Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs (Vols-au-Vents)

Crunchy, buttery cashews, tender chicken and crisp broccoli surrounded by a luscious Gouda Cream Sauce served in flaky, melt-in-your mouth puff pastry shells. An elegant dinner that looks difficult to make, but it’s really pretty simple and oh so delicious!

Vols-au-Vent, pronounced voool-oh-vaw, are little puff pastry shells you can fill with sweet or savory fillings. I made dinner size shells and filled them with creamy cashew chicken.

The shells are easy to make with frozen puff pastry sheets available at most supermarkets. You can make them round, but I used a flower cookie cutter to give them a pretty ruffled edge.

I created this recipe for the Cache Valley® Signature Recipe Contest! and it was chosen as one of two $1,000 winners! Thanks Cache Valley! So glad you loved this recipe as much as my family.

I can’t say enough good things about Cache Valley products, especially their new Gouda cheese. It melts like a dream and adds a creamy, buttery, richness to the sauce. It would be fabulous in your favorite mac and cheese recipe, or melted over your favorite sandwich.

Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs (Vols-au-Vents)

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs (Vols-au-Vents)

Ingredients

    Puff Pastry Shells
  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Gouda Cream Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 5 slices Cache Valley Gouda Cheese
  • Creamy Cashew Chicken
  • 3 tablespoons Cache Valley butter
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Gouda Cream Sauce (recipe above)

Directions

    Puff Pastry Shells
  1. Thaw puff pastry sheets according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll each sheet of dough into a rectangle approximately 11”x 8”.
  3. Using a 3.5” round cookie cutter cut 6 large circles in each sheet. Inside 6 of the circles, using a 2.5” round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the middle to make rings. The rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent and the solid rounds will be the bottoms.
  4. Mix together egg and tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. Put the solid bottom rounds on baking sheet. Brush the bottom rounds lightly with egg wash.
  5. Top each bottom round with a ring and press gently into place. Brush the top of the rings lightly with egg wash. Prick the center of the shells with a fork. Place shells in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  6. Gouda Cream Sauce
  7. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour. Cook over low heat, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly add half and half, stirring constantly until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in Gouda slices until smooth and creamy. Add additional half and half if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. Creamy Cashew Chicken
  9. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and cook cashews until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cashews from pan and set aside.
  10. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add chicken and onions, sauté stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and onions are tender. Add water, broccoli, and rosemary. Cover and cook until broccoli is tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat. Add toasted cashews and 1/2 cup Gouda Cream Sauce. Stir to combine.
  12. To assemble Creamy Cashew Chicken Puffs:
  13. Make puff pastry shells and put in the refrigerator to chill.
  14. Prepare Gouda Cream Sauce and keep warm on low heat.
  15. Prepare Creamy Cashew Chicken.
  16. Bake shells 15 – 20 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown. Remove from the oven and prick the center of the shells to deflate center.
  17. Spoon Creamy Cashew Chicken into shells and drizzle with remaining Gouda Cream Sauce.
  18. Serve immediately.
http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/12/creamy-cashew-chicken-puffs-vols-au-vents/

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Comments

    Leave a Comment:

  1. Reasoned Commenter says

    These sound and look wonderful.

    I’m stuck at “5 slices Cache Valley Gouda Cheese”

    This brand is not available where I live. Can you please provide either a volume or a weight for the amount of gouda cheese required?

  2. says

    Gosh, these are my favourite. I am drooooooling……
    Hope you’re having a fabulous time & Happy festive season to you, Barbara.
    Enjoy & have loads of fun.
    Kristy

  3. says

    Mmmm Barbara, these are fabulous! Where do I start? Love the addition of cashews and broccoli to the normal vol-au-vent filling. And the gouda cheese sauce puts it over the top! They are beautiful! Your recipe so deserved to win! Congratulations!

  4. says

    Congratulation on the 1k win, Barb! Personally, I think they’re priceless. What a fantastic recipe! The combo of chicken with cashews has always been a favorite (Chinese take-out), so this is a completely new way to try it. LOVE the gouda sauce! This brings back memories of the ’09 DB challenge for Vols-au-Vents, where I made like 5 lbs of puff pastry and enough Vols-au-Vents fillings to cater 200 guest wedding lol

  5. says

    Congratulations, Barbara! I can see why this amazing recipe was chosen a winner. This dish is so elegant and using premade puff pastry eliminates a huge part of the work involved. I think this would make a lovely New Year’s Eve supper. Bookmarked.

  6. says

    Congrats on the win! These are simply delicious looking – a wonderful dish. I just discovered your blog and love it – I’ve signed up to follow and looking forward to more!
    mary x

  7. says

    Congratulations on the win!!! I love chicken and cashews together in anything usually. I don’t believe I’ve ever tried Gouda before. These look so pretty and perfect for dinner or as an appetizer.

  8. says

    Congratulations on winning the prize money! I really am very happy for you. I think these vols-au-vents look so pleasing. I can see why you won with them.

  9. says

    I made some vols au vent a few years ago for a Daring Bakers challenge (though I did a more sweet filling, of course). They’re so fun to make, and so tasty. I love what you’ve done with yours, they sound absolutely divine!