Palm Trees and Elephant Ears: Les Palmiers Cookies

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This Christmas season has been filled with baking – cookies and sweets to be specific. I’ve made chocolate chip, milanos, and now palmiers (with more cookies to come in a few days!). I decided to send my aunt Teya these fun french cookies (that I’ve always seen in bakeries, but never had a chance to try). I thought she’d enjoy them! They are crispy and sweet and melt in your mouth delicious!

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

For those unfamiliar with Palmiers (as I was), they are sheets of puff pastry rolled with sugar and baked. They are named “palmiers,” which is French for palm tree, after their distinctive shape when baked. Sometimes they are also referred to as Elephant Ears (so adorable)… or in England, Pig Ears (less adorable).

It was a tad messy – I ended up getting sugar all over myself and the kitchen (although a tasty mishap). Once again, I had a little trouble with geometry and folding them, not to mention we don’t have a rolling pin so I had to use a wine bottle, but all in all, I overcame these challenges and figured it out. I made two batches – the first batch I cut smaller than I anticipated and was worried they wouldn’t puff and expand enough. The second batch were a little larger – though I realized I preferred the smaller size.

Palmiers

Adapted from Chow

1 cup granulated sugar

½ tsp fine salt

1 (14- to 16-ounce package) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to the package directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine, about 1 minute. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar from the food processor and set aside for dipping the cookies in just before baking. Add salt to the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and pulse about 3 times to combine.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Sprinkle about half of the sugar-salt mixture onto your work surface to match the size of the puff pastry. Place the puff pastry sheet(s) on the sugar mixture with one of the short ends closest to you and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly on top. Roll to 1/8 thick, sprinkling loose sugar from the work surface onto the dough as you roll.

The link above has diagrams that better illustrate the folding process BUT basically you are creating layers, rolling and sprinkling sugar all the while. You should end up with something resembling this:

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Cut half of the dough into 1/2-inch-thick slices crosswise (keep the remaining dough refrigerated).

Dip the slices on both sides in the reserved ground sugar. Place the slices on one of the prepared baking sheets.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Bake until the sugar around the edges of the palmiers just starts to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip each palmier over with a spatula. Continue baking until the cookies are a deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes more.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Les Palmiers Cookies

Palmiers
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce package) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to the package directions
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine, about 1 minute. Remove ¼ cup of the sugar from the food processor and set aside for dipping the cookies in just before baking. Add salt to the remaining ¾ cup sugar and pulse about 3 times to combine.
  3. Sprinkle about half of the sugar-salt mixture onto your work surface to match the size of the puff pastry. Place the puff pastry sheet(s) on the sugar mixture with one of the short ends closest to you and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly on top. Roll to ⅛ thick, sprinkling loose sugar from the work surface onto the dough as you roll.
  4. The link above has diagrams that better illustrate the folding process BUT basically you are creating layers, rolling and sprinkling sugar all the while. You should end up with something resembling this:
  5. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. Cut half of the dough into ½-inch-thick slices crosswise (keep the remaining dough refrigerated).
  7. Dip the slices on both sides in the reserved ground sugar. Place the slices on one of the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until the sugar around the edges of the palmiers just starts to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip each palmier over with a spatula. Continue baking until the cookies are a deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes more.

 

P.S. If you liked these, check out homemade Milanos! They’re just as easy!! 

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