Dazzle your unexpected holiday guests with freshly baked French Palmiers (pronounced pahl me ays). The French Palmiers can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. From your freezer, they bake in around 10 minutes. After cooling for around 5 minutes, they are ready to serve with a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. You and your guests will love their crispy taste with just a hint of sweetness.
Ingredients for French Palmiers
I used store-bought puff pastry, granulated sugar, and Kosher salt to make this super simple and incredibly delicious recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Palmier recipe.
Making the French Palmiers
I started by combining the sugar and the salt. Then, I sprinkled 1/2 cup of the sugar/salt mixture to about 14-inches by 14-inches on a piece of parchment paper. The reason that I used parchment paper was facilitate the clean-up.
Next I unfolded the thawed puff pastry onto the sugar, and sprinkled the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar on the top. Using a rolling pin, I rolled the puff pastry to approximately 13-inches by 13-inches, and trimmed the sides to make a square. After that, I folded opposite ends towards the center to approximately half-way from the middle. I then folded the sides such that they met in the middle. Finally, I folded the two sides on top of one another.
Using a sharp knife, I cut the dough into 3/8-inch pieces, and placed them, cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Because the sides of the puff pastry were coated in sugar, the folds didn’t hold together very well. Therefore, I was careful to press the sides together when I placed the pieces on the baking sheet. I placed the baking sheet into the freezer to allow the Palmiers to freeze.
After the Palmiers were frozen, I transferred them to a ziploc bag, and returned them to the freezer. This way, I had a ready supply of Palmiers in the freezer. Therefore, I could bake one or many when the urge hit me!
Baking the French Palmiers
I preheated my oven to 425° F. While the oven was preheating, I placed the frozen Palmiers on a parchment lined baking sheet. I made sure that I left at least 2-inches between them to allow for their expansion.
I popped the baking sheet into the preheated oven for about 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, sugar had caramelized on the bottom and the bottom was golden brown. I removed the baking sheet from the oven, and turned the Palmiers with a spatula.
Then, I returned the baking sheet to the oven for another 4 minutes or so until the sugar had caramelized on the bottom and the Palmiers were golden brown. I removed the Palmiers from the oven and transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.
I only cooked part of the French Palmiers, leaving the rest in the freezer for another time. They were incredible – crispy from the puff pastry, with just a hint of sweetness from the caramelized sugar. Yum!
- 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar, divided
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry, thawed
- Combine sugar and salt.
- Spread 1/2 cup of sugar/salt on a work surface, approximately 14-inches square. (See Note 1)
- Unfold puff pastry on sugar. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of sugar/salt on surface of puff pastry.
- Roll puff pastry to approximately 13-inches x 13-inches, pressing sugar into both sides as you roll. Trim sides to make square.
- Fold opposite sides of puff pastry towards the center so that they go half way to the center. Fold them again so that the two folds meet in the middle. Finally fold one half over the other half.
- Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices. Place slices, cut side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet, and place in freezer. (See Notes 2,3, and 4)
- When ready to bake Palmiers, preheat oven to 425° F.
- Place frozen Palmiers on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least 2-inches between Palmiers.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes, or until the sugar has begun to caramelize and the bottom is brown. (See Note 5)
- Turn the Palmiers with a spatula and bake for 3 to 4 additional minutes until golden brown and caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Yield: 24 or 25 Palmiers. (See Note 6)
Chula's Expert Tips
- I use parchment paper here to facilitate cleanup. However, you could spread the sugar on the counter-top or other surface.
- If you want larger Palmiers, cut the pieces 1/2-inch thick.
- Because of the sugar coating all sides of the dough, the layers of the cut Palmiers won't stick together very well. This really isn't a problem - just hold the layers together when transferring the cut Palmiers to the parchment lined baking sheet.
- When unbaked Palmiers are frozen, transfer to a ziploc bag until ready to bake.
- Watch carefully as the Palmiers bake. The sugar can go from beautifully caramelized to burned very quickly.
- Store baked Palmiers in an air-tight container. Otherwise, caramelized sugar coating the Palmiers can become sticky.