Obsessed, much? Who, moi? Maybe just a tad...
I've blogged before about my fabulous Star Wars cookie cutter set from Williams Sonoma, but there's only so many cookies a gal can eat... even if they are the yummy green cookies shaped like Yoda that I blogged about last month! So I was inspired to try using them for another, more savoury purpose when contemplating what to cook for the boys' dinner. I had planned to create a Sausage Plait with a sheet of ready roll shortcrust pastry, some pork sausage meat and some sage I had knocking about in the fridge, but decided to try creating Star Wars themed mini hand-pies instead. Or to a Brit like me, sausage rolls without the roll!
I chose to use the Darth Vader cutter from my selection as it had a nice simple outline. The cutters from Williams Sonoma are particularly good for this sort of thing as they have a spring-loaded stamp to create an impression in your cut out too, so you can see Darth's iconic features! I thought these would be particularly cool for Star Wars themed party food as they are small, easily managed finger foods that are lovely served cold as well as hot! However, the nice thing about this idea is that you can use whatever shaped cookie cutter you like, depending on your party theme or kids' preference! Dinosaurs, hearts, flowers, cars, even Christmas trees or other seasonal shapes! Your options are only as limited as your imagination and your cookie cutter selection allow!!!
You will need...
- Shortcrust pastry - either homemade or ready-to-roll.
- Pork sausage meat.
- A little beaten egg.
- Pastry cutters of your choice.
- Optional: fresh sage or other herbs.
Firstly, preheat the oven to 400'F (200'C). Then you will need to prepare your filling. I like to add fresh sage to plain pork sausage. Finely chop the sage and then mix thoroughly into the sausagemeat... as mucky as it sounds, the easiest way to do this is with your hands.
Next, you will need to either unroll your ready-to-roll pastry or use a rolling pin to roll it to approximately 1/8th inch or 3mm thickness. Using your cookie cutter, cut out an even number of shapes... if you are using the stamping type like me, you only need to create an imprint in half of them!
Grease a baking sheet, or use a silicone liner or baking parchment. Place half of the cut-outs (the non-imprinted half) onto the sheet making sure they are well spaced. Then using a pastry brush, carefully cover them in beaten egg, making sure to go all the way to the edges. You will then need to get a small dollop of your filling and shape it to fit the cut-out with a 1/4 inch (6mm) gap all the way around. Put it on top of the pastry cut-out on the sheet. Then egg-wash the underside of one of the imprinted cut-outs and place on top of the sausagemeat. Gently pinch the edges of the two pastry shapes together, taking care not to change the shape too much or to squash the imprint. Once all prepared, use the remaining beaten egg to brush over the top layer. This will help them to go golden brown and to highlight the imprinted features.
Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the sausagemeat is fully cooked through. These are delicious on their own or can be served with ketchup or mustard to dip them in! Yummy!