These Parmesan twists are a quick, easy party nosh made with puff pastry, Parmesan cheese, and paprika. Easy, impressive, and eminently compatible with wine and cocktails.
You can take a lot of artistic license with these crowd-pleasing Parmesan twists made with just four ingredients and 20 minutes of prep. Vary the spice according to your whim, whether chile powder or cayenne. Switch up the cheese depending on your mood or stash, whether Cheddar or Manchego. Play with the width, making them slightly more substantial if a skinny twist just doesn’t offer enough crunch for you. Suit yourself. And let us know what you did.–Renee Schettler Rossi
☞ Table of Contents
- Flour for the work surface
- One package frozen sheet puff pastry* thawed according to package directions
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold the puff pastry. (Depending on the brand of puff pastry, you may have either 1 or 2 sheets.) Lightly sprinkle the pastry sheet(s) with flour. Grab a rolling pin and roll the pastry to between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thickness. (If using an 18 1/2-ounce sheet, this will measure about a 12-inch square.) Lightly brush the pastry with some of the egg mixture.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan and paprika evenly over the pastry. Using your fingers, gently but firmly press the toppings into the pastry so they adhere.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice the puff into 24 strips, each about 1/2 inch wide. Divvy the strips between the baking sheets, seasoned side up. Working with 1 twist at a time, hold an end in each hand and twist the strips at least twice, twisting in opposite directions to create a long spiral. Place it back on the sheet and repeat.
- Bake the twists until puffed and golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving, perhaps arranging them in a tall vase so they splay out like a bunch of branches.
What You Need To Know About Buying Puff PastryYou can use any frozen puff pastry for these Parmesan twists, although we swear by Dufour, which is made with actual butter and not hydrogenated, slightly chemical-tasting ingredients found in other brands. Also, different brands come in slightly different sizes, so you’ll need to roll out the pastry a little or a lot.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Wow! Super easy and so versatile. I can’t wait to try this with a million other toppings!
This is a great and easy recipe for some rather fanciful party fare. New addictions rarely come easier than this.
Infinitely adaptable, these can be dusted with all sorts of cheeses, spices, seeds, etc. They’re never more than a few minutes away as long as you keep some puff pastry in your freezer. I let my pastry thaw for about 30 minutes on the countertop while I prepped my baking sheets, grated the cheese, heated the oven, and whisked the egg. Seasoning and twisting the 24 pieces was accomplished in less than 10 minutes, and mine were cooked to a delicious golden brown in just over 16 minutes. I made mine with some smoked paprika (pimenton) as opposed to sweet and was very pleased with the results.
Super easy yet elegant hors d’oeuvre. The twists were very skinny—you may want to cut fewer (perhaps 18?) if you want them to be slightly thicker. You can also experiment with the kind of cheese—I think that perhaps adding a bit of Cheddar would be nice. Make at least a couple of batches; they go quickly!
These were delicate and nicely browned with a great Parmesan taste. They make a tasty appetizer/snack and they’re fun to eat. Everyone loved them. I’d make these again.
I rolled the dough into a 12-inch square and cut it into 1/2-inch strips, which made 24 twists. Next time I think I’ll add some fresh parsley and dried oregano. I highly recommend this recipe, and will be adding these to my holiday party this year.
These Parmesan twists are a great addition to a party or a dinner as an appetizer nibble. The color of the paprika adds a festive note, while the cheese gives a rich, slightly salty flavor. There’s not much to add to the recipe, except maybe a touch more Parmesan.
If you’re lucky enough, you can buy the puff pastry sheet all ready to go in a 12-by-12-inch square. I had a bit of a problem finding an 18 1/2-ounce sheet of pastry but a 1-pound package still worked quite well.
This recipe was very simple and would be a good introduction on how to make cheese twists for people who eventually aspire to make their own pastry for the twists. The end product was attractively banded with Parmesan because of the twisting of the dough.
I thought my initial batch lacked flavor—even with the salty Parmesan—and I added a little salt to the pastry before adding the cheese and paprika to the dough. I also experimented with normal paprika and smoked paprika.
Originally published December 28, 2019