff pastry to the list of good things you can snackify in your waffle iron. Here's how to make them, with tips for what works and what most definitely doesn't.
I usually keep at least one package of puff pastry dough in my freezer as a handy shortcut to easy appetizers, dinners, and desserts. But recently, I've been wondering if I could do something else besides bake it in the oven. So, I ran a few experiments to see how puff pastry would behave in a waffle iron. Turns out there were a few surprising wins and woes along the way you might find helpful.
Puff Pastry Waffles: Key Learnings
Puff pastry won't stick to your non-stick waffle iron. Puff pastry is made of pastry dough and fat (traditionally butter) sandwiched and folded together multiple times—aka laminated—to create hundreds of flaky layers when the dough is baked. Thanks to all that built-in fat, puff pastry lifts right off the waffle iron, no problem. There are some very important exceptions, which I'll get into later. And, since I only tested this with my non-stick, I can't predict how puff pastry will behave in a waffle iron that's not non-stick. Your mileage may vary.
Waffled puff pastry gets only slightly puffy. It's true that the pastry won't rise anything like as high or get as airy as it would with conventional oven-baking, but it does puff up slightly in the waffle iron. And it puffs up even more after you lift the weight of the lid off the pastry. It's actually pretty cool to watch, but don't expect a lot of loftiness.
The crispy crunch totally makes up for the lack of loft. Waffled puff pastry turns out so shatteringly crisp and crunchy, that you can overlook it's relative flatness. Plus, it's sturdier than baked puff pastry and will hold its own with spreads instead of bending or break in your hand.
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Oh, yeah. And though it's not lofty, it pulls apart with all that luscious elasticity you know and love from classic laminated pastries such as croissants.
Plain puff pastry has it's own very mild, buttery flavor—neither distinctly savory nor sweet—because it's really meant to be the foundation for other flavors. But after the sandwiching fails (yes, I'll get into that later, I promise!) I opted to add extras after the waffling, except for my experiment with cheese-stuffed waffles.
Puff Pastry Waffles with Syrup and Raspberries
The crisp structure of the puff pastry waffles made it possible to pick these up and eat them with my fingers like a true snack food, even after I drenched them with syrup. Can't do that with a more bendy waffle.
Puff Pastry Waffles with Nutella and Raspberries
Shown at top. The waffles are pretty hot when they come off the iron, all the better to melt the chocolaty Nutella I spread on them. The crunch of the butter flaky waffle combined with the warm melty hazelnut chocolate spread made every bite 100% win.
Savory Cheese-Stuffed Puff Pastry Waffles
These actually worked beautifully as sandwiched waffles. Yes, the cheese oozed out onto the waffle iron, but there's so much fat in the cheese that it couldn't cling to the grid. I just picked it off (and ate it—don't judge).
I made this batch with Beecher's Flagship Cheddar that I grated and sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry. Baked it for three minutes on a medium setting, and it was perfect. So golden and crisp on the outside, with melty cheese that seemed to have permeated all the interior layers. Next time, I'll do a combination of super-melty smoked Gouda and Cheddar. Maybe spread a little pesto or add a thin thin thin slice of prosciutto or jambon. Sound good?
How to Make Savory Cheese-Stuffed Puff Pastry Waffles
1. Thaw puff pastry and unfold onto a parchment-lined cutting board. Cut into squares. Cut squares in half to make equal-size rectangles, if desired.
2. Lay one piece on the heated waffle iron. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Lay a matching piece of puff pastry on top of the cheese layer.
3. Close the waffle iron and bake on medium setting for 3 minutes, or until as toasty as you like it. Note: Every waffle iron behaves differently; yours may take more or less time to toast than mine did. Test, test, test until you get a good idea of how to get the results you want.
This is just as important as what worked. Let's just say I totally messed up stuff so you don't have to. You are welcome.
- Puff pastry sandwiched with mini chocolate chips. The interior never got quite hot enough to melt the chocolate thoroughly, and the chocolate that escaped from the sandwich melted and stuck to my non-stick waffle iron. Such a pain to clean up.
- Puff pastry sandwiched with jam. The heat made the jam go all liquidy so it oozed out of the pastry and burned itself onto the waffle iron. Much cursing ensued as this was even harder to clean up than the melted chocolate.
Win or What?
For speed, versatility, and sheer yum-factor, I'd say puff pastry waffles are a win (with the obvious exception of the chocolate and jam sandwiches). They'd make innovative party finger food and quick midnight snacks. Go for it!
Photos and food styling by Vanessa Greaves
Speaking of Waffles
- Here's how to make French toast in your waffle iron.
- Try these savory waffles for dinner.
- Get tips for making the best homemade waffles.
- Explore our complete collection of waffle recipes.