If you want a dish for holiday gatherings that will make you look like a fantastic pastry chef but involves minimal time and skill, take a (basil) leaf from my book and make tarte soleil! This is a sun-shaped puff pastry creation that ends up looking like this:
This is one I made for a GIEI state meeting this summer, with basil and roasted tomatillo pesto. Plain basil pesto (which you may have some of in your freezer, if like me you escaped the dreaded downy mildew until very late this year) works great too, as does any paste of a spreadable consistency – you don’t want it to drip. I haven’t made a dessert version yet, but Nutella seems like a good idea. 🙂
The recipe with photos and full instructions is at Smitten Kitchen. I made the tapenade version with the feta dip first – it’s also great.
Make sure that you thoroughly thaw the puff pastry ahead of time, in the fridge, but also keep it cold while working. It will puff up better if it goes into the oven still chilled.
Really, it is simple to make – just rolling, spreading, cutting and twisting. And I am betraying this great reputation I have for making a super-complicated dish by telling you so.