Before I was struck by The Three Day Migraine, I made cookies. Every Christmas I want to be all Martha Stewart about it and of course I never am, but this year I was determined to at least make cookies, so I RSVPd yes to a cookie swap to force myself to get it together at least a little bit.
I wanted to make something special but something easy, and my own family’s holiday treats just weren’t going to do it: something called Crunchy Sugar Balls *waits for laughter* which I don’t like, potato candy which is yummy but a pain to make, and snickerdoodles which in my family are not a cinnamon cookie but a chocolate chip cookie make with Cream of Tartar and a maraschino cherry on top. Weird, I know.
I came across the recipe for palmiers on the Food Network website (actually I first saw it on Martha Stewart’s website, and was inspired to make them, but ended up using the Ina Garten recipe) and was charmed because one day earlier this month when NJS spent the morning volunteering at my office we got some pastry at Au Bon Pain and he picked up a palmier, which is always my go-to cookie there. He loves them as much as I do, it turns out. Also, with only two ingredients I figured there wasn’t much to screw up.
Honestly, they were so easy to make and they are so easy to improvise upon by adding cinnamon or other spices! They bake quickly, too. Mine look more rolly than the wing-shape that most palmiers have because my dough was pretty warm and tougher to cut than if it was cool. NJS is thrilled to have them in the house, and I’m excited to start trying more puff pastry tricks.
Palmiers (from Ina Garten)
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1 cup of the sugar/salt mixture on a flat surface such as wooden board or marble. Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. This is not about sprinkling, it’s about an even covering of sugar. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place the second sheet of pastry on the sugared board, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar mixture, and continue as above. (There will be quite a bit of sugar left over on the board.) Slice and arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment.
Bake the cookies for 6 minutes until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.