Treat the special women in your family to a beautiful breakfast in bed! These Decorated Chocolate Puff Pastries are a great addition to the big meal with just the right amount of sweetness!
|Every mom deserves a beautiful and delicious breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day|
Most families use a ping pong table just to play, well, ping pong. Not ours. We spent more time creating crafts, drawing pictures, and painting canvases at our table than actually paddling a little ball back and forth. Our garage which most often housed cars, bikes, and lawn equipment was cleaned out at the holidays, lined with tables and shelves, then filled with handmade crafts so that my mom and her friends could host their own craft shows.
In 1976, the year of our country’s Bicentennial, I spent an entire summer hanging out at craft fairs watching my mom paint denim shirts and my dad make hundreds of little thumbprint drawings for customers.
I myself have packed up my creations and set up booths in churches, schools, and convention centers. To say crafting is in my genes would be an understatement. Although I have painted with acrylics, watercolors, and even gouache, my favorite medium is food coloring and my preferred canvas is food.
I walk through craft stores in search of tools to create my themed cuisine, and on a recent shopping trip I found some pretty little foam stamps that I knew would be perfect for a Mother’s Day project. I had so many thoughts about how to use my stamps, but decided to recreate and decorate a simple yet decadent French pastry. My mom, sister, and niece and I recently spent time in Paris and ate fresh pastries every day. One of the first pastries we purchased was a Pain au Chocolat, a baked puff pastry filled with warm and gooey dark chocolate, and I knew it would be the perfect pastry to decorate using my new found stamps.
This project/recipe/food craft was designed to be easy enough for kids, with a slight bit of help from an adult, to be able to replicate, so that they can serve the pastries to mom in bed on Mother’s Day.
All they need to do is lightly paint the foam stamps with a very small amount of food coloring (I used less than one drop of pink and one drop of green to paint the flower) and press the stamp onto a rectangle of store bought puff pastry. Then sandwich a chocolate bar in between the decorated dough and another piece of dough before baking them to a golden brown.
It took me more time to gather up my supplies than it did to “paint” the pastries. While they bake, the adult can scramble some eggs and fry up some bacon to complete the meal.
Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Pain au Chocolat
Ingredients: Makes 3 pastries
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
(boxes come with 2 sheets, either freeze the other sheet or make 6 pastries)
3 bars of chocolate (1-2 ounce size)
food coloring (the grocery store variety – primary colors and neon)
egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
Special Equipment Needed:
foam stamps (available at craft stores – be sure to wash stamps in hot soapy water before using)
small paint brushes (use new or food only brushes)
pizza cutter or knife and a fork
non-stick aluminum foil lined baking sheet
Thaw puff pastry sheet according to package instructions. Un-fold thawed sheet. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the sheet into 6 rectangles. Squeeze small amounts of food coloring into individual bowls (or use a paper plate.) Gather your paint brushes and stamps.
Paint food coloring directly onto the raised part of the foam stamp. Try not to over saturate the stamp with the food coloring. If you do, blot it dry with a paper towel. You can use several different colors to create your designs. Once the entire stamp is painted, place it paint side down onto a cut piece of puff pastry. Very gently press the stamp into the dough.
Remove stamp and you should have a nicely printed image on your pastry. Continue to paint your stamps and press them onto the pastry, using several or just one stamp to make all three pastries. Just a note: once baked, anything that has been painted yellow will be very faint.
My first butterfly, as shown above, is painted yellow with some orange spots. It looked O.K. once baked, but not good enough to take a nice photo, so I made another butterfly and painted it orange (yellow mixed with a bit of red) and added some red spots. So just be aware that all of the colors showed up beautifully except the yellow.
I would recommend that you place the three plain pieces of pastry onto a non-stick foil lined baking pan before proceeding. Place one candy bar on each of the plain pieces of pastry, leaving at least 1/4″ all around the edge of the bar. You may have to break the candy bar in order to get it to fit. I used homemade bars and had to break off 1/4th of each bar.
Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash onto the exposed dough all around the candy bar. Top each with a decorated piece of pastry. Press the edges to seal. Use a fork to press the edges of the pastry together and to give each pastry a nice fluted edge.
Refrigerate the pastries for at least 30 minutes. When you put the pastries in the refrigerator, heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake chilled pastries for 17-20 minutes, turning pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking cycle, until the pastries turn a deep golden brown. In France the pastries would be baked until dark brown, but the painted images wont be as vibrant if the pastry gets too browned. You just want to be sure the pastries are baked all the way through.
These pastries are best served warm so that you can enjoy a nicely melted chocolate center. They don’t keep well more than one day, but who could possibly keep them around any longer than that anyway?