Favorite FoodieBooks Friday! Shady Characters ,~ Puff Pastries!

Embossed hardcover of Shady Characters by Keith Houston

These Pecan & Cinnamon and Hazelnut & Pecan Puff Twists were inspired by one of my favorite books. Sh@dy Charac†ers The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks by Ke!th H*uston. It’s not really a coffee table book, but I use it as one. I like to see it’s funny, yet stunning title in bold white lettering embedded on the black long shadow of a giant white pilcrow floating on a bright red background. It’s a pretty jacket, covering an exquisite white hardcover embossed with punctuation, symbols & other typographical marks, with black binding. The symbols stand out on the pages in bright red within the black text.

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“Every chapter we write or type is a link to the past.”

SHADY CHARACTERS by Keith Houston

I happened across Shady Characters by Keith Houston while looking for a gift. I immediately loved the title, and when I picked it up and looked under the jacket and saw the punctuation marks embossed across the cover, I couldn’t help but run my fingers across it. It was just soo pretty! I love shopping for gifts when I by one for me and one for them!

The book explains the origin, funny and interesting historical facts about punctuation, symbols and other typographical marks. Prior to reading this book, I was doing eBook design. When I would come across symbols in the manuscripts that I needed to incorporate in an eBook, I would honestly say out loud “What the blankety-blank” or “What the F*#!” or What the $*#! is that! There are so many, and it’s hard to get them to work across all platforms. (While I filled a glass of wine and dish of M&M’s &I tested my first draft for the fifteenth time…)

Shady Characters Nutella Pecan and Cinnamon Pecan Puff Pastries

Anyway, as the months and years went by, symbols & punctuation marks wormed a way into my heart. I enjoyed the challenge. And now with Twitter, Instagram & Facebook, I see them all the time, creatively used in place of swear words and snark. Looking at this book the other day, I immediately thought of palmiers. They are light and subtly sweet and you can flavor them with whatever makes you happy! The last time I made them I used cream cheese and a hint of cinnamon. I think I can amp them up with ground nuts and Nutella! I wish I had kids or family to bake for, and as luck may have it, I’m spending the week with family so I can bake for four instead of two! I’m baking these delightful treats two ways. One with hazelnut spread & pecans and the other with just cinnamon, sugar and pecans. Let’s see which go first!

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Nutella Cream Cheese Pecan Puffy Twists (AKA Nutella Shady Characters)

You can modify a basic palmier recipe by adding whatever fill you you would like, and you can even twist and shape them into whatever shape you want! They are slightly sweet and great for breakfast or dessert. Use your imagination, the sky's the limit with these. Don't like hazelnut spread? …use a berry jam instead! Don't like nuts? …leave them out! *Palmier shapes are quick to roll and cut. Twisting shapes takes longer.
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time12 mins
Chilling time recommended (twisting shapes takes longer also)30 mins
Total Time52 mins
Course: bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, French, Italian
Yield: 12
Calories: 164kcal
Author: ebookfoodie

Materials

  • ½ lb puff pastry One sheet.
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese I used whipped cream cheese.
  • 2 tbsp Nutella Nutella, or hazelnut spread
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon Optional, just a tiny bit sprinkled over the puff pastry sheet.
  • tbsp pecans Optional. You will need them finely chopped or ground. You could use hazelnuts, or walnuts…

Instructions

  • Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. (Remove puff pastry from freezer about 30 minutes prior to making the pastries.) I recommend chilling the pastries prior to baking, so have some flat surfaces in the fridge or freezer ready to accommodate your baking sheets, if possible. If not, just work quickly, and have your oven at 400° ready to bake! I recommend lining two baking sheets with parchment paper per 1 sheet of puff pastry.
  • In a small bowl, mix nutella and cream cheese together. Adjust for your taste. If you like more nutella and less cream cheese, go for it!.
  • Dust your counter or work surface with flour or white sugar, and gently roll out a sheet of puff pastry to remove the creases, but not too thin!
  • Quickly spread the cream cheese & hazelnut spread mixture over the puff pastry. It should be thin, or the dough will get messy and runny.
  • Sprinkle finely chopped or ground nuts over the cream cheese, nutella mixture. If desired, sprinkle a very light dusting of cinnamon over the nuts.
    Nutella Filling on Puff Pastry
  • If you want a basic palmier shape, roll the dough equally from both short sides for large palmiers, or roll from the long sides for small ones. Roll the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate, or freeze for thirty minutes before slicing them and baking. You can even roll it up jelly roll style.
  • If you want to twist them into whatever shape you want, fold the dough in half and use a sharp long knife, or better yet, a pizza cutter. Cut into about 1/2" wide strips or 12-15 strips. Just cut them evenly for even baking.
    Cream cheese filling on puff pastry
  • Twist into shady characters, or whatever shape you'd like on baking sheets, lined with parchment paper if you have it. If not, no big deal.
    Cinnamon Pecan Puff Pastry
  • I recommend popping these cuties in the fridge or freezer for a good half hour before baking. If not, get them in the oven asap at 400° and bake for about 10-14 minutes, or until golden brown, while you prepare the other sheet of pastries.
  • Place cookie sheet on a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes before gently sliding them off the baking sheet to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Cinnamon Pecan Puffed Pastry Octothorpe
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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pecan Puffy Twists (AKA Shady Characters)

If you need a quick and tasty, slightly sweet treat for breakfast or dessert, these Shady Characters Puff Pastries are exactly what you need! These are very basically palmiers, but with the slightest bit of cream cheese added, Some people are WEIRD and don't like cinnamon, or nuts. so you can omit them and simply use cream cheese and sugar. Use your imagination, the sky's the limit with these. You could even use a thin layer of jelly or jam instead!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Chilling time recommended (twisting shapes takes longer also)30 mins
Total Time52 mins
Course: bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Servings: 12
Calories: 153kcal
Author: ebookfoodie

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry One box has two sheets. This recipe uses one sheet. Double the filling recipe, or try another filling for the other sheet! I used Greenwise brand.
  • 6 tbsp cream cheese
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp pecans Optional. You will need to use ground or finely chopped. You could use hazelnuts, or walnuts…
  • 1 tbsp white sugar More or less depending on how you like them!

Instructions

  • Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. (Remove puff pastry from freezer about 30 minutes prior to making the pastries. or allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.)
  • I recommend chilling the pastries prior to baking, so have some flat surfaces in the fridge or freezer ready to accommodate your baking sheets, if possible. If not, just work quickly, and have your oven at 400° ready to bake! You will probably need two cookie sheets per 1 sheet of puff pastry. I recommend lining the baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Mix cream cheese, cinnamon and 1/2 tbsp sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Taste for sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add the other half tbsp of sugar! Feel free to add more cinnamon or even some nutmeg if you want to!
  • Dust your counter or work surface with flour or white sugar, and gently roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry. Don't roll it too thin, just enough to smooth out the folds.
  • With a spatula, quickly spread the cream cheese mixture over the entire pastry. It should be a thin layer.
    Cream cheese filling on puff pastry
  • Sprinkle 2 tbsp ground or finely chopped nuts over the cream cheese.
  • If you want a basic palmier shape, roll the dough equally from both short sides for large palmiers, or roll from the long sides for small ones. Roll the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate, or freeze for thirty minutes before slicing them and baking. You can even roll it up jelly roll style.
  • If you want to shape these like I did, fold the dough in half so you have an almost square shape. Using a sharp long knife, or better yet, a pizza cutter. Cut into about 12-15 even strips.
    Cinnamon Pecan Puff Pastry
  • Work quickly to shape the strips, or put the dough back into the refrigerator if it's getting too soft. Twist into whatever Shady Character shapes you want and put them immediately onto the lined baking sheet.
  • I recommend popping these cuties in the fridge or freezer for a good half hour before baking. If not, get them in the oven asap at 400° and bake for about 10-14 minutes, or until golden brows.
  • Place cookie sheet on a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes before gently sliding them off the baking sheet to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • These are best served right away while crispy, but they are just as tasty the next morning!
    Shady Characters Nutella Pecan and Cinnamon Pecan Puff Pastries

Notes

If you like these easy puff treats, try my Nutella Pecan Shady Characters! You can do whatever you want with the filling. Just sugar and cinnamon? Go for it! Just cinnamon? Sure! I think I’m going to try cream cheese peanut butter next!

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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2 thoughts on “Favorite FoodieBooks Friday! Shady Characters ,~ Puff Pastries!

    1. Thanks! They were awesome with coffee! The cream cheese flavor really came out the next day, so even though they were soft the next day, the flavors really intensified. I had so much fun baking them in my mother in-laws amazing kitchen too. Back home and back to work, vacation’s over.

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