* 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
* 3 cups cold milk
* 1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
* 2 cups heavy whipping cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 teaspoon shortening
* On a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry sheet into a 12-in. square. Using an 11-in. heart pattern, cut each pastry into a heart shape. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
* Meanwhile, whisk milk and pudding mix until thickened. In a large bowl, beat cream and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into pudding.
* Split puff pastry hearts in half. Place one layer on a serving plate. Top with a third of the pudding mixture. Repeat twice. Top with remaining pastry.
* In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, almond extract and the remaining vanilla until smooth. Spread over top. In a heavy saucepan or microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Pipe in diagonal lines in one direction over frosting. Beginning 1 in. from side of heart, use a sharp knife to draw right angles across the piped lines. Refrigerate until set. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 10-12 servings.
~~ Taste of Home | February/March 2000 ~~