Palmiers are crunchy and crispy French cookies. They’re characterized by their shape evoking the foliage of the palm tree. The Palmiers is made from puff pastry, in the shape of a heart, largely sprinkled with sugar. Once cooked, it takes on a beautiful amber color and its edges delicately caramelize. With its butter puff pastry, its crispness becomes soft at the end of the mouth, while a few pieces of non-caramelized sugar crunch deliciously under the tongue. Why don’t you bake our quick and easy recipe to try this tasty treat?
Origin and history
The palmier, palm tree, pig’s ear, elephant ear, or even the Franch heart’s is a biscuit made from puff pastry. This little cookie is found all over the world. In Mexico, it is known as “Orejas” which means “ears”, in Germany it is called “Schweineohren” meaning “pig ear”, and in the United States it is called “pig ears“, or “elephant ears“. In Swiss, they’re called Prussiens or “coeur de France” and in Italy, they are called ulleres (eyeglasses) or palmeras. While in France the palm is sprinkled with sugar before cooking, it is coated with honey in Puerto Rico. In Spain, they are called palmeras (palm trees), and they can be topped with coconut or chocolate. In Japan, they are found as a snack known as Genji Pie.
The origin of the palm is unknown. However, it would have been invented at the beginning of the XXth century and it owes its origins to France.
Notes and tips
Palmiers are made from puff pastry, so we obviously recommend that you make it yourself. If you don’t want to make it, opt for a good quality pure butter dough, preferably rectangular because that’s going to impact the taste of the final cookie.
We used brown sugar, it gives a little more taste to the caramel and a little more pronounced color to the palm trees. but it’s not essential, you can use sugar or ever a mix of the two.
If the sugar does not stick to the palm trees, it may be because there is more flour left on the dough. Simply wet them with a little water using a small brush or your finger.
One the palmiers rolled, you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, so that it hardens and makes cutting easier.
Do not cook the palm trees on a smooth silicone, the puff pastry slides on it during cooking and does not keep the heart shape that you gave it. Prefer baking paper or a ventilated silicone mat that will retain the dough.
The palmiers are very easy to make and you can choose to add flavor to your liking. The original recipe uses only sugar but we decided to try chocolate palmiers by adding cocoa to the sugar. Here’s are some other variations:
- Addition of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla…
- Crush nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecan, pistachios, …), and add them on top of the sugar to add crunch and colour.
- Cut thinly dried fruits like apricots, figs, dates, cherries, raisins, and add them on top of the sugar…
- Turn it into a savory appetizer by replacing the sugar with grated Parmesan, pesto, tahini, harissa, marinara sauce, tapenade, anchovies, …
The palmiers can be served to your liking. They’re perfect with espresso, coffee, tea, or just eaten as a snack during the day. They pair well with many other desserts, ice cream, and all kinds of pastries.
- Latin Orejas ;
- German Schweineohren ;
- Spanish chocolate palmeras ;
- Japanese Genji Pie ;
- Cinnamon arlette.
Palmiers: Elephant ears cookies
- 350 g
- 75 g Brown sugar
- 1 tsp cacao
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Flour lightly then spread your puff pastry into a rectangle of 38x18cm (15x7in).
- Mix the cocoa and brown sugar then sprinkle the puff pastry with this mixture (do not use everything, it just has to cover the dough).
- Fold the lower part to halfway up, then do the same by folding the upper part down. Fold again, much like a wallet.
- With each fold sprinkle more sugar.
- Cut slices 1.5 cm (0.5in) thick.
- Dip each slice in the brown sugar mixture.
- Place the palm trees on a sheet of baking paper or on an airy silicone mat.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, monitoring the cooking.
- Let your palm cookies cool completely and envoy!!!
Source: 1. Wikipedia - Palmier. www.wikipedia.org. 2. What is a palmier? www.escoffieronline.com.