Sugar palmiers were one of my favorite cookies as a child. We used to buy cookies at Hema, a dutch department store and they sold cookies per piece so you could pick and choose as many of a cookie as you wanted. I always used to pick sugar palmiers or another, similar pretzel shaped cookie. Unfortunately they no longer sell cookies separate like that anymore. I’ll never forget me, as a little kid, looking at the counter with all those cookies in glass boxes and wondering what to pick. Great memories.
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’s ear. In the Netherlands we call these pastries butterflies.
Sugar palmiers are still sold but I’ve found out during my pastry course that they’re actually super easy to make yourself as well!
How To Make Sugar Palmiers
You’ll only need three ingredients, cane sugar, melted butter and puff pastry.
Lightly flour your work surface.
Place your puff pastry on your work surface. I had puff pastry squares of 4 inch x 4 inch / 10 cm x 10 cm which I stuck together, but you can also use the squares individually or use one big sheet of puff pastry. My puff pastry squares stuck together made up one long sheet of 15 inch x 4 inch / 40 cm x 10 cm.
Brush melted butter on your puff pastry.
Sprinkle with cane sugar.
Lightly press the sugar into the puff pastry. You can also put a piece of parchment paper on the puff pastry and lightly roll it with a rolling pin.
To get the distinctive look of a sugar palmier, it’s all about the folding. Fold over half of the puff pastry length wise to middle of the pastry.
Do the same with the other half so that both halves are folded to the middle of the puff pastry sheet.
Now, fold over the pastry in half again, lengthwise to form one long strip of pastry. So that both halves end up on top of each other.
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.
Cut your pastry into roughly 0.5 inch / 1 cm pieces. You can use a knife for this, I like to use a pizza cutter.
You should have pieces like this.
If you take a piece and put it with its cut side up you’ll start to see the palmier shape.
Put all sugar palmiers with the cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake till golden
You’ll end up with delicious crunchy sugar palmier cookies.
Sugary, sweet, crispy. Everything I like in a tasty cookie like this!