We’re officially into the holiday season, and so I decided to make palmiers, one of my favorite holiday cookies. This time, I made puff pastry from scratch. It’s not difficult, but it does take time and patience. However, it is well worth the extra effort. It tastes infinitely better than the store-bought versions and can be frozen for future use. After the puff pastry is made, the cookies are quite easy to make.
Palmiers (click to print)
adapted from Joy the Baker via Poires Au Chocolat
makes 16 palmiers
1 package of puff pastry or homemade puff pastry (I used 11 ounces or about 1/4 of the recipe below.)
2/3 cup of granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle half of the sugar onto a clean work surface. Place the puff pastry onto the work surface and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Roll the dough out to a rectangle, approximately 10×12-inches. Starting from a short end of the rectangle, roll until it reaches the middle. Repeat from the other side. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and chill for an hour, or until cold and firm.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice into 1/2-inch slices. Place on the lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown, checking carefully after 10 minutes to prevent from burning. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack.
makes about 2 1/2 pounds
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and well-chilled
1 1/4 cups cold water
3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, well-chilled
In a large bowl, combine both flours with the salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the mixture and mix, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Form a well in the center and pour in the water. Using your hands, gradually draw the flour mixture over the water, covering and gathering until the mixture is well blended and begins to come together. Gently knead the mixture in the bowl until it just comes together to form a dough. Pat the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour. Place uncut sticks of butter on top and sprinkle with more flour. Top with another sheet of paper. Using a rolling pin, pound the butter to soften and flatten until it is 1/2-inch thick. Remove the top sheet of paper, and fold the butter in half onto itself. Replace top sheet of paper and pound again until the butter is about 1-inch thick. Repeat this process two more times, or until the butter is pliable. Using your hands, shape the butter into a 6-inch square. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until it is chilled but not hardened, no more than 10 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 9-inch square. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and place it in the center of the dough square. Fold each corner of dough square over the butter so that it is completely enclosed. Press with your hands to seal.
Using a rolling pin, press down on the dough at regular intervals, until it is about 1 inch thick. Gently roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 9×20-inches. Brush off any excess flour. Starting at a short end, fold the rectangle in thirds as you would a business letter. This completes the first single turn. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and repeat the rolling and folding process, giving it five more single turns. Mark the dough with your finger each time to help you keep track. Chill for one hour between each turn. After completing the sixth and final turn, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before using.
Unused dough can be double wrapped, first with a sheet of parchment paper then with plastic wrap, and frozen for later use. The dough can be frozen for up to three months.