snacks at Northern Stage
Ready for guests.

I would like to thank Northern Stage for the opportunity to showcase some of my baking. I made both Maple Shortbread and mini apple strudels to share with the cast and guests for the script reading of “The Sound of Music.”

Below you will find both recipes:

Bite-Sized Apple Strudel

I did these at the request of Northern Stage, to provide them with some “amuse bouche” for a script reading in November, 2019. I made a strudel filling and partially cooked it on the stove top, so the small strudels would cook properly; I wanted a soft filling and crisp, puff pastry, without having to worry about anything burning.

It is best to make the puff pastry a day before, and let it rest overnight in the fridge. Make sure the filling is completely cool before beginning assembly.

mini strudel


1 batch of Rough Puff Pastry, chilled

  • Six baking apples (I used Macouns, Granny Smith or Macintosh would work, too) peeled and sliced into small pieces
  • 8oz walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • sugar for dusting

To start with, peel, core and chop the apples. Set them aside. In a saucepan, cover the walnuts with water, bring to a boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes to remove some of the tannin, then drain and allow to dry.
Combine the sugar, spice, cornstarch, and water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble. Add the apples and nuts, stir to combine, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until the apples are tender. 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat. At this point, you can refrigerate the filling for up to a week.

To make the strudels

cutting pastry
Measure and cut

Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Take the egg and water and beat together to make an egg wash. Set next to your workspace, along with enough sugar for dusting (1/4 cup or so).

Divide the puff pastry in half. Put one half back in the fridge. Roll the other half out into a rectangle, 9 x 15″. Using a straight edge and a sharp knife or roller, cut into 1-1/2″ wide strips. Trim the edges square. Again, using a ruler, cut each strip into 5″ long pieces. Save all of your scrap pastry.

Take each strip and put a tablespoon of filling in the middle. bring the ends up over the filling and pinch together. Place the strudel, seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have used all of your pastry or the baking sheet is full. Slash the tops of the strudels with a sharp knife, then brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Saving all of the dough scraps. Combine the dough scraps, re-roll, and cut again. With my typical rough puff pastry, you will use half the filling and end up with 30 mini strudels.

Maple Shortbread Cookies

Sugaring season starts in mid-February in Vermont, and lasts until the trees bud. Showing up with a plate of these maple shortbread cookies to a “Sugar on Snow” dinner isn’t a bad idea. The maple isn’t overpowering, and the cookies aren’t overly sweet. If you don’t want to bother rolling them out and using a cookie cutter, you can always form the dough into a log, chill it, and slice rounds. But, really, making maple-leaf shaped cookies is half the fun.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg yolk
3 cups all-purpose flour

In a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is light and airy. Add the sugar, beat until incorporated, then add the syrup and egg yolk. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, mixing until the dough is just combined. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least an hour (overnight is better).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment. Divide the dough in half, keeping one half in the fridge. Roll the other half out to 1/8″ thick, and cut with a cookie cutter. Save the dough scraps, put them back in the fridge as you roll out and cut the second half of the dough. Continue rolling and cutting until the scraps are all used up. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned (the cookies may look undercooked in the middle, this is fine. They’ll firm up on the cooling rack). Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, this will make approximately 24 cookies.