You only need two ingredients for these classic French cookies: puff pastry and sugar. Could they be any easier? There seems to be some debate as to where these cookies originated. Palmier is French for palm tree, and the French lay claim to these simple pastries. Some say they came from Vienna, where they’re traditionally served with tea or coffee. Whatever the origin, these are addictive. It’s hard to go wrong with butter and carmelized sugar. You make them by rolling out store-bought puff pastry, sprinkling both sides with sugar, and tightly rolling both sides until they meet in the middle.

After that, you take a knife and slice off thin pieces.

You could add cinnamon for some variation. Because it’s Christmastime, I sprinkled red sugar on them before baking. If you’re making an assortment of cookies, these are a nice addition.

adapted slightly from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

scant 3/4 cup sugar
12 1/2 ounces store bought puff pastry [if the package isn’t 12 1/2 ounces, don’t sweat it]

Sprinkle half of the sugar on a clean work surface, making sure that it’s even. Put the pastry dough on top of the sugar and evenly sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.

Gently roll out dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Don’t press too hard around the edges. Use a pastry wheel or sharp knife to trim the edges.

Roll up one long side as tightly as possible into a cylinder, being careful not to stretch out the dough. Stop when you reach the middle. Repat on the opposite side until you have two tight cylinders that meet in the middle. Wrap tightly in plastic and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut dough crosswise into 3/8-inch thick slices. Place them on ungreased baking sheets (preferably non-stick for better browning), about 2 inches apart, and flatten each pastry firmly with the palm of your hand. Add decorative sugar if you like. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 7 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove cookies from oven. Using an offset spatula, flip the palmiers over; continue baking until pastry is golden brown and well caramelized, about 10-12 minutes more. Using the spatula, immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, shiny side up. Palmiers are best eaten the same day they are baked, but they can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


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