If you couldn’t tell by now, I really like incorporating puff pasty dough into my recipes. I can’t get enough of the buttery flakey bites, and lucky for me, every grocery store around here stocks it. The English are known to make savory puff pastries in the form of pies, in most supermarkets there is an aisle devoted to savory meat vegetable pies and sausage wraps. Since I have made so many sweets with puff pastry dough, I thought it was time to go back into the savory world (like my puff pastry pizza) with some caramelized onions, bacon, and cheese puff pastry bites.
I experimented with these on Easter Sunday and quickly realized I should’ve doubled or tripled the recipe. These became an addiction engraved in my mind, 2 days later I made them again for the blog…. and yes we ate them just as quickly….I couldn’t even wait for them to cool, and taking photos was torture, all I wanted to do was eat them. The concept of sharing was not in my best interest for a few minutes, but I couldn’t be greedy… this time. That might sound crazy, but if you love caramelized onions, bacon, dijon, and cheese, you will completely understand me once you make them. Weirdly enough I’m making more caramelized onions as I type this for this evening’s Philly cheese steak sandwich.
These savory bites start with a few simple ingredients, an onion, bacon, butter, olive oil, salt, sugar, pepper, dried herbs, and fresh rosemary, simple enough right?
Bacon is lightly browned while the onion is sliced into thin half moons, I used a yellow onion as these make me cry the least.
Butter and olive oil melt together into the bacon along with sugar, spices and fresh rosemary until fragrant, just a minute or two, or else the butter and oil will burn the rosemary. The sliced onions join this mix and are cooked until translucent and slightly tender.
To make these onions melt in your mouth, sweet, and super tender we need some additional moisture, this is done by adding beef stock. I used a Knorr beef bouillon cube mixed with a cup of boiling water, yet feel free to add beef stock, or even some wine, or a broth/wine mixture. I can see an ale working for this as well, or… dare I say it a bourbon. Maybe next time. Now this step takes some time but only a bit of stirring. The mixture will cook down until almost all the liquids are absorbed or evaporated. Finally the last of the rosemary is tossed in and the onion filling is set aside while the puff pastry dough is prepared.
I rolled out the puff pastry dough very thin, this caused less of a “puff” as there were less layers of butter/dough, leading to a thinner pastry crust with loads of filling. These will work either way, rolling out thin dough or leaving the sheets as is. Once rolled out, cut, and brushed with egg wash, these are generously filled with hot dijon mustard, caramelized onion bacon filling, and covered with grana padano (can be substituted with any cheese).
Another layer of puff pastry dough is placed on top and pinched down with fingers and a fork for a tight seal. Finally they are brushed with egg wash, sprinkled with coarse sea salt, coarse freshly ground black pepper and popped into the oven for a bit over 10 minutes.
They emerge golden brown and filled with a melting pot of flavors inside. The salt and pepper on top give them a nice crispy salty exterior.
They smell amazing coming out of the oven and the hard part is waiting for them to cool slightly before shoving several in your mouth and pockets for later.
- 2 stripes bacon, chopped
- 1 large yellow or white onion, sliced into thin strips/half moons
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh coarse black pepper (you may use less, but I prefer a lot of black pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- 1/2 beef bouillon cube
- 1 cup boiling water
- few sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup grana padano cheese, thinly grated
- 8oz all butter puff pastry block or sheets (defrosted per instructions on the package)
- 1 egg, for egg wash (or almond milk)
- extra coarse salt and pepper for sprinkling on top
- In a medium pan or wok sauté the chopped bacon until browned and slightly crisp. Add the butter and olive oil together with the pepper, salt, sugar, dried herbs, half of the fresh rosemary and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced onions to the bacon butter mixture and sauté until translucent, stirring occasionally as to not burn the onions, about 5-6 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a cup combine the boiling water and the bouillon cube half until dissolved (or use 1 cup of beef broth). You can also substitute this for wine or half wine, half broth. Once the onions are translucent and start to become tender, pour in half the prepared broth/substitute and cook down, stirring occasionally on low heat, until most of the liquid is gone and repeat with the other half of the broth, about 20-30 minutes in total. Add the remaining fresh rosemary and stir to combine. Remove the caramelized onions off the heat and set aside while you prepare the dough.
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees (190c)
- If using a puff pastry block, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. The thinner the dough, the smaller the pastry will be, the option is yours. If you are using a puff pastry sheet, you can roll it out thinner or you can leave it as is. A thick dough will give you a very puffed pastry. Cut the dough into either 16 circles or 20 squares (to make 8 circle or 10 square pastries). Brush the egg wash on 8 circles or 10 squares, add a generous amount of dijon, followed by the onion bacon filling, and finally the cheese. Cover all bottoms with the remaining dough and pinch to seal the pastries with your fingers and with a fork for a tighter seal. Place the pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle the coarse black pepper and sea salt on top.
- Bake until golden brown about 11-16 minutes depending on the oven used. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before serving, best served warm.
- Can be made ahead and frozen for future use.
- If the puff pastry dough is not rolled out thin then they will be larger in height, but this does not change the taste/outcome.