The summer of my sixteenth year my mother and I spent part of our summer in France. I recall my very favorite treat being a light and crunchy Palmier cookie. Palmier means palm leaf in French. These cookies are also called Elephant Ear cookies here in The United States. Recently I was watching Ina Garten who was dedicating one of her episodes to the food of France. She made these cookies and talked about how simple yet elegant they are. The next day I was at our favorite bakery, Patisserie Lenox, and I couldn’t resist buying myself one.
While I have a ways to go before mine are quite as good as the one I purchased, they were quite simple to make and I would be encouraged to make them again until I can perfect the process.
To begin you need to work on a large wooden or marble surface. Coat the surface with 1/2 cup of sugar with a pinch of kosher salt. Spread your (store bought and thawed) puff pastry sheet on top of the sugar mixture.
To the top of the dough you will add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar which is spread evenly over the pastry. Some people like to add cinnamon here. After the sugar mixture is spread evenly over the top take a French rolling pin and roll the dough out to a 13 x 13 square. The goal is to embed the sugar mixtures into the top and bottom of the pastry dough.
Trim the edges to make your square.
I did not take step by step photos of this next part, and, perhaps I should have, but you take your 13 x 13 square and fold the two edges to meet in the center. You then repeat this process. At the end you take one of those edges and fold it over the other so you are left with a long log like piece of dough.
Cut the dough into equal sized slices.
Place them on a cookie sheet (if you have parchment paper I’d highly recommend using it) and bake at 450. How long they bake depends entirely on your oven. The original recipe says 6 minutes and then take them out and flip them over for an additional 5. I had to leave mine in for nearly 20 minutes before they were ready to flip. The important part is that the bottom of the cookie must be caramelized before you flip.
Another little tip is to spray your cooling rack with cooking spray before you place the cookies on them to cool. They are quite sticky and tend to stick to the rack.
You can eat them right away or store them in an air tight container for a week.
We love the crunchy taste. The light quality of the cookie makes you feel like you are not being naughty when you eat the entire tray!
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