Sunday, March 22, 2009

Elephant Ears (Palmiers)

Here is a relatively cheap and easy dessert you can make that looks impressive and tastes great. Elephant Ears or as the French call them Palmiers, taste a lot better home-made than store/bakery-bought. You can be daring and try to first make the puff-pastry dough required or for $5 buy some at the store (which is what I did). Below are directions using store-bought puff pastry dough:

(One sheet makes about 14 cookies. Two sheets come in a box normally)

1. If frozen, defrost pastry sheet for 40 minutes
2. Lay down a thick layer of sugar on your counter, enough so that your whole pastry sheet can lay on top.
3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough with enough force to encrust the bottom of the pastry sheet with sugar.

4. Next, fold the bottom half of the sheet of dough up to the middle, then fold the top down, overlapping it (Julia Child astutely notes you should do it just like you would fold a business letter).
5. Turn the sheet of dough so the top flap is facing your right, and repeat the Business fold again.
6 Roll the dough out now about 8 inches long. Then turn the dough and roll it out 8 inches long the other way to form a rough square.

7. Trim the dough sheet to make it a more perfected square.

8. Fold each side of the square in so that they almost meet in the middle. Sprinkle sugar over the whole thing again and use the rolling pin to encrust the dough with the sugar a bit.

9. Fold the whole thing in half (like you are closing a book) and use the rolling pin again to press down firmly so the layers stay together.

10. Cut the "log" you have created crosswise into 3/8" thick pieces.

11. Place on a pastry sheet on a baking tray 3 inches apart keep a "V" shape.

12. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the dough set. Preheat the oven to 450. Make sure the rack is in the top middle of the oven.

13. After 30 minutes, bake (one sheet at a time) for 6 minutes or until the sugar on the bottom begins to caramelize.

14. Take out of oven, quickly flip over and lightly cover the top-side of the cookies with sugar.

15. Put back in oven and bake another 3-4 minutes, or until tops of cookies are golden-brown in color and the sugar is caramelizing nicely.

16. Let cool on a wire rack. As the palmiers cool, they will harden and make a nice sweet crunch.


  1. I made palmiers, but I cheated, I bought the puff pastry ready made, kudos for doing it from scratch :)

  2. For the ease and amount of time you save plus the fact that it's simply delicious, buying the ready-made pastry is totally the way to go!