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Gail Simmons Shares Favorite Recipes

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Looking for an amazing Christmas party appetizer that's easy to make and tastes amazing? Gail Simmons, judge of Bravo's Top Chef(which just happens to be must-see tv at our house), has created several amazing recipes featuring Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, and our family jumped at the chance to try one out.

Gail Simmons Sweet Potato Dumpling

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry has been mentioned as a choice ingredient for Rachel Ray and Ina Garten (November's Redbook and December's Paula Deen's Christmas), yet it's easy to use for the typical at-home cook and available in the freezer section of your regular grocery store. We know why chefs and foodies like Gail Simmons favor this brand.

We opted for the Sweet Potato Dumplings with Honey, Goat Cheese, and Thyme, a recipe that tasted just as wonderful as it sounded. Both children (ages 5 and 8) had multiple helpings, then ate the leftover sweet potato filling.

While we had them for our holiday meal, they would be the perfect bite sized appetizer to take for a holiday party or potluck. The base recipe yields 18 dumplings, but I was able to reroll the Puff Pastry extras to create an extra 6 or so mini-dumplings.

Gail Simmons Sweet Potato Dumpling

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Dash freshly ground black pepper
1 package (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon honey
1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed

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1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

2. Stir the potato, garlic, thyme, oil and black pepper in a medium bowl. Spread the potato mixture on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. Roast for 30 minutes or until the potato is lightly browned and tender. Pour the potato mixture into a medium bowl. Coarsely mash the potato mixture with a fork. Let the potato mixture cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and honey.

4. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Using a round cutter, cut the pastry sheet into 9 (3-inch) circles. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.

5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon potato mixture in the center of each pastry circle. Brush the edges of the pastry circles with the egg mixture. Fold the circles in half
over the filling. Pinch the edges firmly to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the top of each filled pastry. Place the pastries onto 2 baking sheets. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.

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