After watching a French baker spend an entire night layering paper-thin dough with butter, I knew I likely would never make puff pastry from scratch. But I do love a good baked Brie en croute, a sweet palmier or a flaky and savory appetizer. Thankfully, even the best cooks I know have zero guilt about using store-bought puff pastry sheets in times of need. And they come in especially handy when you're prepping for a large (or small) gathering at your house. For years, local grocery stores carried just one brand of frozen pastry sheets. But recently, we found four options in the freezers and refrigerators at our neighborhood grocers. We baked slices of each pastry sheet in the oven, according to package directions.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent