Pastries look impressive. They give the impression that you’ve finessed butter and flour into golden browned, puffed-up perfection. But here’s the secret, if you use store-bought puff pastry dough, you can give that same impression with minimal muss and fuss. At the French Culinary Institute, we made puff pastry dough from scratch because the curriculum dictated it, but even my chefs there thought it was a big waste of time. You can get high quality dough in the freezer section of your grocery store, and won’t have to spend your day rolling and folding and refrigerating the fussiest dough in the world.
These Palmiers (which get their name from their elephant ear shape) are delicious served with vanilla ice cream for dessert, or just with coffee or tea as an afternoon pick-me-up.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted (try Pepperidge Farm or Dufour)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine the sugar, kosher salt, and cinnamon
Pour 1 cup of the sugar/salt/cinnamon mixture onto your countertop
Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry, trying to get an even coating
With a rolling pin (use a wine bottle if you don’t have one!) roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom
Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other like you’re closing a book. You should have 6 layers total
Slice the dough into slices about the width of two fingers and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper
Bake the Palmiers for 6 minutes until caramelized and browned on the bottom, then turn them over and bake another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Let them cook slightly, then enjoy. Be careful handling these while they’re hot- sugar burns are the worst!
*Recipe inspired by Barefoot Contessa
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