I’ve been catering events for the last 15 years and this spiced nut recipe is my signature blend that I use for all of my cheese & charcuterie boards. People have asked me for the recipe so many times I can’t remember them all. These are seriously addicting. Plus they make the best holiday gift for friends, teachers, neighbors and family.

Seriously addictive cocktail nuts...

Years ago I decided that I needed a signature cocktail nut mix to include with the cheese & charcuterie boards I was making at catering events. I came up with this recipe and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s based on a classic cocktail nut recipe, and it’s got a little heat, a lot of flavor, and a great crunchy exterior coating. Don’t be scared by the aqua faba (chickpea liquid) in the recipe. It helps the spices stick to the nuts. Traditionally egg whites are used, but I found that the aqua faba stays crunchier longer, plus it’s vegan. You can eat the chickpeas on a salad, roast them until crispy, or make hummus with them. 

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Berry Jam Puff Pastry Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Caroline Fey
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 to 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 heart shaped sweet rolls 1x


I’ve really been trying to create recipes that can be made in a short amount of time with pantry staples. If you’re like me, you always have a box of puff pastry in your freezer (I used Trader Joe’s brand for this recipe, but my favorite is DuFour brand). The remaining ingredients – good quality jam, butter, vanilla, cream cheese and powdered sugar are basics.


Units Scale
  • 1 defrosted sheet of puff pastry from a package of frozen puff pastry
  • 1 cup good quality berry jam
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Freeze dried, crushed berries like raspberries or strawberries for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, 205°C

2. Place one sheet of puff pastry on a cutting board, rolling it out slightly if needed to flatten.

3. Spread the jam over the puff pastry, making sure to leave a little bit of an uncovered pastry border at the edges so that the jam doesn’t spill out when rolled.

4. Gently roll the puff up into a loose roll up.

5. Cut the roll into 1 1/2-inch to 3-inch rounds. Cut them thinner if making hearts and thicker if making classic rounds.

6. Place them in the muffin cups. If making hearts, place one small round on each side and gently form each side into half of the heart, pressing the edges together to seal.

7. Bake until very golden and bubbly. If you’re not sure if the centers are cooked, gently remove one sweet roll and cut into the center. If it’s doughy, put them back in. You can put the cut roll back in, it will reform as it continues to cook. If the tops are getting too dark before the centers cook, cover loosely with foil while baking.

8. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese in a bowl with the butter, vanilla and sugar until pale and creamy.

9. Once the sweet rolls are cool, frost and decorate with dried berries if using.


This recipe can easily be multiplied for larger gatherings.

You can make the sweet rolls in heart shaped muffin molds or classic round muffin pans.

These can be assembled in advance, chilled in the muffin pan, and popped into the oven 45 minutes before serving. Allow them to cool before frosting.

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