These deliciously sweet and buttery Palmiers cookies are perfectly light, crispy, and crunchy perfection with each bite! Made with just a package of store-bought puff pastry and a bit of sugar, this 2-ingredient easy recipe comes together in just 40 minutes! Your family is sure to be impressed when you present them with these famous fancy bakery-style puff pastry sweets!
💡What are palmiers?
Also called elephant ears, palmiers are classic french pastry cookies that were invented at the beginning of the 20th century. Their name literally translates to "palm trees" in English. They are quite elegant looking cookies that are sweet and buttery with a lovely crispy finish but actually made with just 2 simple ingredients.
If you love French desserts, make sure to check out my ultimate best French pastries list with recipes!
💡What are palmiers made of?
They may look fancy but you only need some puff pastry and simple granulated sugar to make French palmiers. That's right! Just 2 simple ingredients are required to make classic palmier pastry. Try my rough puff pastry recipe or you can even use store-bought puff pastry and produce the same results. However, in my recipe, I brush the palmiers puff pastry with a simple egg wash before popping it into the oven to bake, but the egg wash is totally optional.
💡What do palmiers taste like?
Classic French palmiers have a sweet and buttery taste with a delicate crisp flaky texture. As they bake in the oven the sugar caramelizes a bit and gives them an absolutely delicious refined flavor. Typically made with just pastry dough and sugar, but you can find cinnamon palmiers in some bakeries spiced with a mixture of cinnamon sugar as well as chocolate palmiers. And not quite as common as sweet palmiers, savory palmiers such as cheese palmiers are sometimes served.
🌟 Why this is the best French palmiers recipe
- Simple recipe – This is a super easy 2-ingredient cookie recipe, perfect for beginners. It requires no fancy equipment or special skills and you only need a package of store bought puff pastry dough and a bit of granulated white sugar. It is probably one of the easiest puff pastry desserts!
- Quick cookie – By using ready made sheet frozen puff pastry dough you can make these fancy treats in no time. From start to finish these beautiful bakery-worthy French palmier cookies only take 40 minutes to make!
- Crispy sweet deliciousness – This quick and easy palmiers recipe produces perfectly flakey, sweet, buttery cookies that melt in your mouth with each and every crispy bite.
📝 Ingredient notes
- Puff Pastry: To save time you can use refrigerated or frozen store-bought puff pastry to make this palmiers cookies recipe. Or, you can make your own using my easy Rough Puff Pastry recipe.
- Sugar: You need granulated white sugar to sweeten the cookies. You can also use cane sugar if you prefer. To learn more about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my sugar guide.
- Egg: An egg is used to make an egg wash that gives the palmier cookies a glossy finish. To learn more about the science of egg wash, check out my egg wash guide.
- Milk: You'll need a bit of milk for the egg wash. You can also use water or plant-based milk if you prefer.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make palmiers cookies
If using homemade puff pastry, check my easy rough puff pastry recipe.
- If using frozen puff pastry, thaw it out but make sure it is still cold enough to work with.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Then gently roll a rolling pin over the top of the pastry to seal any folds or gaps together.
- Sprinkle ¾ of the sugar on the sheet of pastry. Next, fold the top half and the bottom half of the puff pastry sheet inward so that they meet in the middle leaving approximately a 1 inch / 2 cm gap in the center.
- Then, fold the top half and bottom half of the dough inward once again so that they meet in the middle, again making sure to leave a bit of a gap.
- Sprinkle the log with the remaining sugar.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the tightly rolled dough into 1 cm / ½ inch pieces and then place them onto the prepared lined baking sheet leaving them a large space apart so that the pastry has room to puff up.
- Whisk the egg together with a splash of milk in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Then use a pastry brush to apply a light layer of the egg wash on the palmiers biscuits and sprinkle with a bit more sugar if you like. Note, this step is optional but adds a lovely glossy finish.
💡 Top Tip: Put the pastry in the freezer to chill for a few minutes if it begins to get too warm. Warm puff pastry is impossible to work with.
2. How to bake
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 392F (no fan).
- Place the unbaked palmiers cookies in the fridge or freezer to chill while the oven preheats.
- Bake the first tray of palmiers pastry for about 15 minutes on one side. Then flip them over and bake them for another 10 minutes on the other side. When done, they will be golden brown and evenly baked on the bottom. Then start baking the second tray.
- Allow the baked palmier biscuits to cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve the puff pastry palmiers immediately or store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.
💡 Top Tip: Keep the second tray of unbaked palmier pastry cookies in the refrigerator while you bake the first tray.
🎓 Expert tips
- Always unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface or a silicone mat to prevent it from sticking to the kitchen counter.
- If the pastry should crack when you unfold it, just sprinkle the crack with a bit of water and then press the edges of the crack together to reseal the dough.
- The pastry must be cold. If the dough becomes too warm to handle you need to put it in the freezer for a few minutes to chill.
- Make sure to leave a gap in the middle when forming the cookies to create their iconic shape.
- The French palmiers must chill in the fridge or freezer while the oven is preheating. This helps them to maintain their shape and properly bake.
- Keep the second try of cookies in the fridge while baking the first.
- Check the bottom of the pastry before taking the palmier cookies out of the oven.
- Homemade all-butter puff pastry will bake faster in the oven than store-bought pastry. So you need to keep a close eye on them when baking.
🥣 Equipment Notes
Good news! You'll find this palmiers recipe easy because you don't need any special equipment to make these cookies.
However, I find that a Rolling Pin is really a handy tool to flatten out the pastry sheets. And if you're going to apply the egg wash, using a Pastry Brush ensures that you brush on just the right amount.
But the two tools that I use the most are my Digital Scale and Digital Oven Thermometer. I use them every time I bake! Because baking is a science, using a scale to properly measure your ingredients and a thermometer to double-check the accuracy of your oven is always going to help you achieve the most professional results.
❓Puff Pastry Palmiers recipe FAQs
These cookies are also known as pig ears, elephant ears, palm trees, or palm leaves by some. But regardless of the name they are all the same yummy sweet buttery cookie.
In French, the word palmier translates to palm tree. The cookies were named palmiers because they resemble palm leaves.
They will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Yes! But you can only freeze them before they are baked. So once you slice the raw puff pastry into cookies, freeze them on a baking sheet. Then remove the frozen raw cookies and store them in the freezer in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap for up to 3 months.
🍰 More puff pastry recipes
- 1 pack Puff pastry store-bought or 1 portion of my homemade rough puff pastry
- 150 g (¾ cups) Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg for egg wash
- Spash of milk for egg wash
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Thaw the puff pastry sheets (if using frozen) but make sure they are still cold
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, no need to grease them as the puff pastry contains enough fat
- Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry sheets onto a lightly floured kitchen counter. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the top of the pastry to seal together any folds.
- Spread ¾ of the sugar on top then fold the sheet the following way: Fold the top half into the middle as well as the bottom half into the middle but leave approx 1 inch / 2cm gap in the middle. Then repeat, for the top half into the middle and the bottom half into the middle again, again making sugar to leave some space in the middle.
- Sprinkle the log with the remaining sugar, then using a sharp knife, cut the into 1 cm / ½ inch pieces and place them onto the baking sheet leaving enough space in between them to puff up.
- If at any point the puff pastry would become warm to handle, pop it into the freezer for a few minutes to chill. Do not force the pastry while it is still hot, it would only make a mess.
- Whisk one egg with a dash of milk then apply a light egg wash on top of the pastry, and dust with more sugar, if desired.
- Pre-heat oven to 200C / 392F (no fan) while chilling the pastry either in the fridge or freezer. Chilling will keep the pastries´ shape better. Also, keep the second tray of pastries refrigerated while baking the first tray.
- Bake them at 200C / 392F (no fan) for about 15 minutes on one side and further 10 minutes on the other side or until the top is golden brown and the bottom is evenly baked. Then, continue with the next tray using the leftover pastries.
- Let them slightly cool in the baking tray for 5 minutes then move them onto a cooling rack.
- Serve them fresh. Any leftovers can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Work as quickly with the pastry as you can as over time, when the pastry warms, it will stick and would make it very difficult to handle
- Check the bottom of the pastry - whether it is well baked - before taking the Palmiers out of the oven
- Try this palmiers recipe with cinnamon sugar for a lovely cinnamon palmiers
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