Today, I’ve got the most festive, easy puff pastry that anyone can make. These cranberry jam filled Christmas tree puff pastries are super simple and filled with holiday flavours and spices. Sure to impress at your next holiday gathering.
I’ve been having fun creating different seasonal puff pastries lately and here’s my new addition. I’ve filled these trees with my spiced cranberry jam which just tastes like Christmas and kept the decoration super simple but still festive. I know puff pastry looks intimidating but I promise these are super simple!
Puff pastry is one of my favourite desserts and is always what I gravitate too at a family gathering. I remember thinking how special puff pastry desserts were as a kid and would usually eat more then my fair share. I had no idea how simple it actually is too make stuff like this, if you’re of course using frozen puff pastry like I do. Homemade puff pastry I’d say is more a labour of love.
More Filling Options
If you don’t want to fill these with my spiced cranberry jam, you can use a plain cranberry jam or any other jam flavour, homemade or store bought. I recommend preserves if using store bought, I don’t think any kind of jelly would turn out well.
Also, if using jam, try to use one that doesn’t have big chunks. The chunks make it harder to get a nice seal on the pastries as it’s harder to get the right amount. I used some of my frozen spiced cranberry jam and had mushed this batch as much. The chunks made each tree either under filled or over filled.
If jam doesn’t interest you, you could also use Nutella or anything else you like!
I kept these simple with just some powdered sugar but you could also put sprinkles on top or little ball shaped sprinkles to act as ornaments. I honestly planned to do this but couldn’t find any in town so I just used my other idea of creating a “snow covered” tree.
How Much Filling?
I’ve used about 1 tbsp of filling but if your cookie cutters are smaller, you’ll need less. If you overfill, it’ll be hard to get a good seal and the filling will likely burst out when baking. Just ensure you leave about a 2cm border around the tree so you have dough to pinch together and your filling doesn’t leak out.
With these tree shapes, I mainly filled the “trunk” and then with the back of my spoon, spread a little into the lowest branch.
Another important step is to paint an egg wash on the border you’ve left. This makes the pastry much easier to pinch together and helps ensure it stays closed while baking. If you don’t have any kind of pastry brush or BBQ sauce type brush, I’ve used my kids paint brushes from the dollar store before. Just make sure to wash them first! You can also just use your fingers.
Working with Puff Pastry
The easiest way to make these puff pastries is to work with a slightly chilled pastry dough. If your pastry is warm, it’s harder to cut with the cookie cutters and it may not bake as nicely as butter can leak out.
If you’re using frozen puff pastry, take it out of the freezer about 2 hours prior to rolling it. It should still feel cold to the touch but not frozen. Roll it into a 12in x 12in square using a rolling pin or wine bottle if you don’t have one! Then proceed to cut your shapes as close to each other as you can.
You can take the scraps and reroll it as well. Just don’t work the dough too much or you can start to develop the gluten creating a tough pastry. I rerolled mine twice and had no issues.
If you don’t want to waste any pastry, roll out the scraps like before into a square or rectangle. Cut it in half with a pizza cutter, knife, etc. Fill with jam the same way you would the trees, with a border, and then egg wash the perimeter. Layer the other half on top and egg wash it. Then bake it. Voila, an extra delicious pastry and no waste.
- Don’t overwork the dough or it can become tough. Just gently roll it out.
- If your dough is sticking to everything, sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin and work surface.
- Don’t overfill the puff pastries. The filling will explode out ruining your shape or leak.
- I highly recommend using the egg wash to seal the pastries and on top so you get that beautiful golden colour.
- Working with cold dough is much easier and will result in a better bake. If you feel your dough is getting too warm, pop it back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
More Festive Desserts
Today’s song is another Newfoundland Christmas song and probably our most iconic song. I can not go through the Christmas season without listening to this song at least 30 times. My kids also love it now as well which makes me so happy. This version isn’t the greatest quality but it shows the original video which I remember watching every year at Christmas time on NTV. Here’s the Mummer’s Song by Simani. Happy Baking!! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Cranberry Jam Filled Christmas Tree Puff Pastries
- 1 pck (450g) frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
- 1 1/8 cups spiced cranberry jam (or of whatever filling you're using)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp milk
- 2 tbsp (18g) icing sugar (optional for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 400℉ and line a baking pan. In a small bowl, combine the egg and milk, whisk together well. Set aside.
- Sprinkle a little flour over your counter and on your rolling pin. Roll the first sheet of pastry into a 12in x 12in square. (*See notes) With a Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut as many shapes as you can, hopefully in an even number. You can take the scraps and reroll a couple of times to get a couple more shapes. Just ensure you don't overwork the pastry or it will get tough.
- Lay the cut out trees on the pan and dollop about 1 tbsp of jam into the middle area. Spread it around leaving a 1 inch or 2cm border to prevent leakage. I mostly just fill the middle and the lowest branches. Do this to each tree. Only fill half the trees.
- Once you've filled half the trees, using a pastry brush or paint brush, paint a little egg wash around the border you've left. Then take another tree cutout and lay it on top, ensuring you line them up. Using your fingers, pinch the edges together all around. Make sure they're aren't any gaps or the filling can leak.
- Do this to each one and then paint a little more egg wash over the top of each pastry. Bake in the oven for about 17-19 minutes or until golden in colour. Continue this until you've used up all your pastry, including the second sheet of pastry. You may end up with a few scraps leftover at the end. (**See notes)