A palmier (French for “palm tree”), is a French pastry that gets its name from its resemblance to a palm leaf. It is also known as elephant ear, palm leaves, French hearts, palmeritas (Spanish). It is made from puff pastry, so it is crispy and flaky. The traditional sweet palmier is coated with sugar, but a variety of savoury fillings ranging from olive tapenade to sundried tomato paste, to basil pesto, can also be used. Palmiers are made by folding the left and right sides of the pastry to the middle, then folding the dough in half again length-wise, sandwiching the first folds inside. Sliced into individual cookies, this is what gives the palmiers their distinctive “palm” or elephant-ear shape. You can also roll the sides of the puff pastry toward the middle, making even more layers and giving the palmiers a more rounded look.
1 x 400 g packet frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
200 ml shop-bought olive tapenade or Home-made Olive Tapenade
1 large egg, beaten with a little water
- Pre-heat the oven to 200º C and line two baking trays with Wizbake baking sheets and set it aside.
- Remove the pastry from the packaging and unroll the pastry on a Wizbake baking sheet.
- Fold the left and the right sides of the dough inward so they meet in the middle.
- Fold the left side over the right side, like closing a book. This should make a very long, flat length of dough with the first two folds sandwiched in the middle.
- Cover the pastry “log” with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to give the dough time to firm up. This will make them easier to cut and also help them puff better in the oven.
- Transfer the log back to a chopping board, remove the cling film and slice the log across into cookies roughly 1 cm wide with a sharp knife.
- Transfer the cookies to prepared baking tray, laying them cut-side up.
- Make sure to space the palmiers a few centimeters apart — they will puff quite a lot in the oven!
- Shape each slice with your fingertips so that it is round at the bottom with two neat curls at the top, so that it looks more or less like a heart shape.
- Brush the slices with the egg mixture
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
- Let the palmiers cool for a few minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Transfer the palmiers to a serving platter and serve as savoury cocktail snacks.
- Palmiers are best the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container for several days. They will gradually lose their crispiness over time.
- For savoury palmiers substitute the olive tapenade with basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, etc.
- For sweet palmiers, substitute the olive tapenade with Nutella, cinnamon sugar, etc.