Puff Pastry Sandwiches

Makes 18-24 Mini Sandwiches

You'll Need: 1 pound of store bought puff pastry (2 sheets, thawed)*, all-purpose flour for work surface, 1 large egg, 1 Tbsp water, 1 pound deli sliced ham or chicken, 1 pound gruyere or provolone sliced cheese, 24 basil leaves, kosher salt, mayonnaise or mustard, various cookie cutter shapes
How to Prepare: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use one sheet of puff pastry at a time. Leave the remaining sheet in the refrigerator until you are about to use it. Flour your work surface. Unfold your pastry sheet and lay it on top of the floured surface. Turn it over. Lightly and gently repair any dents or holes in the dough with your hands. Don't overwork the dough though. Visually prepare your cookie cutter placement, attempting to get as many puff pastry cut outs as possible. Since this is puff pastry, we are not going to re-roll out any excess dough. So, we recommend placing the cookie cutters on the edges first and strategically moving the cookie cutters toward the center, to get as many puffs as possible. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. After you cut out your puff pastry shapes, transfer the cut-outs to the lined sheet about 2" apart. In a small preparation bowl, crack the egg and whisk egg up with the water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash onto each puff cut-out. Try to brush from the center toward the edges of the cut-out. Avoid too much egg on the edges, or it will prevent it from puffing up. This will add a nice golden finish. Lightly sprinkle the pastries with a pinch of salt. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned on tops. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Once cooled slightly, use a serrated knife to cut pastries in half, lengthwise. Add mayonnaise or mustard to each slice. Layer the meat, cheese and basil and add pastry top back on. Place sandwiches on a serving platter or individual serving plates.

* Leave dough in refrigerator until about 10 minutes before you need to use it.

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