Whatever you call them, Elephant Ear Cookies or French Palmiers, they’re light, tasty, jazzy, and easy to make. How do you go wrong with this puff pastry cookie dessert?
I made these just a few days before Valentine’s Day, so the heart shape works too. I always think of them when I want a lighter dessert to offset a heavy meal. Serve with coffee, or if you prefer, Amaretto is also very good with them.
Pssst: They’re great the next morning with coffee too!
Hey, one more thing. Elephant Ears are a blank canvas. They don’t have to be sugar and cinnamon. They don’t even have to be sweet. Try some of the ingredient suggestions below after you’re done learning how to make the classic version.
Makes about 20 cookies:
1 cup sugar, divided (Demerara preferred for the big granules. Regular granulated or brown sugar will be fine too.)
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinammon
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
Combine the sugar, cinammon and Kosher salt. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or whatever serves.
Pour half the mixture over a flat surface that you can work the dough on–a board or marble:
Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar mixture.
Take the remaining sugar and cinammon and spread it evenly on the puff pastry.
With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it has expanded to a 13 inch square and the sugar is pressed into the pastry.
Fold the sides toward the center so they meet in the middle.
Fold again to meet in the middle.
Go again until you can just fold the layers in half and get a roughly cylindrical roll.
Slice the roll into 3/8-inch slices and place them on a baking sheet that is either buttered or protected with parchment paper. I’m lazy and just use Pam spray–works great!
Bake the cookies for 6 minutes, until carmelized and brown on the bottom. Turn with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the other side is caramelized.
Transfer to a rack to cool.
That these little cookies were easy to make is our little secret! Dress them up nice when you present them and people will think you slaved for hours.
Palmiers can be a blank canvas for you. Fill them with whatever strikes your fancy. Make the sweet for dessert or savory–they make great appetizers. Here are some filling ideas:
Use about 1/4 cup of cheese. Grated Parmesan grated sharp cheddar or something equally sharp that will do well when baking are ideal.
Try adding herbs to the cheese. About 3 tablespoons of the herb mixture will be right. For example, thyme, sage, and oregano taste good together.
A lot of folks will make an egg wash from a beaten egg yolk and paint their Palmiers with it before baking.
Cocoa powders are your friend where chocolate Elephant Ear Cookies are concerned, unsweeted cocoa powder is a good start. About 3 tablespoons for this recipe plus 1/2 cup of sugar. Try to find some more interesting cocoa powders too.
Want to get crazy with it?
Melt 1 1/2 cup of chocolate morsels in the microwave and dip each Palmier in the melted chocolate after they’ve cooled for 10 minutes from the oven. Dang they are good!
Don’t forget, you can buy chocolate puff pastry too!
Other Possible Fillings
- Orange marmalade or zest of any orange.
- Any jam really, but the thicker the better. Think about whether you want anything too crazy on the outside and just avoid putting it down on the board below the initial sheet of pastry.
- Lemon zest
- Crystalized ginger
- Fig Jam with a sharp cheese that’s finely grated
- Salted caramel
- Herbal combinations of various kinds
The list goes on forever. If you find some flavors you like together, try combining them in a Palmier for an elegant appetizer or party hors d’ oeuvre.