I made these cinnamon sugar palmiers a few weeks ago to go with creme brulee. My only experience with this type of cookie was making them with frozen puff pastry from the grocery store. They were perfectly delicious with this route, but I wanted to try puff pastry from scratch. The method I used is not technically puff pastry, but rather a shortcrust, because I didn’t repeatedly fold the dough. However, I still thought the dough puffed and was delightfully flaky after baking. Nonetheless, I need to clarify the terms of “puff pastry” (thanks for educating me, Dirk)!
The trickiest part of these palmiers is ensuring the dough is chilled enough to work with. If you encounter this, just pop the dough in the fridge or freezer and let it chill for a few minutes. Other than that, this recipe is very straight forward. The result is a crispy and delicious treat that would be a wonderful addition to ice cream, creme brulee, or a cup of coffee.
Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers
For the Shortcrust
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 9 Tbsp ice water
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I left this out because I didn’t have any lemons on hand and it still tasted great)
For the Palmiers
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixer and mix to combine with the whisk attachment. Add a quarter of the butter and and mix until the butter is in dime-size pieces. Add the remaining butter and mix to coat the cubes with flour.
2. Combine the ice water and lemon in a small bowl (or just the ice water if you don’t have a lemon). Add half the liquid to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Keep adding the liquid, 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough starts to clump together. The dough will be dry and shaggy at this point.
3. Turn the dough onto a clean, lightly-floured surface and mash the dough against the surface with the heel of your hand to better incorporate the butter into the mixture.
4. Gather the dough together and press the dough in to a 8 by 4 inch rectangle. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Lightly flour a large piece of parchment paper. Place the dough on the parchment and roll it into a 16 by 14 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
6. Brush with the beaten egg.
7. Sprinkle the dough liberally with the cinnamon sugar, gently smoothing the sugar and patting it onto the dough.
8. With the long side of the dough closest to you, fold 3 inches of the outer edges toward the center, leaving a 2 inch strip in the middle.
9. Fold the outer edges in again so that both sides of the rectangles are folded in (on top of themselves).
10. Fold the dough in half, forming a rectangular log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).
11. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the chilled roll into 1/2 inch thick slices and position 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake until the palmiers are golden brown, about 20-24 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
Source: Baking Illustrated