I remember once, when I was little, we went to visit a friend’s house down the street. The family was originally from Belgium, and so occasionally would serve something that my own several-generations-in-Ohio family never had. One was these odd, heart-shaped cookies. They were firm at first when you bit down on them, but then full of delicate layers and sweet, crunchy caramelized sugar. Much later (when I was already out of college) I what the strange treat was. It was a French dessert known as a palmier.
Palmiers are interesting cookies. They are really more of a pastry, in truth. They combine puff pastry with a coating of sugar rolled in on itself for a buttery, delicate dessert.
The French pastry chefs who originally made palmiers used fresh puff pastry, folding layers of butter into the dough to create the pastry’s flaky texture. However, I don’t think that I have ever been accused of being a highly-trained French chef.
I found a way to make some low-effort, high-reward palmiers with one simple resource: the grocery freezer aisle.
Quick thing: I have included affiliate links to Amazon below – it won’t affect your price to click them, but I do get a kickback. I promise that my links are only to be helpful and offer products that would be useful with the recipe.
So, to make these palmiers, you only need three things: some store-bought frozen puff pastry (look for it near the novelty ice cream and other frozen desserts in your local grocery store), 6 tablespoons of butter, and a fair amount of sugar.
Step by Step: Preparing the Palmiers
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Then, unsurprisingly, we start with the puff pastry. Start by thawing one sheet according to the package instructions – mine said to leave out for 40 minutes. You want to make sure there isn’t any ice left in the pastry.
Once it’s thawed, unfold the pastry.
Then, use a rolling pin to flatten and even out the puff pastry.
Once that’s done, we need to melt those 6 tablespoons of butter. To make it easier, I like to put it in a mug.
If you don’t have a brush, you can either use a spoon, or just order your own by clicking the picture to the left, here. They are way inexpensive, and I use them all the time, so I would recommend getting a pair.
Sprinkle the whole thing generously with sugar. Roll over it with the rolling pin to press the sugar into the pastry.
Flip the pastry over.
Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar one more time.
Step by Step: Shaping and Baking
Roll the puff pastry in from the edges to the center.
Slice the pastry into half-inch-thick cookies. Try to make sure they are about the same width all the way down the line – that way none will bake faster than the others.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange the slices on it. Reshape the slices into nice double-curls.
Bake according to the box instructions, about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Don’t worry if the tops are the darkest brown – here’s what the back will look like anyway.
Fun Fact: you can add food coloring to the sugar to make some extra special palmiers for special occasions. These are green for St. Patrick’s day! Enjoy!
Puff Pastry Palmiers
Prep Time: 20-60 minutes; Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Thaw one puff pastry sheet according to package instructions, for example leaving on the counter for 40 minutes.
- Unfold puff pastry and roll out to even and thin the pastry.
- Melt butter (6 tablespoons), and brush one side of the puff pastry well with it.
- Sprinkle the pastry well with sugar, rolling with a rolling pin to adhere.
- Flip the pastry, and repeat brushing with butter and sprinkling with sugar.
- Roll sides of the pastry in to the center.
- Cut the pastry into half-inch-thick slices.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then arrange the pastry slices on it, reshaping to form nice curls.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.