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 cinnamon cocoa palmiers, I would dress them up with ice cream for a romantic dinner. Cinnamon, chocolate, or vanilla ice cream would be my choices. Then maybe some whipped cream to dress it up. 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.
How do you make cocoa palmiers?
To make cocoa palmiers lay out a sheet of puff pastry and coat with cinnamon sugar and cocoa sugar. Then fold up the pastry, 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 the pastry, then slice, and bake.
Prepare the puff pastry
Start by rolling out the pastry into a 12×12 inch square.
Then you’re going to coat one side of the pastry with cinnamon sugar and use the rolling pin to press it into the pastry. 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 to the pastry.
Tip: Make sure the puff pastry is completely thawed before starting or the pastry will crack. Conversely, if the pastry gets soft (it should be pliable but firm), it has gotten too warm and needs to go in the fridge to firm up.
Fold the puff pastry
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 the puff pastry to the middle from each side.
Cut and Bake the Cocoa Palmiers
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 unbaked palmiers!
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.
Recipes using Puff Pastry
Here are a few recipes to use that second sheet of puff pastry.
- Baked Brie in Puff Pastry with Jam
- Puff Pastry Blood Orange Galettes
- Puff Pastry Plum Tarts with Spiced Honey
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.
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– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Making cinnamon cocoa palmiers is a snap with prepared puff pastry! These chocolate French cookies, aka elephant ears, are tasty treats for the holidays.
- 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 out the puff pastry until it is a 12x12 inch sheet.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the surface of the puff pastry and then use the rolling pin to press the sugar into the puff pastry.
Turn the puff pastry over and sprinkle the cocoa sugar evenly over this side of the puff pastry.
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 the whole pastry in the middle to close it up like a book.
Chill the puff pastry 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 puff pastry.
- 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.