Easy Ham and Cheese Brunch Pastries

I love to spend time in the kitchen on Sundays.  I might wake up early when it’s still breakfast-time and throw together a batch of muffins to bake while I read the newspaper and peruse the sales ads.  Lately, it’s been more likely that I’ll wander in just after noon and spend the afternoon preparing dinner.  And sometimes it’s nice to spend the morning being lazy and then put together a quick brunch.

These pastries are perfect for just that.  The only real planning involved is remembering to leave the frozen puff pastry in the fridge overnight to thaw.  I combined Black Forest ham from the deli with some shredded mozzarella that I already had, and after tossing in the spices, they were in the oven in less than ten minutes.
I cut the recipe in half, and together with some scrambled eggs and orange slices, it made a quick and tasty brunch.

Ham and Cheese Pastries
Yield:  8 pastries

1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons fresh-ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt to taste

1 (17.3 oz pkg) frozen puff pastry, thawed in the fridge overnight
1/2 lb. thinly sliced ham
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water to use for egg wash
Kosher salt to finish

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the seasoning mix by mixing all spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured surface or silicone pastry mat,  unfold the pastry and use a rolling pin to even out the dough.  Cut the sheet into 4 (5 inch) squares.   Arrange the ham and cheese in the middle of each square and sprinkle some of the seasoning mix over the top.
  4. Fold two opposite corners over the top and press to seal. Transfer to baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining sheet.
  5. Brush egg wash over the pastries and sprinkle with salt if desired.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until the pastries are golden brown.  Remove from sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

Slightly adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

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