Cinnamon sugar palmiers are crunchy, buttery cookies made with puff pastry.
Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers
It doesn’t get any easier than this! These crunchy sweet biscuits are known by many names: elephant ears, French hearts, or butterfly cookies.
Palmiers are French cookies made by folding together puff pastry dough and sugar. The sugar caramelizes during baking creating its iconic crunchy exterior; while the laminated puff pastry bakes into flaky goodness.
Store Bought Puff Pastry makes life easier
No shame in using store bought puff pastry dough. However, be sure to purchase one that is made with ALL BUTTER.
Stay away from the puff pastry dough made with vegetable oils and shortenings. Since this recipe uses very few ingredients, you want a puff pastry that tastes great on its own.
Puff pastry is usually sold frozen rolled up or folded into sheets. For best results, thaw in the fridge overnight before use. Or, simply follow package instructions.
Recommended Puff Pastry Brands
Frozen puff pastry packages come in a variety of weights ranging from 12 oz to 18 oz. I used a 16 oz package that contained two 8 oz puff pastry sheets.
Dufour is a popular brand of frozen puff pastry. It’s made with all butter. However, it is on the pricier side.
Trader Joe’s sells a very affordable option. It’s also made with all butter. I stock up on boxes whenever I see them in stock.
Ingredients and Tools Needed:
- puff pastry dough
- cinnamon sugar
- rolling pin
How to fold and shape palmiers
- Begin by generously dusting work surface with cinnamon sugar. Place one puff pastry sheet on top of sugar. Generously coat exposed puff pastry with cinnamon sugar.
- Roll sheet to a 16×10-inch rectangle. With the longer side facing you, fold in the edges towards the middle.
- Coat exposed puff pastry with cinnamon sugar.
- Fold the edges towards the middle once again.
- Coat the exposed puff pastry with cinnamon sugar.
- Fold the right side over the left side. Coat with additional cinnamon sugar.
TIP: If you want the palmier to be even more decadent, brush melted butter on exposed puff pastry before coating with sugar.
Puff pastry sheets are easiest to work with when cool. Try working on a marble surface or a chilled baking sheet.
Freeze palmiers before baking
It is helpful to freeze the logs of assembled palmier before slicing into individual cookies. The log is much easier to slice when solid.
Once sliced, I like to return the cookies to the freezer once more before baking. Freezing the sliced palmiers ensure even baking. It also allows the cinnamon sugar mixture to adhere to the puff pastry dough.
Once frozen solid, the assembled sliced cookies can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the freezer for up to one month. This way, you can enjoy freshly baked cinnamon sugar palmiers whenever you want!
When are you ready to bake, space palmier cookies about 2-inches apart on lined baking sheet.
During baking, they will spread out into little hearts or “elephant ears” as photographed above.
This recipe makes small bite-sized palmiers. They are only 2-inches each! Perfect for a dessert spread or a cookie box.
These tiny palmiers can be used to build ice cream sandwiches. They’re terrific served alongside a hot cup of coffee or tea, or my personal favorite- a mug of hot chocolate.
Other Palmier Filling Options
Try something different! Fill palmiers with a variety of different flavors.
For savory options, fill the puff pastry with:
- sun dried tomatoes
- shredded or grated cheeses
- flavored oil (garlic oil, truffle oil, chili oil)
For other sweet alternatives, try:
- vanilla infused sugar
- chocolate (cocoa powder or grated chocolate)
- pumpkin spice mix
- chai spice or other teas (matcha, Earl Grey, chamomile)
Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers
- 16 oz frozen puff pastry (two 8 oz sheets)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt optional
- Defrost puff pastry sheets according to package instructions.
- Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Generously dust work surface with sugar mixture. Place one puff pastry sheet over sugar. Generously coat top of puff pastry with sugar mixture. Use a rolling pin to roll dough a to 16×10-inch rectangle.
- With the longer end facing you, fold in the sides towards the middle. Coat exposed puff pastry with sugar mixture. Fold the sides towards the middle once again. Coat exposed puff pastry with sugar mixture. Fold the right side over the left side. Coat exposed puff pastry with additional sugar mixture.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with folding process with second puff pastry sheet.
- Cover assembled logs with plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Remove frozen logs from freezer. Using a sharp knife, slice logs into 1/2-inch thick cookies. Place sliced cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 hour until solid. NOTE: At this point, once frozen, you can store sliced cookies in an airtight container and keep frozen for up to a month. Bake as directed.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange frozen palmiers on parchment lined baking sheet (or silicone mat lined sheet) about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating midway, until sugar has caramelized and puff pastry is golden brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely in the pans. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Puff pastry packages come in variety of weights ranging from 12 oz to 18 oz. I used a 16 oz package that contained two 8 oz puff pastry sheets.
- If possible, use all butter puff pastry.
- Stay away from puff pastry made with vegetable oils.