This cinnamon palmiers recipe features flaky puff pastry, shaped as elephant ear cookies that are coated with cinnamon and sugar.
Give them a light drizzle of icing, and you have the perfect treat that tastes like a cinnamon roll cookie. Whether eaten alone or with a nice cup of hot chocolate, these little French cookies are perfectly delightful!
What are Cinnamon Palmiers?
Cinnamon palmiers are a French pastry recipe that consists of puff pastry, sugar, and cinnamon. This palmiers recipe is similar to Ina Garten’s elephant ears recipe. After making my own several times, I have altered ratios and do not add salt to my recipe.
I also love to drizzle these cookie with a simple sugar icing that gives them extra texture and flavor. You don’t need the icing, but it makes this an extra special treat.
Who Invented Palmiers?
There is some debate over who actually made these cookies first. Some say it was the French, while others would insist that the Austrians invented this dessert.
For all intents and purposes, however, we will call this a classic French recipe because palmiers are so commonly made and eaten in France.
Making Puff Pastry Vs. Store Bought Puff Pastry
Making puff pastry from scratch is quite the accomplishment, but it is also very time consuming. Using store-bought puff pastry on the other hands is so much easier.
The quality of store-bought puff pastry is excellent, so you don’t have to make it from scratch for this particular recipe. If Ina Garten buys puff pastry instead of making it, then no one should feel bad for not making it from scratch.
If you really want to challenge yourself though, try making this homemade puff pastry. It’s definitely a skill worth developing, but it’s nice to have an easy alternative as well.
During the year, I use Peppridge Farm puff pastry, but once the holidays roll around, I head to Trader Joes where they have puff pastry imported from France, and it’s made with real butter.
It’s a good time to stock up, so don’t miss out once they get their holiday foods in! Puff pastry definitely sells out too. i went last year just a little after Christmas and it was nowhere to be found.
How to Make the Best Cinnamon Palmiers
- Defrost puff pastry in refrigerator before rolling out.
- Working with really cold puff pastry is important for this recipe. If the pastry dough gets too warm, the butter starts to melt in the dough, making the final product very heavy and greasy.
- Generously sprinkle an even layer of sugar onto a pastry mat or counter, place puff pastry on sugar, and roll into a 12 x 12 square.
- Top with cinnamon and sugar and spread evenly with hands.
- Fold the dough in 3 times on each side so that there are 6 layers total.
- Baking at 450 degrees ensures that the puff pastry really rises well and doesn’t allow the butter layers in the dough to saturate the pastry.
- Drizzling with a simple icing or chocolate is optional, but so yummy. When drizzled with icing, it is like eating a cinnamon roll pastry, except these are smaller, lighter, and take way less time to make!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 20 palmiers 1x
- Category: pastries
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but chilled in fridge (Pepperidge Farm brand works well)
- 100 g granulated sugar (1/2 c)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 120 g powdered sugar (for icing, optional) (1 cup)
- Milk to thin icing
To Make Cinnamon Palmiers
- Preheat oven to 435 degrees.
- Sprinkle half of the sugar onto a pastry mat, keeping the sugar within a 12 inch block. Lightly sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Place the cold puff pastry dough on the sugar and roll out to a 12 x 12 square.
- Mix remaining sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the puff pastry. Spread the cinnamon sugar out evenly with hands.
- Fold the two outer ends of the puff pastry in a third of the way. Fold each side in another third of the way, and then finish with one last fold so that both sides meet in the middle. There will be 8 layers in all.
- Gently slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices, being sure to use a gentle back and forth sawing motion to cut each palmier. Do NOT push the knife straight down through the dough. This will compact the layers and prevent the cookies from puffing up properly during baking.
- Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven, flip cookies over, and baking for another 5-6 minutes, or until caramelized.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Mix powdered sugar and a few teaspoons of milk to make a thin icing. Start with 2 teaspoons and add more milk as needed. Icing should be thick enough that it doesn’t run everywhere, but it should still be easy to pipe.
- Pour the icing into a sandwich sized plastic bag, and snip the corner of the bag. Drizzle icing over the palmiers as much as is desired. Alternately, use a spoon and drizzle the icing onto the palmiers.
- Store in an airtight container. These cookies are best eaten within 1-2 days.After 2 days, they lose their crispness.
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