My brain hasn’t fully processed the fact that the Summer is over, let alone, Thanksgiving and with Christmas right around the corner, we’re “busy bees” at the bakery.
I really want to organize a “Recipe Exchange” where customers bring their favorite dessert/appetizer with copies of the recipe to share with the group, but time just keeps ticking away. There just aren’t enough hours in a day! Oh well, maybe it’s not too late to pull that off, even if it’s an online exchange! Anyhow, that idea and a favorite customer of ours made me think about the “Cookie Exchange” parties that I participated in for many years with my friends. What a concept! You bring several dozen cookies with copies of your recipe and by the end of the celebration you return home with an assortment of holiday sweets perfect for making gift platters or just enjoying with your family.
A cookie that we make and is a popular favorite, no matter what time of year, is the Palmier, also known as an Elephant Ear. There’s a lot to love about this little cookie from its delicately crunchy texture, to its sweet cinnamon taste and its adorable heart shape. Plus, if you forego making the puff pastry from scratch and opt for store-bought instead, you can whip these little gems up within minutes. It’s also a great cookie to make with your kids! I should note here that this is a French pastry and in France they do not use cinnamon, only sugar. I am a “mut” and my husband is Italian, plus we love cinnamon, so our recipe is loaded with it. You can get really creative here and add different spices and nuts is you please.
Get baking for the holidays and add the tasty Palmier to your repertoire.
2 cups all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup cake flour, 10 ounces butter, cold (2 1/2 sticks), divided, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 – 1 cup cold water
Take 8 ounces of butter (2 sticks) and shape into a block roughly 1/4 inch thick. If you are using stick butter, slice each stick into three long pieces and make a 2×3 block. Press butter together well and refrigerate.
Combine flours and salt in food processor. Pulse lightly to combine. Add remaining 2 ounces (1/2 stick) of butter and cut in until dough looks like sand. With the motor running, add 3/4 cup water. If dough has not come together, add remaining water slowly flatten dough into a smooth disk, wrap and chill for 1 hour.
On a well floured surface, roll dough out into a large (10 inches or so) circle. Set butter block in the center and fold up the extra dough as though you were folding an envelope: fold over the sides, the fold the top down and the bottom up. Turn the seam side down and roll until envelope has quadrupled in size. Use short strokes, keeping the pressure as even as possible, and lots of flour. Fold the dough in thirds as though you were folding a business letter. This is one turn. Wrap and refrigerate dough for at least one hour and up to two days. To make turns 2, 3 and 4, place chilled dough seam side down on a well-floured surface and roll out again into a large rectangle. Try to keep the dough as evenly rectangular as possible. Fold as you would a business letter. Wrap and chill. Dough can be frozen until ready to use.
1 recipe for puff pastry, lots of sugar and cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface until it is as thin as you can get it. Cover generously with sugar and cinnamon. Starting at the right side, roll the pastry until it reaches the center. Repeat with the left side. Cut roll into 1/2 inch segments. Spread more sugar onto your work surface. Fold each segment into a V shape and press it down into the sugar and cinnamon mixture, flattening it with the palm of your hand. Place each Palmier on the baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes in a pre-heated 400 degree oven until golden brown.