Sunday, February 13, 2011


There's a bakery in Beach Haven, NJ (Crust & Crumb) that makes pastries called elephant ears. Each "ear" is about probably about 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide (at least that's my best guess based on my shotty childhood memory).

They taste nothing like an actual elephant's ear (not that I would know, I assure you). They're flaky and cinnamony and just thinking about them makes me feel like a kid on vacation (back when being on vacation really, truly meant having no responsibilities).

These palmiers are like a miniature version of elephant ears (except because they're so much smaller, they are a little crunchier). They're really cute (elegant even) and nice for Valentine's Day (they do look like little hearts).


puff pastry dough (store-bought frozen or homemade)
granulated sugar*, mixed with ground cinnamon (2-3 teaspoons per cup)
water or beaten egg white for brushing

*The amount of sugar depends on how much puff pastry dough you're rolling (figure on about 1 cup per sheet).

1.   Roll dough out into a thin, large rectangle, about 14" x 12" (instead of using flour to roll, sprinkle very generously with cinnamon-sugar on the bottom and top as you roll).  Use a scant 1/2 cup sugar on each side (save a little for sprinkling later).
2.   Find the center and fold the dough (lengthwise) halfway to center.  Repeat with other side.  Roll each towards center with a little space down the middle.
3.   Brush with water or egg white and fold over on top of each other.  Lightly seal with rolling pin.  Rest for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
4.   Preheat oven to 375º F.  Trim the ends so they're not uneven. Slice the dough into 3/8" slices and spread out on parchment lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2" apart. Sprinkle cookies with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for about 8 minutes (bottom should be golden).  Flip cookies and bake until golden on both sides.

This recipe is based on notes I took as a student at the French Culinary Institute.
rolled dough
The rectangle doesn't have to be perfect, you can trim the ends later.
This rectangle is larger than 14" x 12" because I used homemade dough.
fold it in half to find the center
fold each edge in halfway towards the center
fold in again towards the center (leaving some space in the middle)
brush with water or egg white
fold together (gently tap with your rolling pin to help seal)
slice cookies (after dough has rested in fridge)
before baking (only a few have already been sprinkled with
cinnamon/sugar)...leave space between cookies for the puffing
puffed and golden

I probably would have chosen one of the above cookies for the closeup photo up top, but unfortunately I dropped the entire tray on the floor. Even with the three second rule applying, they were all broken and chipped (so no longer photo worthy). Luckily I had made two sheets. This is not an unusual occurrence in my kitchen, so if you have butter fingers too, you're not alone (and in my defense, these are very buttery)!

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