Chicago Tribune

Pastry bites for your party

If your parties can use a lift, reach for puff pastry. The dough, which rises spectacularly as thin leaves of delicate pastry, can be used for everything from cocktail nibbles to dessert tarts.

Because tissue-thin layers of dough are spliced with innumerable lines of butter or some other fat to give that signature lift in baking, puff pastry has always seemed hard to make, the province of experienced cooks. No matter. Commercially produced puff pastry offers a neat and easy-to-use base for any number of hors d'oeuvres.

"It allows you to serve something that looks fancy, and

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