I love cheese palmiers. It’s one of those savory snacks that once you start eating them you can’t stop. They’re also super easy to make and a great party food. Because these palmiers are using cheese only, make sure you use a flavorful cheese. I like using an aged cheese, cause I like the saltiness of it.
Palmier is French for “palm tree”. This French pastry is named like this because its shape resembles a palm leaf or butterfly. They’re also sometimes called pig’s ear or elephant ear. In the Netherlands we call these pastries butterflies.
The palmiers look really fancy, but are actually super easy to make. To get their distinctive look, it’s all about the folding. In pastry school I learned how to make palmiers.
How To Make Cheese Palmiers
All you need is grated cheese, an egg and puff pastry. I had some puff pastry squares in the freezer so that’s what I used. But it’s probably easier if you’ve got a longer sheet of puff pastry. (The full list of ingredients including measurements can be found in the recipe card below.)
First off, lightly flour your work surface. Okay, I know this doesn’t look like it’s lightly floured, but it’s the picture I have so I’m gonna have to make it work…
Put your puff pastry squares on your work surface and make sure you stick them together at the seams. You can see now how one bigger sheet would be a little easier here you can just cut it in a long strip. But this works as well, don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. It doesn’t have to look perfect, it has to taste perfect 😉
I used 4 puff pastry sheets of 4 inch x 4 inch / 10 cm x 10 cm. (So that makes one 15 inch x 4 inch / 40 cm x 10 cm puff pastry sheet).
Lightly whisk your egg and brush the puff pastry with some of the egg wash.
Generously sprinkle the cheese on top of the puff pastry.
Now, take a piece of parchment paper and put it over the pastry. Why you ask?
Well, to lightly roll with a rolling pin over the parchment paper to make sure the cheese sticks to the puff pasty.
You see, the cheese is nice and tight on the puff pastry now.
Now I like to loosen up the bottom of the puff pastry from my work surface if necessary. However, with the amount of flour I used earlier this photo is just for show…
Now it’s time to shape the palmiers. Fold over half of the puff pastry lengthwise to the middle of the puff pastry sheet.
Do the same with the other half so you end up with a long sheet of puff pastry which has it’s two halves folded over (duh..)
Lightly press the pastry.
Now, fold over the puff pastry again to form one long strip of pastry. (So both halves you folded over earlier you now fold together). Alternatively, you could also roll the pastry from each side to the middle of the pastry instead of folding it over, that’ll give you a palmier with a rounder shape, I prefer the butterfly shape though.
This is what your puff pastry should look like by now.
Now it’s time to take a knife, or in my case, a pizza cutter. I like using a pizza cutter for this. And cut the roll in into roughly 0.5 inch / 1 cm pieces.
If you turn the cut pieces over so the cut side is up you can see it starts to resemble a palmier.
Put all the cheese palmiers with the cut side up on a baking tray and brush with egg wash. Bake in the oven until golden brown.
These cheese palmiers are best eaten immediately. However, you can make them in advance, I do find that the pastry gets a bit soft if you make them in advance but all you have to do is pop them back into the oven again for a few minutes (5-8 minutes) before serving and they’ll crisp back up again.
I actually like my cheese palmiers better after a second bake.