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Palmier Cookies (Easy French Recipe)

Palmier cookies are light, airy, crispy French cookies with layers of flaky goodness. My favorite part is the golden-brown, caramelized outer crust with its delightful crunch.

They look like they came straight from a fancy bakery, but it’s really just a few simple ingredients and puff pastry dough.

Sweet Homemade Palmier Cookies in a White Bowl
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Palmier Cookies

Palmier cookies, also called elephant ears, are flaky, buttery, and delicious.

But their texture is almost better than their taste. They’re indescribably light and airy, but also crisp and crunchy. 

I love eating palmier cookies, and I literally mean the act of eating them.

It’s just plain fun biting into that crunchy, flaky delicacy. They’re sweet, cinnamon-flavored, and delightfully buttery.

You use just five ingredients and a little dab of water to hold them together.  Then, once you’ve shaped them properly, they bake in no time!

If you only add one French food to your diet this year, be sure it’s palmier cookies.

Palmier Cookies Ingredients - White Sugar, Puff Pastry Dough, Butter, Cinnamon and Cardamom

Ingredients 

To make palmier cookies, you only need five ingredients (plus water). These ingredients include: 

  • White sugar: You’ll use white sugar twice in this recipe. You’ll start by using 1/4 cup of it to dust your work surface. This makes it easier to flatten and roll up the puff pastry dough. You’ll also mix 1/3 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and cardamom for the cookies’ topping. *Note: Some people like coarse sugar for this step because of its crunch. You can use it if you prefer, though the cookies may be slightly less sweet.
  • Puff pastry dough: You can make homemade dough for palmier cookies, but why waste all that time and effort? Puff pastry dough is delicious and super convenient. 
  • Butter: Butter serves a dual purpose in this recipe. Firstly, it helps hold the cookies’ cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom topping. Secondly, it gives them a rich, buttery flavor that’s undeniably good.  
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a rich, warm flavor to the already sweet and delectable treats.
  • Cardamom: Cardamom is another warm, smoky ingredient. It’ll help enhance each cookie’s flavor.

You also need a bit of water to help hold the cookies together after you roll them up. Just set it in a bowl to the side.

Then, use your fingers to dot it along the rolled-up seam.

Are you considering adding a little extra flavor? If so, try experimenting with the following ingredients: 

  • Nutmeg
  • Orange zest
  • Small bacon chunks
  • Sea salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Lemon juice
  • Chocolate

You can also make homemade dough if you prefer.

(I wouldn’t, though. The puff pastry dough is perfect. It tastes great and requires very little work.)

Palmier Cookies with Sugar and Cinnamon

Tips for the Best Palmiers 

Palmier cookies aren’t hard to make. That’s a huge part of why I love them so much.

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However, there are a few tips for making the best palmiers possible. 

1. Allow the puff pastry dough to thaw completely before you use it.

However, you should also keep the dough cool while using it. (100% thawed, but cool.) 

Dough that isn’t fully thawed is hard to work with.

Plus, if the dough is warm, the butter will melt and throw off the whole baking process. 

The best way to meet both requirements is to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Then, work in small batches, keeping the dough refrigerated between each one. 

2. Leave ample room between each cookie on the baking sheet. If you don’t, the cookies will bake into each other as they expand. 

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the flavor. Are you baking these cookies in the fall? Try adding some pumpkin pie or apple pie spice. 

Do you enjoy a bit of nuttiness in your sweets? Add crushed hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, or pecans.

Or just add icing or chocolate to make them even sweeter! 

You can even make a savory version of palmiers. with herbs, cheese, garlic, and other similar ingredients.

Bacon and spinach are another great combo if you’re in the mood for savory cookies.

4. Swap out your parchment paper after each batch. Reusing parchment paper will more likely result in burned cookies and sticking.

It’s best to change it after each round of baking.

5. Make allowances for your particular type of puff pastry dough.

For example, the cookies may bake faster if you choose a buttery puff pastry dough. 

6. Don’t forget to refrigerate the rolled dough. Once you roll your dough, stick it in the fridge before you cut it into cookies.

The recipe says 5 to 10 minutes. However, I typically leave mine longer.

The longer they stay in the fridge (up to about 30 minutes), the easier they cut.

You won’t want to flatten the dough as you slice the cookies. Refrigerating is the best way to ensure you don’t.

How to Store Palmiers 

Suppose you make extra palmiers or have leftovers, which is unlikely!

Either way, you need to know how to store them. Fortunately, doing so is simple. 

Place them in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible.

Then, keep them at room temperature, not in the fridge. 

The fridge might preserve them longer, but it ruins their texture.

It makes them soft and sticky. Keeping them at room temperature will ensure they remain crisp and crunchy. 

They should last for approximately 3 to 4 days at room temperature.

(As long as your container truly is air-tight, that is.) 

Bowl of Palmier Cookies with Sugar and Cinnamon

Can I Freeze the Cookies? 

Some people claim you can freeze already-baked palmier cookies.

I’ve never had good luck with that, though. Whenever I try to thaw them, they completely lose their texture. 

Therefore, I don’t recommend freezing them once you’ve baked them.*

However, the pre-cooked dough freezes wonderfully.

You can freeze the entire roll of dough or slice the cookies and freeze them. 

When you want to bake them, you can do so from frozen. Simply slice them if they aren’t already sliced.

Then, cook them about 2 to 3 minutes longer than you would thawed dough.

*Note: If you want to freeze baked cookies, let them cool completely first. Then, put them in layers in a freezer-safe container. Be sure to add parchment paper between each layer. 

Date them and stick them in the freezer. I’m unsure how long they’ll last, as I’ve never had good luck freezing them myself. I wouldn’t leave them longer than a month or two, though.

Palmier Cookies (Easy French Recipe)

Servings

24

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

79

kcal

These French palmier cookies are the perfect little treat! The easy recipe only requires 5 ingredients, and they come together in no time flat.

Ingredients

  • white sugar, divided

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • water

Instructions

  • Prepare a work surface by dusting it with 1/4 cup of white sugar. Then, roll the puff pastry dough over the sugar to make a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Brush the pastry dough with butter.
  • Using a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup white sugar with cinnamon and cardamom. Sprinkle this mixture gently over the buttered pastry dough.
  • Begin with the long edge of the pastry dough and roll it securely around the filling. Stop in the middle, then do the same thing with the other end. The two should meet in the middle.
  • Wet your finger with water and dot it along the place where the two sides meet. Gently press down so that they’ll hold together.
  • Refrigerate the dough for approximately 5 to 10 minutes or until it’s slightly firm.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet. Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and cut it evenly into 1/4-inch pieces. Place these on the baking sheet, leaving an inch between each one.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden and crisp. Remove the cookies and allow them to rest for 1 minute before moving them to a cooling rack.
Palmier Cookies

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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