Have you been a fan of The Great British Bake Off (or as it is known in North America - The Great British Baking Show)? 

I must digress to mention - in case you didn't already know - the Great 2016 GBBO catastrophe. The program is moving from BBC and Mary, Sue and Mel have abandoned ship. Whether you'll keep watching will depend on how much you like Paul Hollywood and/or the program concept. I have seen up to Series 6 when Nadiya won, but there is still a Series 7 with the old gang airing eventually on this side of the pond.

By the way - did you know there is a casting call out right this minute for participants for The Great Canadian Baking Show to be aired on CBC?

Anyhow, I thought it was mean when participants were asked to make puff pastry from scratch - seems like such a time-consuming task when most people always purchase it. I recall when it was sold in "blocks" that had to be rolled out (seems that is still available), but I love to use brands that are already rolled out into sheets - usually two per package. Yay!!

It's dawning on me that I like puff pastry in both sweet and savoury manifestations. Maybe it's the delicate crunch (and I have written before about how I like "crunch"). The sugary crunch delivered in Palmiers makes me happy. They are considered to be a French pastry, but apparently are also popular in Puerto Rico where they are called "ears". [Source]

This recipe is from America's Test Kitchen's 2012 Christmas Cookie edition. Their method yields 24 very large cookies, but I have modified it to yield 40 smaller cookies. They are super easy to make, but require a 45 minute freezer stage so keep that in mind.

    Getting Ready:

    • take the puff pastry out of the freezer - most brands suggest thawing it in the fridge overnight
    • prep the sugar mixture
    • line two cookies sheets with parchment
    • preheat oven to 375 F

    2/3 cup (4 2/3 oz) sugar
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground cardamom
    1/8 tsp salt

    2 sheets puff pastry thawed

    Whisk together. This is going to be used for both "filling" and to sprinkle on your work surface.

    Sprinkle 1/4 cup on the work surface and lay one sheet on top. Sprinkle that sheet with 2 TB of the mixture. Lay the second pastry sheet on top, and sprinkle with the remainder of the mixture.

    Gently roll the puff pastry sheets into a rectangle - about 11 x 15". The brand I buy usually comes in sheets measuring about 10  x 10, so gently rolling in one direction gets you to 11 x 15".

    Cut the 11 x 15 sheet into two and create roll.

    Cut the 11 x 15 sheet into two and create roll.

    Cut the 11 x 15 sheet in half at the 7.5" mark - ending up with two sheets, each 11 x 7.5". With each sheet, roll the two short ends to the centre until they meet. Aim for a happy medium - not too tight, not too loose. 

    Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for about 45 minutes.

    Remove one roll from the freezer and, using a sharp knife, slice it into 10 pieces.

    Bake in a 375 F oven for 14-16 minutes, flip the cookies and rotate the pan and then bake for another 4-6 minutes - until they are a nice toasty brown colour. Keep a close eye on them at the end to avoid over-baking.

    A batch where I rolled too loosely - still yummy.

    A batch where I rolled too loosely - still yummy.

    Puff pastry bakes up best when it is cold, so keep the second in the freezer until just before the first sheet comes out of the oven.

    Transfer baked cookies to a wire cooling rack. They should be cool and crisp after about 45 minutes. Thye store well in a dry, air-tight container.

    Notes and Tips...

    • Large Palmiers - the original recipe has you create the roll from the large 11 x 15 sheet - again rolling the short ends to the centre. If you are baking one sheet at a time, they suggest removing the roll from the freezer and cutting it in half. Return one half to the freezer and from the other half cut 12 cookies - then bake as above.
    • For KB Recipe Attribution Practices please click here.

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    Like puff pastry? Here's a sweet and savoury option!