A vertical shot of a silver jug of heart-shaped palmier pastries
Food - Drink
What Makes French Palmier Cookies Unique?
What are Palmiers?
Palmier — pronounced palm-YAY — are made with puff pastry dusted with sugar and rolled into a coil. When cooked, the buttery pastry becomes flaky while the sugar caramelizes. The cookies likely originated in the 19th century to salvage leftover dough, although some argue that they actually come from Austria.
What’s in a Name?
In French, “palmier” means “palm leaves,” referring to the pastry's fan-like shape similar to the fronds of a palm tree. In Vienna they’re known as “Palmenblatter,” also meaning “palm leaves,” while in Latin America they’re known as “orejas” or “ears,” and in Germany, they’re called “pig’s ears.”
How To Make Them
If you're using frozen puff pastry, simply coat your defrosted dough with sugar and a pinch of salt, coil each side of the dough inward, slice it into thin pieces, and bake at 435 degrees Fahrenheit until dark golden brown. However, be careful not to roll the coils too tightly as the pastry will come out soggy.
Puff Pastry Dough
Most modern palmier recipes recommend using pre-made puff pastry, otherwise, you’ll spend hours trying to perfect your dough. Chefs Ina Garten and Alton Brown both give frozen puff pastry their stamp of approval, but while Garten likes Pepperidge Farm, Brown prefers pre-made French puff pastry.