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 hadn't heard - the Great 2016 GBBO catastrophe. The program is moving (has moved) 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 (Season 2) 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 based on one from America's Test Kitchen's 2012 Christmas Cookie edition. Their method yields 24 very large cookies, but I have modified it to yield 20-40 smaller cookies. They are super easy to make, but require a 45 minute freezer stage so keep that in mind.
- take the puff pastry out of the freezer - most brands suggest thawing it in the fridge overnight
- prep the sugar mixture
- Note also once prepared, the rolls of puff pastry must be frozen for 45 minutes, so that might be the best time to preheat the oven and prep the cookie sheets
- 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. (However - I have found there is too much of this sugar mixture - you can cut back to 1/2 cup sugar, keeping other ingredients the same.) This is going to be used for both "filling" and to sprinkle on your work surface.
Sprinkle about 1/3 cup on the work surface and lay one sheet of puff pastry on top. Sprinkle that sheet with 2 TB of the sugar 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".
For 12 giant palmiers, roll the two short ends to the centre (and after freezing, but into 12 pieces.)
For 20 medium size palmiers. Cut the 11 x 15 sheet in half at the 7.5" mark - ending up with two sheets, each 11 x 7.5".
For 40 mini palmiers, cut the 11 x 7.5 sheets in half - in total you'll have four rectangles each measuring about 5.5 x 7.5.
With each sheet, roll the two short ends to the centre. 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 roughly 1/2" pieces. You should get 10-12 pieces per roll.
Puff pastry bakes up best when it is cold, so keep remaining rolls in the freezer until just before the first sheet comes out of the oven.
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.
Transfer baked cookies to a wire cooling rack. They should be cool and crisp after about 45 minutes. They 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. This will give you 12 cookies - so large you can only bake 6 per bake sheet. 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 6 cookies - then bake as above. Repeat.
- For KB Recipe Attribution Practices please click here.