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Seasonal Recipe

Recipe for Parmesan twists

Sally Pasley Vargas for the Boston Globe

Makes about 3 dozen

A spike of crushed red pepper gives these crispy, golden cheese twists an unexpected punch. Cayenne delivers an explosive heat but two other milder peppers are worth trying. Syrian Aleppo pepper is smoky and warm; deep red, flaky maras pepper from Turkey has fruity overtones. Adjust amounts according to your taste (use up to ¾ teaspoon here). Both are at Middle Eastern specialty stores.

1pound all-butter frozen puff pastry (rectangular-shaped), defrosted
cups finely grated Parmesan, or more if needed
¼teaspoon cayenne, Aleppo, marash or crushed red pepper, to taste
1egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

2. In a small bowl, combine ¾ cup of the Parmesan with the red pepper. Spread it on a flat tray.


3. On a work surface, sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan. Unfold the dough and roll it to a thickness of ¼ inch. Spread with ½ cup Parmesan, and use the pin to roll over the cheese to press it into the dough. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Roll it again to a rectangle that is ¼-inch thick. Brush with beaten egg.

4. Cut the rectangle into strips that are 6 inches long and ¾ inch wide. You should be able to make 36. In each hand, take an end of a strip and twist it in opposite directions. On the work surface, roll a strip under your palms, moving your hands in opposite directions, until it is ¼-inch thick. Roll it in the Parmesan mixture. Repeat with remaining strips and place them on the baking sheet 1 inch apart.

5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Slide the baking sheets onto wire racks. Cool on the sheets.

Sally Pasley Vargas