French Fridays: Hors d’oeuvres for the holidays

Puff pastry appetizers for the holidays on eatlivetravelwrite.comHello December!  How has this snuck up on us? I guess here in Toronto, the weather has been unseasonably warm so it doesn’t *feel* like Christmas is just three weeks away!  In any case, as party season descends upon us, I’m here with some easy French-themed holiday appetizers that are not only easy to prepare but that will wow your guests (who will all ask “You MADE this?”). But sssh- these are all super easy, so don’t let them know you weren’t slaving in the kitchen for hours on them 😉

The recipes I am sharing today are three of my favourite French snacks made with puff pastry – quiches, palmiers and bâtons. But don’t worry, you don’t need to make the puff pastry from scratch. Nowadays there is such a great selection of pre-made puff pastry (including all-butter) that I am never without a few rolls in the freezer. They thaw pretty quickly and are the perfect vessel for both sweet and savoury fillings.

Hors d'oeuvres for the holidays
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Three easy French-inspired hors d'oeuvres for the holidays.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: French
Serves: approx 30
  • For the mini quiches (makes 12)
  • 2 sheets puff pastry (approx 225g each)
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g smooth ricotta
  • 60g grated cheese (I used cheddar)
  • salt/ pepper to taste
  • For the pesto palmiers (makes 10-12)
  • 1 roll puff pastry (approximately 225g - mine was a 25cm square)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 100g soft (spreadable) goat cheese
  • For the tapenade bâton twists (makes approximately 10)
  • 1 roll puff pastry (approximately 225g - mine was a 25cm square)
  • 2 tablespoons tapenade
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. For the mini quiches:
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F.
  3. Roll out the sheets of puff pastry and use a cookie cutter (or the ring of a mason jar) measuring 7.5cm to cut 12 rounds of pastry.
  4. Fit the pastry rounds into a non-stick muffin tray and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Whisk the eggs and ricotta until smooth.
  6. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  7. Divide the cheese amongst the muffin tins lined with pastry.
  8. Pour the egg/ ricotta mixture over the cheese and use a small spoon to make sure the cheese is evenly distributed.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until the egg mixture is puffed and the cheese is melted and the puff pastry is golden brown.
  10. For the pesto palmiers:
  11. Mix the pesto and goat cheese together to form a smooth paste.
  12. Roll out the puff pastry and spread the goat cheese mixture in a rectangle on the top and bottom thirds of the pastry (i.e. do not cover the whole area).
  13. Roll the puff pastry from one edge into the centre then the opposite edge into the centre as well. You will have what looks like two pastry rolls side by side.
  14. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.
  15. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.
  16. Remove the pastry from the fridge and use a sharp knife (not serrated), slice the pastry into approximately 10-12 rolls.
  17. Place them flat on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
  18. If need be, re-shape them so both circles of pastry are round.
  19. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.
  20. For the tapenade bâton twists:
  21. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.
  22. Spread the tapenade evenly over the pastry, leaving a small border (1cm) around the edge.
  23. Cut the pastry sheet in halves and place one half on top of the other, tapenade side down.
  24. Place on a flat surface in the fridge for approximately 15 minutes.
  25. Remove from the fridge and, using a pizza cutter, cut the pastry lengthwise into approximately 10-12 strips.
  26. Brush each strip lightly with the egg wash egg
  27. Pick up one strip, holding it at each end and twist in opposite directions.
  28. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment and gently press the ends together so they stick.
  29. Repeat with remaining strips and make sure not to overcrowd the baking sheets.
  30. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

What appetizers do you like to serve at a holiday get-together?



4 thoughts on “French Fridays: Hors d’oeuvres for the holidays”

  1. “I am never without a few rolls in the freezer.” HA. That and, at any given time, 6-10 pounds of butter. Hard to find room for the ice cream. 😉


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