Making Palmiers

Under normal store-bought pastry circumstances palmiers are a very nice way to use up extra dough. When that dough is homemade, however, palmiers are poem-worthy. No other cookie is as light and lovely and delicious. Even “failed” puff pastry can find a welcome home in these delights. You can use whatever quantity of leftover dough you have. Roll it out into a rectangular sheet.

Trim it up a little.

Sprinkle sugar all over it and smooth it out (more or less).

Give it a roll with the pin to press it into the pastry.

Sprinkle on some cinnamon if that’s your thing. You have lots of spice options here. Oh, did I mention palmiers can be savory as well?

A light sprinkling of kosher salt puts these over the top, I think. Add that.

Now fold up the bottom quarter of the dough.

The the top.

Fold up again.

Then down. You’ll have something about like this.

Sprinkle on more sugar.

Give it another light roll.

Fold the bottom up over the top, transfer the strip to a sheet pan and put it into the fridge for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the strip in pieces about 3/8″.

Lay them on a sheet pan with room to expand.

Bake them for 6-8 minutes (I find homemade pastry takes longer, more like 8-10). Give them a flip and bake another 6 – 8 until deeply golden.

You can freeze the little strips once you cut them, I should mention, so you can enjoy these any ol’ time. ‘Cause you’ll want to.

30 thoughts on “Making Palmiers”

  1. I like to fill mine with pesto or prosciutto, and use grated Parmesan for the center’s ‘glue’. They’re nice party food.

  2. Oh yum….. it has been an age since I have made these. Now I am going to HAVE to make some.

  3. I made your recipe of puff pastry and was wondering how much to use to make these.

    1. Wonderful Joanne! You can use whatever amount you can spare. In the photos I’m using about a pound of dough. That made about 30 cookies.

      – Joe

  4. These look soo yummy! I’m definitely going to flag this recipe so I make sure to make it next time I have left over dough! Any dough works? Or just puff pastry dough?

    1. You’ll need puff pastry dough, Crystal. But it’s no hard to come by!

      Let me know how they turn out!

      – Joe

    1. Funny isn’t it, what a powerful impression these sorts of very simple preparations can make. You don’t know what they’re about until you try a real one!

      – Joe

  5. These look so pretty! Seems that time has come finally to free one day in kitchen and make puff pastry dough.
    Such cookies are well known in Latvia, but we call them in name that means “little ears” – despite the fact that they come in small size and large size versions, where large palmier is indeed in the size of palm!

    1. It’s the same way here, Antuanete…you get them in all sizes. And yes — make that dough! 😉

      Let me know how it goes!

      – Joe

  6. What do you think of starting on a high temperature to get the steam going and then turning the temperature down for a slower, more thorough caramelisation? I always feel that middle of palmiers slightly underbaked…

    1. I think that’s perfectly fine. Lower heat to dry them out a bit…why not? Get back to me with the results!

      – Joe

    2. I agree with the higher temp idea. For many years I’ve been following Julia Child’s instructions to bake them at 450. That way you get a really nice shiny caramel veneer on at least one side which adds textural interest and gives a nice presentation. You do have to watch them carefully though so they don’t burn. I’ve never had a problem with undercooked palmiers. JC also advises sprinkling on a little more sugar after you’ve turned them the first time to help with the caramelization.

  7. Hey, Joe,
    I just made these. And in my oven which runs a bit hot anyway, they were not done at 6 minutes, or 8 minutes. In fact, I was closer to 20 before they were nicely browned and the middles done. I even re-set the temp to 425 for the 2nd and 3rd batches. Any thoughts on what I may be doing wrong?
    I used store bought puff pastry dough but followed your recipe otherwise.

    1. Hm. Interesting. There are a lot of variables at play here…type of pastry, thickness of the cut, temperature of the dough coming out of the fridge. I wouldn’t worry. But it might not be a bad idea to calibrate your oven just to see where some hot and cold spots might be.


      – Joe

      1. OK. Since we enjoyed the results so much, I will just play with my oven temp & times and thickness of the dough, etc., to get good results every time. Oh, the humanity: eating all the failures!
        Thanks for the ideas, Joe.

  8. Hey Joe, I recently attempted to make Palmiers and while they were absolutely delicious, a few had a small gap between the two ‘wings’ and the top bridge of pastry connecting the two. Is this just a result of not rolling the pastry tightly enough or something else I’m doing wrong?

    1. Hey Brendan! That’s a common problem with palters since as expansion often pushes the two sides of the cookies apart (i.e. slightly unrolls the loops). Tightening the roll usually doesn’t help and in fact aggravates it. I’d suggest a looser roll, then maybe some strategically applied egg wash if the problem doesn’t improve.

      – Joe

  9. Hi! I am planning to make this, I was just wondering what were the dimensions of your rectangle of pastry that you rolled it out to.

    1. Hi Vivian!

      You can really use any amount and any size sheet since palmiers are made in all sizes. This one was about 16″ long by 14″ wide.

      Have fun!

      – Joe

  10. Hi Jo,
    Looking forward to trying these this weekend. I’ve had them before slightly sticky with honey- do you think that a little brush of honey before the folding might work to achieve this?

    1. Hey Sarah!

      I’d be inclined to brush a little on while they’re still hot from the oven! Let me know how it goes!

      – Joe

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