recipe

Palmiers: the delicious dessert recipe for buttery, flaky French palmiers

Total time: 35 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
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Palmiers go by many different names and are made with a variety of flavors, either sweet or savory. But classic French palmiers are a basic, easy dessert made with buttery puff pastry. It’s an elegant, and light French dessert recipe made with only two ingredients—puff pastry and sugar.

Palmiers get their name from the French word for palm leaves because of their shape. The flavor is buttery and sugary like a croissant, while the texture is just what you’d expect from puff pastry—crispy, flaky, and airy. It’s so quick to whip up these bite-sized treats, and it’s perfect for serving at breakfast or as an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or tea. Make them today, you’ll love how easy this recipe is.

What Are Palmier Cookies?

Palmiers (pronounced paal-mee-urz) are also called palm leaf cookies or palm leaves, French hearts, palmeritas – the list goes on. But the name “palmiers” comes from the French word for palm trees, as the baked palmiers look like palm leaves – or butterfly shape according to others.

Palmiers can be made into either a sweet or savory treat and while it’s not completely certain when they are originated, most believe that they were invented at the beginning of the 20th century in France. Of course, layers sweets between layers of dough have been done for hundreds of years, examples being the phyllo dough desserts popular in the Middle East and Greece.

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Homemade Or Store-Bought Puff Pastry For Palmiers?

Of course you can go through all the trouble of making your own puff pastry, but why would you? This recipe is super quick and easy, and using puff pastry makes it even better. Keep a roll of frozen puff pastry in the fridge, and always be ready for unexpected guests!

Just make sure your store-bought puff pastry is made with butter, the ones with shortening and other oils aren't the best for this recipe.

What Is The Best Sugar To Use For Making Palmiers?

Use any granulated sugar that will add crunch and texture to the palmiers. Demera, brown, white granulated, or another coarse-grained sugar will work well too.

How To Make Palmiers

Making palmiers is easier than you may think.

Preparing The Dough

Before using your store-bought puff pastry, make sure it’s properly thawed. It will take about 30 minutes to thaw on the counter, or you can thaw it in the fridge overnight.

Shaping The Palmiers

Roll out the puff pastry sheet in both directions to create a rectangular shape. Cover the surface of the puff pastry with sugar and press a bit to make sure sugar sticks well to the surface. Flip the pastry over and repeat the step on the other side.

Now, start folding and shaping the palmiers. Fold the long sides of the pastry towards the center and fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half and press gently. Pat the dough with a flat part of the knife and slice into strips.

Baking The Palmiers

Place the palmiers on a baking sheet, cut-side up. Bake for about 25 minutes, then let it cool, and enjoy!

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Palmiers Variation Ideas

What’s great about palmiers is that you can make them into anything sweet or savory. Here are a few ideas to get you started! Try any of the following:

  • ground cinnamon and brown sugar
  • add spices like nutmeg, cardamon, or allspice for flavor
  • chocolate
  • cream cheese and fruit preserves
  • crystallized ginger
  • lemon or orange zest
  • dried fruits like cranberries or apricots
  • chopped pecans or walnuts.

For a savory variation, use basil or sundried tomato pesto, olive tapenade, or shredded cheese.

Tips For Homemade Palmiers

Use the puff pastry only when it’s completely thawed, but still cool.

If you’re using puff pastry from the freezer, place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.

How To Store Classic French Palmiers

Store the palmiers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Homemade Palmiers?

Once you roll the pastry into a log, you can wrap it with plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw, slice, and bake.

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Ingredients
Puff pastry
1 sheet
Sugar
250 g

Instructions

Make sure to thaw the puff pastry overnight in the fridge, if frozen. Preheat the oven to 180°C/360F. Sprinkle the working surface with a bit of sugar. Unroll out the puff pastry sheet in both directions to create a rectangular shape.

Evenly cover the surface of the puff pastry with sugar.

Press a bit to make sure sugar sticks well to the surface.

Carefully flip the pastry over and repeat the step on the other side.

Fold the long sides of the pastry towards the center.

Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half and press gently like closing a book.

Beat the dough with a flat part of the knife and slice into 1,5 cm (3/4 inch) wide strips.

Place the cookies cut-side up, 5 cm apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake on the lower rack for 25-30 minutes.

Transfer onto a rack to cool.

Serve and enjoy.

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