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Buying store-bought puff pastry is the best shortcut I know. With this easy recipe you can't fail to impress guests.
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Cracked black pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Combine the pecans, Parmesan, salt, paprika and pepper and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.
2. Sprinkle 1/4 of the nut mixture evenly onto a work surface and place 1 sheet of pastry directly on top. Sprinkle 1/4 more nut mixture over the pastry. With a rolling pin, roll pastry until the nut mixture begins to stick. Fold dough in half lengthwise and roll until the two sides of dough stick together.
3. Cut the folded edge from the dough and discard; cut 1/2-inch strips from the long side. Twist the strips five or six times and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry and nut mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet. Serves 6.
What to toss in if you have it: Puree roasted red peppers with some cream cheese for a simple dip for the straws.