With the holiday season just around the corner, there’s no better time to get creative – and what better way than starting with the California Walnuts Holiday Blogger Challenge?
The California Walnut Commission is looking for the best holiday recipe featuring California Walnuts and I was invited to participate by the kind folks at Faye Clack. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, flavour profile, ease of preparation and the use of at least one cup of California Walnuts. The recipes should be suitable for holiday gatherings/ winter entertaining and can include amuses bouches, appetizers, side dishes, snacks, mains or desserts.
I have to say I scratched my head a little at this one, then I happened on my friend Cathy‘s blog and her raspberry-cranberry-pecan conserve for Thanksgiving. I knew I had to make this – but with walnuts. I was so surprised at how easy this one was (for a non canner/ preserver like myself!) and ended up making one jar with almonds and one jar with walnuts – the perfect accompaniment for your cheese platter, your toast or your yoghurt this holiday season. But once I had my two beautiful jars of conserves I wondered what to *make* with them and inspiration finally found me in the “LCBO Holiday Wrapped Up: Entertaining and Giving Made Easy” guide. I spied the savoury palmiers (made with tapenades and asiago cheese) and knew immediately that I needed to try palmiers for myself – but a sweet version incorporating California Walnuts and the raspberry-cranberry walnut preserve.
I’ll admit these took me two attempts – the first time I made them, I forgot the rolls of pastry in the freezer and they just wouldn’t bake up properly days later when I remembered them The next time I made then, I baked them up that same day and they were perfect. My sister ate them as an appetizer but I’d say they would work as a dessert also. Or, you know a snack. Or you know, anytime ;) Plus, they are pretty for any holiday table
- 1 pound puff pastry
- ⅔ cup raspberry-cranberry-walnut preserve (or jam or cranberry sauce)
- 1 cup California Walnuts, roughly chopped
- Roll out the pastry into two rectangles about 8" by 11".
- Spread the preserve thinly over each rectangle.
- Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over each rectangle, making sure to cover the pastry evenly.
- Roll the long end of each pastry rectangle into the centre, taking care to roll tightly (the palmiers will fall apart otherwise).
- Wrap each pastry roll tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Remove pastry rolls from freezer and let them sit for 10 minutes.
- Slice the logs into 1cm wide slices.
- Place palmiers on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, taking care to leave about 2 inches between each palmier.
- Bake for 7 minutes, then turn the palmiers over and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Serve the same day or store in airtight containers for 2-3 days. To re-crisp them, place them in a pre-heated 350˚F oven for about 5 minutes.
I was pretty pleased with how these ended up. I love the combination of walnuts and sweet jams and this works well because of the addition of cranberries – making it not too sweet. I’d even love these on a cheese tray. The possibilities are endless and now I know the trick to making palmiers, I think I’ll be making them a lot more often!