Flaky, crunchy, airy French cookies made with puff pastry! Whether you call them elephant ears or cocoa palmiers, these heart-shaped cookies are fun to make and fun to eat.
Today I’m posting a quick Valentine’s recipe which I’m getting in just under the wire! What can I say? I like to live on the edge. 🙂
However, you don’t have to have these adorable palmiers only for Valentine’s. You can make them for Sunday brunch, Easter, Christmas, or any time you have people coming over and want to bake up a quick treat. Because love is for all year round, right?
For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m currently deciding if I should make a lot of little bites and go through my appetizers archive, or go with a simple steak plus sides. And then what for dessert? Chocolate, definitely but I have a lot of chocolate recipes!
What’s on your menu for romantic dinners? I’m always up for new ideas!
As for this recipe for dessert, I would dress the cookies up with ice cream for a romantic dinner. Cinnamon, chocolate, or vanilla ice cream would be my choices. Then maybe some whipped cream to put it over the top. And cappuccino or coffee to complete the little story I’m creating in my head.
Either on their own (maybe with tea) or all dressed up, lets get into the tips and tricks I have for baking up these little, crispy pastries.
What do you need?
- Puff Pastry – I use one sheet to make 22 cookies. I recommend thawing in the fridge so the dough isn’t too soft when you are working with it.
- Cinnamon Sugar – Cinnamon and granulated sugar.
- Cocoa Sugar – Cocoa powder and granulated sugar.
How to make this
To make cocoa palmiers lay out a sheet of puff pastry and coat with cinnamon sugar and cocoa sugar. Then fold it up, slice into cookies, and bake until puffed and caramelized.
- Roll out the puff pastry.
- Spread out the cinnamon sugar on one side and the cocoa sugar on the other.
- Fold, then slice, and bake.
1. Prepare the pastry
Start by rolling out the pastry into a 12×12 inch square.
Then you’re going to coat one side with cinnamon sugar and use the rolling pin to press it in. Flip it over and coat the other side with cocoa sugar.
Coating both sides helps caramelize the palmiers. And coating with the cinnamon sugar first is key since it sticks better and won’t fall off when you flip.
Tip: Make sure the puff pastry is completely thawed before starting or it will crack. Conversely, if it gets soft (it should be pliable but firm), it has gotten too warm and needs to go in the fridge to firm up.
2. Fold it up
To make the heart shapes, you need to fold the puff pastry in to the middle. First one fold halfway on each side and then another the rest of the way. This will create the two sides of the heart.
If you have worked quickly and you’re in a cool kitchen, you may not need to chill the pastry before you cut the cookies, but it’s not a bad idea. So, unless you’re in a hurry, into the fridge it goes for about 15 minutes.
Tip: If you want a scroll shape where each side curls around, roll it to the middle from each side.
3. Cut and Bake
Trim off the end to made an even start. Then cut the cookies about 1/2 inch wide.
When you lay them out on the baking sheet, open them up a little so that they will make the heart shape. Then bake, first on one side and then the other until they are browned, caramelized, and crispy.
Tip: Be careful when turning the palmiers. They are covered with hot, sticky sugar!
Can I freeze palmiers?
Yes, you can freeze them unbaked!
Once you’ve sliced the cookies, set them out on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer. After they are frozen, move them to a sealed bag.
To bake the cookies, put the frozen cookies 2 inches apart as in the recipe, then add 2 minutes to the time on the first side, bringing the time to 14 minutes. (to allow them time to thaw and bake) You may also need an extra minute on the second side after you’ve turned them.
If you try my recipe for Cinnamon Cocoa Palmiers, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Easy Cinnamon Cocoa Palmiers
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- Heat the oven to 400F.
- Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and salt. Mix the other 1/4 cup of sugar with the cocoa powder.
- Set out a piece of parchment paper on your rolling surface and unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto it. Roll it out until it is a 12x12 inch sheet.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top surface and then use the rolling pin to press the sugar into the pastry.
- Turn it over and sprinkle the cocoa sugar evenly over this side as you did the other.
- Take each side of the puff pastry and fold it halfway to the middle. Then fold each side again so the two folds meet in the middle. Fold it again in the middle to close it up like a book.
- Chill for 15-30 minutes.
- Slice the dough into 1/2 inch slices. Place the cookies onto parchment paper lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
- For heart shaped cookies, bend the tops of the cookies apart from each other a little.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Then turn and bake for 4-6 minutes more, or until the sugar has started to caramelize and the cookies are crunchy.
- Move the cookies to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Once cool, the cookies can be stored in a sealed container for 4-5 days, though they will become less crisp as they sit.
- Doubling: This recipe can easily be doubled, using a full package of two sheets instead of the one.
- Puff Pastry: I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets. Each sheet is a little more than 8 oz. If you use another brand, you may get more or less cookies from a sheet.
- Baking the Cookies: The difference between caramelized and burnt is rather small! Keep a very close eye on the cookies once you've turned them.