If this was the quick method for puff pastry, I’m not sure I want to ever attempt the authentic method of making it. Actually, it was fairly quick. I just had to have a lot of faith while rolling it. The recipe for Quick Puff Pastry comes from Cindy Mushet’s The Art and Soul of Baking.
I have now learned that puff pastry is butter with a little bit of flour. Similar to croissant dough, but without yeast, puff pastry requires three turns–rolling, folding, and refrigerating. The ‘dough’–Cindy even uses dough with quotes–is shaggy and doesn’t form a smooth mass until the final roll. She says to trust her. And trust her I did. You can find the recipe for Quick Puff Pastry HERE. I’ll warn you before you look; it uses 4 1/2 sticks of butter.
Palmiers, or elephant ears, are crisp cookies made with puff pastry rolled in sugar. They are simple to make once you have puff pastry. You roll out the dough in lots of sugar and then you roll the ends up into each other. Refrigerate it for a bit, then slice, roll in more sugar, and bake. The secret of getting nice and crispy palmiers is to allow enough time for the sugar to start caramelizing before flipping the cookies over. You want a nice golden color around the edges which is a sign that the sugar is doing its thing.
Because of the way they are cut and baked, palmiers puff out not up. I was so excited when I saw that my puff pastry was actually puffing. I did a happy dance in the kitchen. Then tweeted about it.
I made plain palmiers, but you could use vanilla sugar or add some spices to the sugar.They’re great on their own, but even better with ice cream. They supposedly keep up to two weeks. I wouldn’t know anything about that; they didn’t last that long!
Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking
- 1/2 recipe Puff Pastry
- Generously sprinkle sugar over work surface. Place puff pastry in center and sprinkle top with more sugar completely covering it. Roll dough out to a 16 by 10- inch rectangle, sprinkling top and bottom as needed to prevent sticking.
- Starting at each short end, fold over the first two inches. Repeat, folding the dough over the next two inches. When the two sides meet in the middle, fold one over the other. When you are done, the ends should look like a heart. Wrap roll in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Place rack in middle and preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Pour some sugar in a small bowl. Take roll out of refrigerator and cut 12 1/4-inch thick slices, dip both sides in sugar, and place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Rewrap roll and return to refrigerator. Bake the cookies for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden at the edges. Flip cookies over and bake for 9 to 12 minutes longer, until they are a deep golden brown. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. You could also freeze it for baking on another day.