Make these for the one you love and they'll love you forever!
Whether you call them palmiers or elephant ears, making your own is the ultimate two-ingredient semi-homemade baking project. Swapping the granulated sugar for colored sanding sugar helps to stain the store-bought puff pastry an exquisitely vibrant color. As the colored sugar melts, it seeps into every crevice and crease of the dough. You can use a rolling pin both to press the sugar into the dough and to make the traditional butterfly shape a bit more of a proper heart. Love at first bite!
Equipment: dry measuring cup; cutting board; chef's knife; rolling pin; parchment paper or silicone baking sheets; sheet pans; offset spatula; cooling rack
1 1/3 cups red, white, and/or pink sanding sugar
2 sheets puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 475°F and place the rack in the middle position. Line two cookie sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Spread 1/3 cup of sanding sugar on a cutting board or clean work surface to the dimensions of your puff pastry sheet. Unfold and place one sheet of puff pastry onto the sugared surface. Pour another 1/3 cup of sanding sugar on top of the puff pastry, spreading it evenly across the surface to form a thick coating of sugar. Roll a rolling pin back and forth across the top of the dough to press the sugar into the puff pastry on both sides.
"When you roll the dough, the most important thing is to press the sugar into the pastry on the top and bottom. Lift the pastry and flip it over, sprinkling sugar where needed to get a dense covering. You can thin and flatten the pastry a bit, but it's not your chief concern."
3. Roll the sides of the pastry to the center like a scroll, so they meet in the middle.
4. Slice the dough into ¼-inch slices. Flatten each slice with the rolling pin, rolling back and forth on the sugared work surface to create a heart shape, manipulating the bottom with a pinch of your fingers, if necessary. Place the palmiers hearts on a lined sheet pan, two inches apart. Set aside.
5. Spread another 1/3 cup of sanding sugar on the sugared cutting board work surface and top with the second sheet of puff pastry. Top with the final 1/3 cup of sanding sugar and continue as with the first sheet of puff pastry. Place this batch of palmiers hearts on the remaining lined sheet pan.
"Do not worry if there is a significant amount of sugar left on the cutting board. If you want, you can gather it and sprinkle it atop the palmiers hearts before baking."
6. Bake the cookies for 5-7 minutes until the sugar is caramelized on the bottom. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and turn over the palmiers hearts with a spatula so that the caramelized side is now on top. Return the sheet pan to the oven bake for another 5 minutes or until caramelized on the bottom.
ILOC tip: when the palmiers hearts first come out of the oven, push them around the sheet pan using the spatula to pick up any errant caramelized sugar. Do this before transferring them to a cooling rack.
7. Place the other sheet pan in the oven and repeat as above.
8. Transfer the palmiers hearts to a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes approximately 36 cookies.