Why You Should Never Throw Away Frozen Puff Pastry Scraps

Frozen puff pastry is one of the best gifts the freezer aisle has given home cooks. It takes a famously finicky project and turns it into something you pretty much can't mess up, and is a game changer for quick weeknight dinners or brunch dishes that look fancy and put-together — but don't require putting in a whole morning's work. You can use frozen puff pastry to make a range of items, from a classic chicken pot pie to the ultimate onion tart. It's just as versatile in terms of desserts: cherry strudel, tarte tatin, and poached pear danishes are just a few ways that puff pastry can turn a couple of simple ingredients into something magical.

Depending on your recipe, you may end up with little extra bits and bobs of puff pastry that didn't make the final cut — but don't you dare toss these out! These scraps can be repurposed with a little zhuzhing to make a tasty bonus snack. Turn your puff pastry scraps into a tiny treat or even a stylish amuse-bouche. You can bake them the same way you baked the rest of your puff pastry, but keep an eye on the smaller pieces, as they will likely cook faster.

Make the most of puff pastry scraps

When thinking of ways to repurpose your frozen puff pastry scraps, remember you can take a sweet or savory route. Sprinkle them with cheese for a savory snack: Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, cheddar, or Gruyère would work well for this purpose. Top each piece with a tiny wedge of brie and a hot honey drizzle to make a sweet and savory snack. Alternatively, douse them with everything bagel seasoning and dip them in cream cheese sprinkled with fresh dill. Or, take inspiration from the popular French baguette sandwich, the jambon beurre, and top your bites with a slice of prosciutto and a slab of good butter.

For something sweet, toss your puff pastry bites in powdered sugar like little beignets after baking, or hit them with a cinnamon-sugar combo before they go in the oven. Then, try either of these flavor combinations: a little dollop of raspberry jam and a piece of dark chocolate or half of a strawberry and a zap of whipped cream on top for a strawberry shortcake-inspired nosh.

Can you roll puff pastry scraps together?

Maybe you're looking at those puff pastry scraps and thinking: Can't I just roll them all together? The answer is a bit tricky. Unlike cookie dough, where the leftovers can be rolled into a ball and rolled out again into whatever size you need, puff pastry needs a different approach. Because it is made from thin layers of dough and butter or oil — which gives it that flaky result — you can't roll it all together willy-nilly, or the layers will be crushed.

However, you can roll puff pastry scraps into a larger sheet of puff pastry if you follow the correct method. You need to stack the pastry scraps on top of one another and then roll them out; this will preserve the flaky layers. It might not be the most effective technique when working with very small scraps, but it's worth trying to make the most of what you have if you don't want to make snacks.