What is a Palmier? It is the French word for palm tree. A traditional palmier is made by rolling puff pastry out very thinly and sprinkling it with sugar. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg may also be added. The pastry is then rolled up from both sides at once and sliced thin, forming the distinctive leaf-like shape. Baking the Palmiers crispens the pastry and causes the sugar to caramelize, giving the cookies their crunchy texture and sweet flavor. These cookies are often referred to as Elephant ears. First made at the beginning of the 20th century, Palmiers are served with tea or as an accompaniment to desserts, but you can enjoy them anytime! 😉
1 pkg. Puff Pastry dough, slightly thawed
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, optional
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Egg, beaten
Flour, for dusting
Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon; stir to combine well. Set this aside.
Open the package of Puff Pastry and remove one of the two pieces of dough. In this recipe, I only used one section. I made Cream Horns with the other piece. Dust the counter with some flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Carefully unfold the Puff Pastry. Now, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 1/4-inch in thickness.
Now using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim off the uneven edges so that you make a perfect rectangle.
Now GENEROUSLY, dust the pastry dough with the sugar mixture. You’ll still have a little bit of sugar left. Using the palms of your hands, push the sugar into the dough slightly OR use the rolling pin and with slight pressure, roll the sugar into the dough so that it adheres better.
Now, fold over an inch of dough on both ends, as shown below. Continue folding the dough over until it meets in the middle.
Make sure to meet the last fold in the middle as shown below. Now brush the beaten egg over top of the folds as pictured below. This is used to allow the dough to adhere to each other.
Brush the tops completely. Now taking one end, FOLD it over the other as pictured below. Make sure that the edges align with each other. Push the dough together to make sure the egg adheres to both sections.
Now, take a plastic wrap and wrap the dough piece. Place this into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. We want to firm up the dough again before slicing it.
After 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 400°. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a sharp serrated knife, slice 1/2-inch pieces of dough, as pictured below.
Now, take a piece of sliced dough and completely cover it with more sugar. I just added more sugar to what was left previously but I didn’t add more cinnamon.
Place the pieces of sugar coated dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat silicon liner. You need to make sure you don’t place the Palmiers directly on an unlined baking sheet because once the sugar melts, it will stick to the pan and will be hard to remove.
Now, bake the Palmiers for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove them from oven and carefully flip each piece to bake the other side. Bake them for an additional 5 minutes, making sure to watch them carefully at this point, because they will burn quickly! Remove and allow to cool completely! Store in airtight container.