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mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini Ham and Cheese Croque Monsieur Puff Pastry Tarts

The first time I went to Paris I told Mike that I had to have a croque monsieur or croque madame. Croques are classic French bistro fare and since I figured we’d be spending a lot of time café hopping, I had it all planned out in my mind: we would sit at one of those cute little sidewalk cafes, with the round tables and colorful rattan chairs, the chatter of French conversation all around us. Of course, when we got into Paris, it was pouring. The rain meant that Mike and I couldn’t sit outside, but I didn’t let that stop me from ordering a very authentic croque madame. It was a super cozy experience – the rain falling down incessantly on the eves, the warmth inside the cafe, Mike and I snuggled up against each other sharing a crispy, cheesy knife and fork sandwich.

mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Croques have fancy French names, but basically they’re grilled ham and cheese sandwiches topped with béchamel – a creamy white sauce. They’re crisp and gooey, decadent and rich, and absolutely addictive. I like making croque monsieurs with a bit of mustard – it really helps cut through the richness and adds an extra dimension of flavor.

mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com mini hama nd cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Funnily enough, I never used to like mustard. But now that I’m a grown up, mustard is one of my all time favorite things. I love trying out different varieties because they all lend such different flavors to whatever they’re complimenting. French’s just came out with two new mustards, Sweet Yellow Mustard and Spicy Yellow Mustard, and they fit in perfectly for a fun French picnic idea that I had.

mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I really wanted croque monsieurs for our picnic, but since they don’t really travel well, I decided to use puff pastry to make some tiny tarts. I just love how well these little guys turned out – they’re super portable and easy to make ahead of time. Plus they taste great either warm out of the oven or at room temperature, which is perfect for a picnic.

mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

The real secret to these tarts is the mustard béchamel. Usually, when I’m making croque monsieurs, I just go ahead and spread some mustard on to my bread, but for these little guys, I came up with the brilliant idea of putting French’s Spicy Yellow Mustard into the béchamel. I contemplated going with French’s Sweet Yellow Mustard, which would have paired wonderfully with the ham, but I was in a spicy mood.

mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

The mustard béchamel added just the right amount of je ne sais quoi to my little ham and cheese croque moniseur puff pastry tarts. C’est bon!

Mini Ham and Cheese Croque Monsieur Puff Pastry Tarts Recipe
makes 12-16 mini tarts
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 45 minutes

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons French’s Sweet Yellow Mustard or Spicy Yellow Mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 12-16 thin slices of ham
  • 1 cup shredded gruyère
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water
  • additional 1 – 2 tablespoons French’s Sweet Yellow Mustard or Spicy Yellow Mustard, to spread if desired
  • fresh thyme sprigs, if desired

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about three minutes, until completely smooth and incorporated. Pour in the milk in thin stream while whisking. Keep on medium heat, whisking, for about 5-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Use a round cookie cutter to cut out 2 inch rounds of puff pastry. Use a smaller cookie cutter to score a circle inside each round without cutting down all the way through. Gently poke the centre hole with a fork to dock.

Top each round with a bit of mustard béchamel, a bit of ham, and shredded cheese. Top with a sprinkle of fresh pepper.

Use a pastry brush to brush the rounds with the egg lightly beaten with a splash of water. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Enjoy hot with extra mustard and fresh thyme sprigs, if desired.

This post was brought to you by the makers of French’s Sweet Yellow Mustard and Spicy Yellow Mustard. I received compensation to write this post through the French’s Sweet and Spicy Influencer Program. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting I am a Food Blog!
mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com
mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

19 Comments • Add yours!

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  1. omg. I just drooled on myself a little.

  2. these are the CUTEST!! mustard for liiiiiiife!! i’m pretty sure both my wife and i would eat croque monsieurs every single day for lunch if we could :)

  3. These are seriously too good. I love a croque monsieur at the best of times but a minified version? You’re amazing.

  4. i think it’s pretty funny that you used french’s for a croque monsieur (; and i’m really tempted to make a batch, and convert half to madames (maybe cut out rounds of scrambled eggs and stack that on)…

  5. It’s funny, it sounds so posh but it’s true, a croque is basically an ham and cheese sandwich, with a twist.
    The first time I went to Paris it was also pouring down. What I had was SALADE DÉTENTE, exceptional :)
    Thanks for sharing

  6. These look amazing! I had this while I was in Paris this past spring…and it was heavenly. well, pretty much everything I ate there was absolute perfection. : )

    thanks for sharing this recipe, and your photography is beautiful!

  7. I GASPED when I saw these, Steph!!!!!!!! These are everything I’ve ever dreamed of in little hors d’oeuvres. Mustard bechamel is sheer brilliance and you’re so right, I can just imagine how perfectly it goes with the ham and cheese. I want about fifty of these right now. So amazing as always, lady!

  8. These look gorgeous! My mouth is watering! Got to try out the recipe soon…

  9. It looks very tasty :) I have to cook it for lunch:)

  10. looks very delicious

  11. I love croque Monsieur! I live in Montreal Quebec and we have lots of French bistro that serve this, it’s my all time favourite lunch item! I never thought of using mustard in Béchamel! Must try! Thanks for sharing

  12. Insanity! I want to try these!

  13. We do croque Madames, but we put extra mature cheddar into our bechamel, it is super delicious but very rich! These look so yummy can’t wait till tomorrow to try them xxxx

  14. This looks absolutely delicious! Definitely going to try this when I can!

  15. My mouth is watering just looking at the pics! It’s like a more updated and sophisticated version of the classic Cuban sandwich but in appetizer form. Wonderful picnic food!

  16. I can’t WAIT to try this! This might be a regional language kind of issue, but I don’t know what you mean by this part. Can you clarify?
    “Use a smaller cookie cutter to score a circle inside each round without cutting down all the way through. Gently poke the centre hole with a fork to dock.”

    • cut out a circle in your puff pastry, then use a smaller circle cutter to make an impression inside it. use a fork to poke holes in the centre circle. please let me know if i can explain it further! :)

      Stephanie Le on July 26, 2016 at 7:52 pm
mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com