Food Panini Press Napoleons
This March 15, 2011 photo shows countertop napoleons in Concord, N.H. This recipe comes together in little time and with even less mess. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) AP Photo/Matthew Mead

Who knew a panini press and a package of frozen puff pastry could be combined to create such a light and elegant dessert?

Best yet, the whole thing comes together in little time and with even less mess. You simply thaw the puff pastry (available in the grocer's freezer section), cut it into squares, then throw it on the panini press. Really. Cooking the pastry on a panini press makes for perfectly golden, crisp and gently puffed flaky layers.

Once your pastry layers are cooked, you simply layer them with whipped cream (you can use purchased if you want to make this dish even faster and easier) and fresh berries. The result is a dessert to rival restaurant offerings.

Countertop Napoleons

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 6

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (each 17.3-ounce package contains 2 sheets)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1 tablespoon honey

Two 6-ounce packages fresh raspberries

Powdered sugar

Heat a panini press or countertop grill.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into nine 3-by-3-inch squares.

Working in batches according to how many squares will fit on your press at once, cook the pastry squares with the cover set gently down on them until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. As each batch cooks, transfer the squares to a plate to cool, then set aside.

To make the filling, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sour cream, orange marmalade and honey.

To assemble the napoleons, spread a layer of the whipped cream over 6 of the pastry squares. Top each with a few of the berries, then another square of pastry. Repeat with another layer of whipped cream, fruit and a third pastry square. Finish the napoleons with a final layer of cream, then fruit. Dust with powdered sugar.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 287 calories; 196 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (13 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 68 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 92 mg sodium.

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