Vanilla Sugar Palmiers
Hello friends! The world continues to turn wholly upside-down, but I don’t want to talk about that any more than necessary – that’s what our Monthly Musings posts are for. Instead, I’ll start with this: I hope this post finds you happy and healthy! It’s one of the most beautiful times of the year, and I’m having allll the cozy feels. Don’t you just wanna curl up inside with a hot chocolate and pastry? Might I suggest Vanilla Sugar Palmiers? They’re simple, yet decadent – exactly what I crave this time of year.
what is a palmier?
Also knows as elephant ears, palm hearts, and pig’s ears, a palmier is a French pastry consisting of puff pastry and sugar. After being generously doused with the sugar of your choice, the puff pastry is folded up into little ‘elephant ears’. The palmiers are then baked until the sugar starts to caramelize and the pastry is puffed and crispy.
homemade or store-bought puff pastry?
Palmiers are best when made with homemade puff pastry, but that’s not to say they’re no good when made with the frozen store-bought stuff. Making your own puff pastry takes a lot of time, and while I know it’s worth the effort, I also know that I have frozen puff pastry in the freezer.. It’s a ‘choose your own level of involvement’ kind of bake, and I promise not to judge.
I recently delved deep into the world of homemade puff for my pastry course, and fell totally in love with the process. Although I made these vanilla sugar palmiers with homemade puff, I haven’t included a recipe for making your own puff. The process is still quite new to me, and I don’t think I’m at the stage where I can preach about the intricacies of dough lamination. If you want to give it a go, this Food52 recipe looks pretty good.
vanilla sugar palmiers: how to
Shall we palmier together? They’re really so simple to make.
Sprinkle a generous layer of granulated sugar onto your work surface, and roll the puff pastry dough out on top. We’re going with regular ole sugar for this part because vanilla is one of those less is more ingredients. If your rectangle looks a little wonky, don’t spare it another thought – I sure didn’t!
Our sugar-studded pastry gets brushed with a lovely layer of butter. Mmm, butter.
This is where we introduce our vanilla sugar into the palmier. I didn’t exactly measure how much I used, but I was rather heavy handed, and I’d encourage you to be the same.
When the puff is laden down with vanilla speckled sugar, we fold it over until it meets in the middle & we close it like a book. This needs to rest in the fridge for 20-minutes, and then we can cut it into 10 equal sized palmiers.
Aren’t they just adorable? I’m obsessed.
I like to squish my palmiers down to make sure they won’t unfurl in the oven.
The squished palmiers get doused in another layer of sugar because we’re looking for a lovely crunchy texture and know exactly how to get it.
I pop my palmiers into the fridge while I wait for the oven to preheat, and then bake for 20-25ish minutes.
The baked palmiers should be deep golden brown in colour with spots of caramelized sugar, and should smell ludicrously tempting. The palmiers get crunchier as they cool, so as hard as it is to resist, you must.
I’ll be gifting these to loved ones this holiday season, and I suggest you do the same – they’re amazing! You can thank me later.
Vanilla Sugar Palmiers
- 1 sheet puff pastry, 500g store-bought thawed in the fridge overnight, or 300g homemade puff-pastry chilled and rested
- granulated sugar, have 1/2 cup ready
- 30 g melted butter, cool to the touch
- vanilla sugar, have 1/2 cup ready
- Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a large work surface, sprinkle a generous amount of granulated sugar. Place the puff pastry directly on top of the sugar & sprinkle another generous layer on top of that. Using a chilled rolling pin, roll the puff pastry out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick, around 12-13inches long. The puff pastry should be studded with sugar granules.
- Use a pastry brush to cover the puff with an even layer of melted butter.
- Liberally douse the melted butter with a generous layer of vanilla sugar.
- Going from short-side to short-side, gently fold the dough towards the middle three times. Repeat on the other short-side. The two folded sides should meet in the middle, with a small gap between them. Fold one side over the other, as if closing a book. Lightly press the sides together. Transfer the log of dough to the prepared baking sheet & place in the fridge for 20-minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 10 equal pieces. Place the palmiers filling side up on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each. I like to gently squish the palmiers down with my fingers to make sure all those layers of sugar and butter are truly stuck together.
- Generously sprinkle the squished palmiers with more vanilla sugar, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-minutes, flipping each palmier over halfway through. The finished palmiers should be deep golden brown and lightly caramelized.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The palmiers will become flaky and delicious as they cool, so try to resist the temptation to eat when warm. Enjoy!
- I didn’t give exact measurements for the sugar quantities because I just eyeballed it. Palmiers are really a more is more situation, but go with whatever feels right to you.
- unbaked palmiers freeze so well, and can be baked from frozen! Just add an extra minute or two onto the baking time and you can have fresh palmiers whenever you want!
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!