How to Top Brownie Day? National Pastry Day!

Apple turnover pastry

How to Top Brownie Day? National Pastry Day!
| published December 9, 2014 |

By Thursday Review editors

Topping the joy of National Brownie Day (December 8) is tough, for almost everyone would agree that brownies—whether they are fluffy, cake-like kind or the thick and gooey fudge-like treats—are a tough act to follow…holidays or any time of year.

But in the United States, Canada, and in the United Kingdom, National Pastry Day might just have the goods (or the goodies), so to speak. Indeed, according to a number of reputable news sites and online services (Thursday Review included), December 9 is the day we celebrate the tasty, fluffy, sugary pastry.

A pastry is defined, more or less, as any one of scores of baked treats—generally larger than a cookie, but smaller than what Americans define as a traditional multi-serving cake. From there the definition gets elastic, and we think it is easier to give examples of great pastries. The cheese Danish, for example, is a classic form of pastry. In New Orleans, the classic beignet would fall into the same category; in Greece, the classic baklava serves as a pastry treat. In China, where many pastries are made from rice, flour, sweet pea or sweet bean paste, and fruit, the art of pastry-making dates back even farther than its European counterparts. Tarts, small pies, turnovers, and even some large cookies might fall easily into the family of pastries.

For the most part, the pastry is a confectionery item developed by bakers over the centuries. The French, notable for their love of anything with extremely high levels of sweetness and sugar (and apparently genetically immune to the effects of such), have developed and perfected literally scores of famously delicious pastry treats, including Choux pastry—often served with cream. The Choux is so-named for its resemblance to a small cabbage, though it obviously contains no fiber. Starting out as thick, heavy dough, it is usually shaped by the pastry chef into lightly layered shapes, and many become éclairs or profiteroles. Many pastries are made with phyllo (sometimes spelled filo) dough, a thin layer of pastry often wrapped around various fillings.

Send us your best pastry recipe, or send us a story of your experience with the most mouth-watering pastry you ever encountered. We’ll publish it on our Food Page, and the author of article selected by our editors as the best story or recipe will receive a $25 gift card! Just email us at (Deadline is December 23, 2014).

Related Thursday Review articles:

Is It Really National Brownie Day?; Thursday Review; December 8, 2014.

Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Facts; Maggie Nichols; Thursday Review; November 9, 2014.