Palmier cookies: fun to say, fun to make and delicious to eat! The name means “palm tree” in French and if you look carefully you can see they are kind of shaped like the fronds of a palm tree (though puff pastry can be unpredictable – but know that no matter what shape yours end up, they are scrumptious!)
These puff-pastry based cookies are found in many boulangeries across France and are a staple of the after-school “goûter” snack. The classic version that you’ll find in In the French Kitchen with Kids contains just two main ingredients – puff pastry and sugar – so they couldn’t be easier to make, especially now you can buy pre-rolled puff pastry in most supermarkets. They are very versatile though and lend themselves to other fillings, both sweet and savoury – here we’re filling them with jam for a sweet treat, but spreads like pesto and tapenade work well too for a delicious savoury snack.
This is a really fun baking project for kids during the school holidays – experiment with different fillings and remember that practice makes perfect with the rolling technique!
Jam Palmier Cookie Recipe
Active Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 15 to 18 minutes
Makes: About 20 cookies
1 x sheet store-bought puff pastry (8 oz), thawed but chilled
1/3 cup of your favourite jam (jelly works well here as large lumps of fruit can make rolling the pastry a bit of a challenge)
1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper larger than 10 x 10 inches on a work surface.
2. Roll your pastry out on the parchment paper until it’s about 10 x 10 inches. Many store-bought puff pastry rolls are already this size, check yours with a tape measure if you’re not sure.
3. Spread all but 3 Tbsp of your jam evenly over the surface of the pastry.
4. Fold the left and right sides of the pastry inwards so they meet in the centre, like you’re closing a book.
5. Spread about 2 Tbsp of jam on one half of the folded pastry.
6. Fold the left and right side of the pastry inwards again, so they meet in the centre again.
7. Spread the remaining jam on the pastry roll, then fold the pastry in half lengthwise.
8. Wrap the pastry log tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
11. Remove the pastry log from the fridge and place it on a cutting board.
12. Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into about 20 slices, each one 1/2 inch wide. Lay the slices flat on the baking tray about 2 inches apart.
13. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for a further 8 minutes, until they are golden and crispy and the jam is starting to caramelise. Keep an eye on them in the final minutes of baking as they can go from perfect to scorched in a matter of seconds.
14. Remove from the oven and place the tray on a wire cooling rack until they are cool enough to touch.
15. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
About the author: Mardi Michels is a full-time elementary school French teacher, cookery teacher, food and travel writer, recipe developer and the author of eatlivetravelwrite.com. A full-time francophile, she and her husband operate a vacation rental home in Southwest France. Her first cookbook, In the French Kitchen with Kids (Appetite by Random House,) publishes on July 31, 2018.