I use store-bought puff pastry to make my palmiers, and this is the secret to my success. I have a box or two of the dough in the freezer at all times. It's a simple matter of taking out a sheet, letting it thaw, and then rolling it into palmiers for a quick afternoon treat.
If you're feeling adventurous and want to try your hand at making your own puff pastry, by all means go for it! Homemade puff pastry is labor intensive, but it has better flavor and more puff than store-bought.
Palmiers are also a wonderfully versatile cookie. I make them with anything from a simple dusting of sugar to a spread of jam. Take a look at the variations after the recipe for more ideas.
Sweet and simple palmiers
Makes about 18 cookies
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/4 cup (roughly) granulated, demerara or brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Unwrap the puff pastry and lay it on a clean work surface. Cover to prevent the dough from drying out and let it thaw until completely pliable but still cool. It's very important that the dough be completely thawed before using.
Sprinkle the sugar over the dough in a single thick coating. Run a rolling pin over the pastry to press the sugar into the dough and help it adhere. Tightly roll two opposite edges of the pastry inward so they meet in the middle. Wrap the rolled log in plastic wrap and refrigerate 20-30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 F. Place a rack in the middle position.
Use a serrated knife to slice the roll into cookies roughly 1/3 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, allowing 2 inches of expansion room between each one. Flatten each cookie slightly using the bottom of a cup. Brush each cookie with melted butter and sprinkle a little more sugar over the tops.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool 10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container. Cookies will be less crispy but still delicious the next day.
Instead of (or in addition to!) simple sugar, try one of these variations:
- Cinnamon and sugar
- Citrus zest and sugar
- A thin spread of jam
- Finely shredded cheese (for a savory twist!)
Emma Christensen is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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