Comté and sesame twists are an effortlessly French way to celebrate Bastille Day, or any day, really. Puff pastry is lily-gilded with charming French cheese; crisp and cheesy, they’re perfect when eaten out-of-hand and paired with something bubbly. Vive la célébration!
I was in a tiny butcher shop in Burgundy buying pork chops when I saw them: twisty, buttery, cheesy, crunchy pre-packaged puff pastry sticks that gave me un coup de coeur. Literally translated to “a hit or shock to the heart,” this phrase describes an instant, intense crush for something. (For people, the French often use the equally evocative term “lightning strike,” un coup de foudre, meaning love at first sight.) My crush came home with me right away, and I haven’t been able to find that particular brand since. So, I wrote this recipe and wish you a lifetime of happiness with her.–Rebekah Peppler
WHAT ELSE CAN I PUT IN THESE TWISTS?
That’s up to you, bien sur. In the photo, you’ll see Rebekah Peppler’s alternate version that’s been filled with chopped figs and black olives. Try other cheeses—maybe something a little softer? Some dried fruit. Caramelized onions would be terrifically good. Even a little pinch of that ubiquitous everything bagel spice would be pretty fantastique.
Comté and Sesame Twists
- One package (14 ounce) store-bought or homemade all-butter puff pastry
- 1 1/2 cups grated Comté or Gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Move the puff pastry to a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 20-by-10-inch (50 by 25 cm) rectangle (about 1/8 inch [4 mm] thick).
☞TESTER TIP: If your puff pastry comes in a slightly larger package, increase the amount of cheese and sesame seeds slightly.
- Sprinkle the Comté and sesame seeds on one long half of the dough rectangle, leaving a 1/4-inch [6 mm] border around the edges. Fold the other half over the cheese-and-sesame filling. Cut the dough crosswise into 32 strips (each about 2/3-inch by 5-inches [17 mm by 12 cm]).
- Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheets. Place one sheet in the refrigerator while working on the second sheet. Working with one strip at a time, brush lightly with the beaten egg. Twist each strip and sprinkle with salt. Transfer the sheet of twists to the refrigerator and repeat with the remaining dough strips.
- Bake until deeply golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
You can’t go wrong with puff pastry twisted with delicious melted cheese. These Comté and sesame twists are addictive, crave-worthy, and perhaps dangerous to have around! That said, make them.
These are awesome, easy, quick, and impressive. All you need is a classic champagne cocktail alongside (or sparkling water!) and you’ve got yourself a lovely hors d'oeuvre.
Everyone who tried these crispy, flavorful Comté and sesame twists loved them. The combination of flavors is delightful and the crispiness of the puff pastry makes these a great snack. It took me a few attempts to master the “twisting”, but then the process went quickly. If they are not all eaten immediately, they could be used for so many things. They would be a nice accompaniment to tomato soup or a salad. I'd also add them to a charcuterie board.
They come together quickly and have a fairly short baking time so they would be great for entertaining. I did grab a couple before they were put in the freezer, just to see if they would freeze well. The verdict was that they are definitely best right out of the oven when they are nice and crispy. They were fine after freezing and could definitely be made ahead, they are just not quite as crisp.
Originally published July 14, 2021