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Ask My Friend Maillard

Question: My teenager seems allergic to breakfast and is always rushing out the door in the morning.
Do you have any quick and easy ideas of what I can get into this child before he/she departs for school?!”



My Advice: For an easy and versatile solution I think we should look to the British. That’s not something I would normally say in relation to food, unless the question was “what should I use as a condiment for my fried cod?”, but I think the hand pie is the answer you seek. I’m not going to go so far as to suggest you serve that teenager mincemeat pies -although I bet their face when you suggest that would be priceless- but filled puff pastry is buttery, portable and customizable. A breakfast triple crown!


The trick will be getting some nutrition into those portable calories that a teenager will eat and, more importantly, enjoy. Starting with store bought puff pastry dough, real fruit and nutella or cream cheese, I think any parent can make a strong case for breakfast.


sweet filling ideas:

berries, nutella & cream cheese or mascarpone

sliced fruit & jam

apple slices & brown sugar cinnamon

jam & nuts with lemon glaze & sprinkles on top

dates or figs, bacon bits & balsamic vinegar


savory filling ideas:

pesto, chicken, mozzarella, & cherry tomatoes

spinach, bacon, & cream cheese or feta

“pot pie” a.k.a. potatoes, carrots & meat of choice

curried chicken, potato & peas

artichoke, spinach & cheddar


You could even call them homemade pop-tarts or danishes if that will help. Or if your teenager is a savory breakfast person then do their favorite sandwich meat with spinach and cheese and you’ve got a breakfast sandwich on-the-go. Making bite-sized versions can also be especially appealing.  


The basic process is  simply to follow the baking instructions on your store bought puff pastry, filling and shaping as you see fit. But if you prefer more specific instructions I’ve documented myself filling store-bought puff pastry dough below the filling suggestions. I made them for a party this weekend so they are not quite what you will be aiming for will breakfast puff pastry. You DO NOT need a tiny cookie cutter or egg wash to create breakfast for your kids... unless you enjoy time consuming weekend baking projects.



Step 1: Defrost  puff pastry



Step 2: Roll, Cut and Fill Puff Pastry



I made these diamonds for a party, to shape your breakfast hand pies, cut the rolled out dough into 6 or 8 rectangles then fill and fold in half.


Step 3 (Optional): Brush pastries with an egg wash. Whisk together 1 egg and 1tbsp milk or water and brush a thin, even layer across the hand pies. For extra sparkle and flavor sprinkle flakey salt or demerara sugar on top, depending on whether you used a savory or sweet filling, respectively.



Step 4: Bake as directed on your box*, Cool, and Enjoy!


*Keep in mind that a thick filling can make the cooking time much longer than indicated.


Step 5: Reheat. Some fillings will be good cold, but that buttery goodness of the puff pastry shines best when warm, so stick the hand pie in an oven or toaster oven untill the outside is crispy again; you can also microwave if short on time but it will not crisp up. 


Please comment if you have any questions about fillings, the ones suggested or how to adapt your favorite breakfast combo into hand pie filling. And as always, Ask My Friend Maillard your own questions anytime on Facebook, Twitter or by Email.

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About Joanna

blogger joanna2

I am a young entrepreneur who loves to solve problems; from the daily crossword to a client's cooking conundrum. Passion for soccer, architecture, travel, and experimenting with cooking techniques (mostly) define my life. My company, My Friend Maillard, is a personal chef service designed to help clients who don't have the time or inclination to cook at home. I approached Fredericksburg Parent to host this blog so I could also help local families find answers for their seemingly intractable food and cooking related problems.

Did your teenager just decide to go vegan? Do you want to know why your cakes always collapse in the center? Do you want to know how to get chicken skin really crispy? Just Ask My Friend Maillard. Make your queries as specific or as weird as you like and submit them anytime through Twitter, on Facebook, or via email to myfriendmaillard (at) Can't wait to hear from you!

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