I adore tea parties. They’re a great excuse to get the girls together, and they feel so celebratory. I even requested one as part of my bachelorette party! One of the reasons I adore them is the food, of course. Scones, tea sandwiches, and sweets—yes please. I recently threw a “Tea for Two” themed baby shower, and Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry Cups were on the menu. Everyone raved about them, and they disappeared by the end of the shower. That’s when you know you have a winner!
As I chronicle in this post about the baby shower, I took a semi-homemade approach to the shower. I made homemade scones, but bought macarons for the dessert platter. And I made the puff pastry cups, but I bought the chicken salad from Trader Joe’s. Can I confess the real reason behind not making the chicken salad from scratch? I can’t stand mayonnaise!
So when I re-made the recipe to share with my bible study group, I opted to make the chicken salad with Greek yogurt. There is so much flavor in the chicken salad with the grapes, walnuts, and red onion, you can barely tell that I made the swap. As someone who basically never eats chicken salad because of the mayo, I absolutely loved the change to Greek yogurt.
The Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry Cups start off with frozen puff pastry that’s been defrosted. You’ll lay the puff pastry out flat on a countertop, and pinch together any tears in the dough (sometimes this happens as you’re unfolding it).
The puff pastry cup is made out of two layers of puff pastry. The bottom layer is a whole 2-inch circle. The top layer is a 2-inch circle with a 1-inch circle cut into the middle of it. You’ll want half of the circles to be whole (no extra circle in the middle) and the other half to have the 1-inch circle in the middle. I got 20 total circles out of 1 sheet of puff pastry.
Once you’ve cut circles from both sheets of puff pastry, you’ll replace any pieces that have come out (creating one big sheet again) and brush a beaten egg over the top.
Then you’ll place the whole 2-inch circles on the baking sheet, and top each of them with the other circles (the ones with the 1-inch circle in the middle). After 30 minutes of chilling in the fridge, which helps them puff up nicely in the oven, they’re ready to bake!
Once cool, take a paring knife and gently cut and remove the 1-inch circle from each cup. You’ll be left with a hole for filling with chicken salad.
The recipe below for chicken salad has grapes, walnuts, and red onion. I love the sweetness from the grapes, the crunch from the walnuts, and the bite from the onion. Store-bought chicken salad, or even egg salad, also works great.
I topped the bites off with finely chopped chives. They’re best served within an hour or two of making them, otherwise the puff pastry can begin to get soggy.
You could easily make both the cups and the chicken salad the day before, and then assemble them right before serving. Just be sure to store the puff pastry cups in an airtight container overnight.
You can check out the rest of my “Tea for Two” baby shower menu here!
Chicken Salad in Puff Pastry Cups
For the puff pastry:
- 1 17.3 oz box puff pastry 17.3 oz box puff pastry, defrosted per package instructions
- 1 egg
- all-purpose flour
For the chicken salad:
- 6 oz cooked chicken breast, grilled, poached, or baked, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons red onion finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons walnuts finely chopped
- ¾ cup grapes halved (quartered if large)
- ¼–½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- For garnish: chopped chives
For the puff pastry:
- Remove one sheet of puff pastry from the box. Place the other sheet of puff pastry back in the refrigerator.
- Unfold the sheet of puff pastry and place on a flat surface. Use your fingers to gently press on any cracks in the pastry, especially along the creases.
- Dip a 2-inch round cookie cutter in the all-purpose flour. Cut 20 circles out of the pastry, dipping the cookie cutter in the flour after every few uses to ensure the dough doesn’t stick.
- Take a 1 inch round cookie cutter (I used a cherry pitter as my cookie cutter) and cut another circle in the middle of 10 of the circles (see above for photos). You’ll have 10 whole circles and 10 circles with a smaller circle in them.
- Remove the remaining dough from the refrigerator and repeat this process.
- Prepare a baking sheet with a nonstick silicone mat or parchment paper. Place any cut-outs back into their original place within the sheets of pastry.
- Brush the beaten egg over the top of both pieces of puff pastry. Remove the 20 whole circles and place them at least 1.5 inches apart on the baking sheet. Remove one of the circles with another circle in it, and stack it on top of one of the whole circles on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining circles. You’ll have 20 stacks total. Place the stacks in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 16–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
For the chicken salad:
- While the puff pastry pieces are cooling, place all of the chicken salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir gently to combine.
- Once the puff pastry stacks are cool, use a paring knife to gently cut around and remove the inside circle from the top of each stack, creating a hole.
- Place approximately one heaping tablespoon of chicken salad into the hole of each of the puff pastry stacks. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.