These little French pastries are traditionally known as Palmiers, but are also often referred to as ‘elephant ears’, ‘palm trees’ or ‘French hearts’ (though mine kind of remind me of little butterflies!).
They are basically folded or rolled puff pastry, flavoured with cinnamon sugar (though they can be savoury), and baked until golden brown and caramelized. They’re incredibly quick to make, particularly if you use store-bought puff pastry, making them an excellent little tea-time treat when visitors arrive on your doorstep. They’re also a nice accompaniment to light desserts – I’ve served these with my Chilled Lemon Soufflés.
I went with Videojug’s recipe which provided a handy little demonstration video. I didn’t adapt it at all, though I did use my own Rough Puff Pastry which worked a treat. If you want to try other flavourings, go right ahead – you could pair the sugar with ingredients like lemon or orange zest, ginger or ground cardamom, or even spread the pastry with a sweet or savoury paste of your choice. Enjoy.
- 150 g ready-made puff pastry or make your own, rolled thinly and cut into a square
- 100 g sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Add the cinnamon to the sugar and mix them together.
- Take your pastry and roll out thinly to 3mm thick. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the pastry, then gently spread it out evenly with your hands.
- Gently roll the rolling pin over the surface to press the sugar into the pastry. Turn the pastry over and do exactly the same thing on the other side.
- Fold each side of the pastry inwards by about 2cm, and gently flatten with the rolling pin. Fold both sides over once more, sprinkle again with cinnamon sugar and roll. Lastly, fold the pastry up completely and roll the rolling pin over for the last time.
- Cut off and discard the untidy edges, then cut the folded pastry into thin strips (just over 1cm, or ½ inch), making about 20 individual palmiers. Then turn them onto one side, place them on a tray and put into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- Remove the palmiers from the fridge and arrange them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (see image below). Leave about 2 to 3cm (about an inch) between each one as they will expand and open up to form their ‘palm like’ shape (don’t leave too much space as they’ll spread out too much).
- Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden. Take the palmiers out of the oven, and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool down. If not eating immediately, they can be stored in a sealed container for a few days.
- Serve with tea or coffee at breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
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