A recipe for buttery, flaky, cinnamon Palmiers! This recipe uses my homemade puff pastry so you can make the entire thing from scratch, but I also include notes for substituting store-bought pastry in case you’re in a hurry!
Buttery, Flaky, Homemade Palmiers
So, on Monday I gave you a recipe for homemade puff pastry. Now I owe you a recipe worth making with it! Today we’re making Palmiers.
These are fancy-looking, buttery, flaky cookies that are often also known as “Elephant Ear cookies”. The name is French (it means “palm tree”, as the cookies are supposed to look like palm leaves).
They’re light, super flaky, and buttery, which won’t surprise you considering they’re primarily made out of our flaky, buttery homemade puff pastry that we learned how to make earlier this week. Slightly crisp, those beautiful, delicate layers shatter under your teeth and melt on your tongue. I make my palmiers by filling them with a blend of cinnamon and sugar, though some recipes use just granulated sugar. I’ve also included some savory filling options below.
Once you have your puff pastry prepped, palmiers are incredibly simple to make and only require a bit of rolling, brushing with butter, sprinkling with cinnamon/sugar, and folding. The hardest part is probably waiting for them to chill in the oven. Let’s get to it!
How to Make Palmiers
The steps listed below correspond to the numbered photos in the collage above. I don’t know about you but a visual usually really helps me in a way written instructions don’t. For more visual cues, check out my Palmier video below the recipe!
- Start out by rolling one half of your homemade puff pastry or one sheet of store-bought pastry into an 11×15″ rectangle. Brush the dough lightly with melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with cinnamon/sugar.
- Use your rolling pin to lightly roll over the cinnamon/sugar to help it adhere to the pastry and butter. Not all of it will stick firmly but this helps to set it into the pastry.
- Fold over one shorter edge of the pastry towards the center, then repeat with the other edge. Leave a 2-inch (ish) gap between the two folded edges.
- Brush the newly exposed dough with melted butter.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar, use your hands to gently press it into the pastry dough.
- Once again, take your pastry and fold the (already folded) portion over itself so that is now folded in half. Repeat with the other side, and leave your gap remaining in the center. Brush again lightly with melted butter.
- Sprinkle and pat with cinnamon/sugar.
- Fold your two folded halves towards each other at the crease, kind of like you are closing a book.
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour before proceeding.
Don’t forget to repeat all the steps listed above with your second half of the puff pastry!
Chill, then bake on high heat
At this point you have your palmier dough ready, but letting it chill for one hour is critical. Palmiers need to be cold before going into the oven. Once the dough has chilled for about 30 minutes, you’ll want to start preheating your oven so that has reached temperature before the palmiers are ready to bake..
In order to encourage those nice flakey layers, puff pastry typically requires a hot oven, and this palmiers recipe is no exception. You’ll need to preheat your oven to 415F (215C) and this can take a long time to do. You want your oven to be nice and hot by the time you’re ready to slice and bake your palmiers.
Cold pastry and a hot oven is instrumental to nice flakey palmiers.
Once your oven is hot and your palmier log has chilled, use a sharp knife to cut into slices that are about ½″ thick and arrange them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Give your palmiers some space, as they are going to spread in the oven quite a bit!
Palmier Filling Options
As you can probably tell from this recipe, I’m partial to cinnamon palmiers. The filling for these is made by simply whisking together granulated sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkling it over the dough as described above.
However, some traditional palmiers are made with just sugar (no cinnamon) and some recipes even use just brown sugar (or a mix of brown and white granulated sugar).
You can also make savory palmiers by skipping the sugar (and cinnamon) entirely and sprinkling cheese, garlic, bacon, prosciutto… the list goes on.
More Recipes to Try:
Let’s bake together! Head on over to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 200 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
- 1 batch homemade puff pastry or you may substitute one box store-bought puff pastry
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 150g
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter melted
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Divide puff pastry into two even pieces (if using homemade, I’ll usually slice in half width-wise before rolling out, if using store-bought puff pastry it will already be divided into two pieces for you). Leave one part wrapped and in the refrigerator to keep it cool while you work with just the first sheet.
- Roll first part of the dough into an 11x15 rectangle.
- Lightly brush the surface of your rolled out dough with melted butter.
- Evenly sprinkle about 3 Tablespoons of cinnamon/sugar over the butter. Use your rolling pin to gently roll over the cinnamon/sugar to help press into the pastry.
- Starting with each 11” end, fold dough over itself 3” towards the center, leaving a 2” gap between the two pieces of dough (see photos in post or video below recipe for visual).
- Brush newly exposed, un-sugared dough with more butter and sprinkle with more cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- Fold the dough over itself again, this time about 1- 1 ½”, so that the edges are on top of themselves (leave the 2” gap).
- Fold dough in half like you’re closing a book, creasing in the center of your 2” gap. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake your palmiers, preheat your oven to 415F (215C).
- Once oven is preheated and palmiers are chilled, remove dough from refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut into slices just about ½” in width.
- Space dough at least 2” apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (these palmiers will spread a great deal in the oven, so leave some room!).
- Transfer to 415F (215C) oven and bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow palmiers to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.
This dough freezes well. To freeze, wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks. Slice and bake from frozen (cookies may need an additional minute or so in the oven).