Do you ever make a dessert only to realize your dessert could use another dessert? I’ve found myself in this situation a few times recently–allow me to explain before you write me off as a total glutton.
I’ve been really into poaching pears this winter. Red wine, sugar, a cinnamon stick, and maybe a splash of Grand Marnier…they’re really good, but they never quite feel like a stand-alone dessert.
Enter palmiers. These cookies are the perfect bite to add when you make something like a poached pear and your dessert needs a little extra something (not that they’re not delicious on their own—they are!). Palmiers are an absolute cinch to make, just spread sugar and spice on sheets of puff pastry, roll, slice, and bake. Boom—pretty cookies with flaky, buttery layers and a welcome hit of orange and spice.
You’ve got to love the fact that these take about 3 minutes to prep, look beautiful, and taste great. You’ll just need a sheet of puff pastry that’s been defrosted, a bit of melted butter, sugar, orange zest, cardamom, and ginger.
Combine sugar with a spoonful of cardamom and ginger and the zest of an orange. Side note–if you want to skip the palmiers, this would be almost as good just sprinkled on a piece of buttered toast.
Now sprinkle a board or countertop with some sugar and lay the puff pastry on top.
Roll the pastry into a rectangle, brush with a little melted butter, and then sprinkle the delicious sugar mixture over the top. Press it into the dough with your hands. Now like your fingers (duh).
Roll 1 side of the dough over itself ’til you reach the center. Roll the other side up so they meet in the middle.
Place the double-sided log in the freezer to firm up for half of an hour or so, then pull it out, slice it into cookies, and pop ’em in the oven.
After a few minutes pull the cookie sheet out and flip the palmiers. Put them back in to bake until the pastry is golden and the spirals of sugar have caramelized.
And there you go, a perfect cookie for when your dessert calls for more dessert or when your afternoon cup of tea just begs for a quick treat with a fancy name.
- ½ c. + 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- ½ tsp. ground Cardamom
- ½ tsp. ground Ginger
- zest of 1 Orange
- pinch of Salt
- 1 sheet Puff Pastry, defrosted
- 2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
- Combine ½ c. sugar with the cardamom, ginger, orange zest, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar over a large board or clean counter. Unfold the puff pastry and place over the sugar. Roll into a 10 in. x12 in. rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture evenly over the top of the dough. Use your palms or a rolling-pin to press the sugar into the pastry dough. With the short side of the dough facing you, tightly roll the dough over itself until you reach the center. Now do the same from the other side until you have 2 tight rolls, side by side. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.
- When you are ready to bake the palmiers, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the rolled puff pastry crosswise in ¼-½ in. intervals. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove the pan and flip the cookies. Return the pan to the oven for another 7-8 minutes until the pastry is golden. Total baking time will be about 15 minutes and you’ll want to keep a close eye, as the puff pastry can burn easily. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. The palmiers will keep pretty well for a day or 2, in an airtight container at room temperature.