Palmiers are one of my favorite store-bought cookies. I usually buy them at Trader Joes. But this week as I scanned the packaged cookies in the trendy grocery, Palmiers were no where to be found. I later explained my disappointment to the cashier. They only carry them at certain times of the year, she said—presumably holidays. In the meanwhile, they stock an alternate that she suggested I try: Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies. She sent a runner to grab a box from the shelf and added it to my items.
Well, I gave them a try. They’re fine: flat, waffle-shaped with a jagged edge. But they’re not Palmiers. Real Palmiers look more like a scroll rolled up from both ends and cut into slices. Being light, flat, and flaky, they give the illusion of fewer calories. Sometimes the cookies are referred to as elephant ears, or pig ears, because of their shape. The French call them coeur de France, French hearts.
“I Can Make These!” I Said to Myself
When I googled Palmiers, was I ever surprised—they contain 3 ingredients and can be made in 35 minutes! Wow! More reasons to love the little French pastry that goes so well with tea or coffee. I never dreamed I’d be able to make them myself and with so little effort. But, I did.
I found that Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a 5-star recipe for Palmiers, using sugar, no cinnamon. Choosing to tamper with simplicity, I went with the recipe on the FoodNetwork, that included a bit of orange rind as well as cinnamon and less sugar.
Rolling and Folding the Puff Pastry
I have to say, this is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever tried. Because the dough involves some folding, it’s best to watch the video or, at least, look at the photos above to make sure you get it right. Also be sure to use parchment paper on your cookie sheet and watch the baking times, because the cookies need to be flipped midway. My well-watched first batch turned out perfect. I couldn’t wait to take pictures of them and left the second batch in a bit longer than I preferred. Moral: Don’t turn the camera on until you’ve turned the oven off.
Here’s a printable version of the recipe I used.