cookies/ french/ New Year's Eve/ Party/ puff pastry

Cinnamon palmiers recipe – 3-ingredient puff pastry cookies

20 July 2020

Cinnamon palmiers are crunchy and fragrant cinnamon cookies that are super quick to make and require just 3 ingredients! It’s puff pastry sprinkled with cinnamon and granulated sugar, which caramelizes during baking, adding an additional crunch. These are the easiest and also one of the most delicious cookies you can make!

cinnamon palmiers on a baking paper sheet

These cookies are a well-known French delicacy called palmiers. Palmier means palm tree in French, as these cookies resemble the look of palm tree leaves. Other names for them are elephant ears or pig’s ears (in German-speaking countries).

Initially, it was a way for French chefs to use up puff pastry leftovers (which is not surprising, considering how labor-intensive puff pastry is). You can also try to use up your puff pastry leftovers this way (after cutting out a round from a puff pastry sheet, like for a tart). Just roll out the dough a little and sprinkle on all sides with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon, then bake.

Ingredients:

These puff pastry cookies require just 3 ingredients!

  • puff pastry – try to search for all-butter puff pastry as it simply tastes best
  • sugar – I used light brown sugar because I like its caramel taste but you can use regular granulated sugar instead, make sure to use granulated sugar and not powdered sugar as the sugar sweetens the dough but also provides a crunch
  • cinnamon – can be omitted if you don’t have it on hand but its flavor is just so lovely here, authentic palmiers are actually made without cinnamon

How to make palmiers step by step:

a collage of three photos showing preparation steps of puff pastry cookies

STEP 1: Make the cinnamon sugar:

In a small bowl, mix the sugar with cinnamon together. Divide roughly into 3 parts: 2 very large and 1 very small.

STEP 2: Roll out the dough:

Roll out the puff pastry thinly on a sheet of baking paper into a rectangle, approx. ⅛-inch (2-3 mm) thick. It is very important to sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, it can‘t be soft and stick to the paper. Brush off excess flour.

STEP 3: Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon sugar on both sides (photo 1):

Sprinkle the first large portion of cinnamon sugar onto the rolled out puff pastry (be careful to apply sugar and cinnamon equally, cinnamon likes to gather at the bottom of the bowl), lightly press the sugar with a rolling pin into the dough.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on the dough and turn it over, sprinkle the other side of the dough with the second large portion of cinnamon sugar, press the sugar lightly into the dough.

STEP 4: Roll up the dough (photo 2 and 3):

Roll up the longer side of the dough in towards the middle, now roll up the other side in towards the middle (see photos). Don’t roll up the dough too tightly, because it may not bake through and be soft inside. Don’t roll it up too loose, because it can be too fragile.

unbaked palmier cookies on a baking sheet

STEP 5: Cut the dough into slices (photo 4):

Use a sharp knife to cut about ½-inch (1 cm) slices (cookies).

STEP 6: Dip each side of the cookie into the reserved cinnamon sugar mixture (third part).

STEP 7: Transfer the cookies onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan (photo 5) at least 1.5-inch (4 cm) apart to allow for the cookies to expand.

STEP 8: Bake the cookies.

First bake them at  450 °F / 220 °C / Gas Mark 8 for 10 minutes, then about 10 more minutes at 350 °F / 180 °C / Gas Mark 4.

The reason for this is that the higher temperature gives the cookies a ‘boost’ and they puff up better. Then they need to be baked at a lower temperature so that all the layers of the dough can be baked and crispy.

How to know if the cinnamon palmiers are ready:

Make sure to keep an eye on the cookies at the end of the baking time, as every oven bakes differently and the baking time may be longer or shorter for you. If you’ve sliced your cookies more thinly they will also need less baking time. Look at the color of the cookies, if they’re golden brown they’re done.

Storage / make-ahead:

You can make the cookies ahead, cover them with plastic foil, and put in the fridge. You can bake them later or even the next day (the dough can be a little more grey-ish the next day but the flavor will be the same).

Store the baked cookies in a tightly closed container. They taste best about 2 hours after baking them, then they start to become less crunchy.

puff pastry cookies cinnamon palmiers on a blue background

General rules for working with puff pastry:

  • Puff pastry dough likes cold temperatures. If you leave it out of the fridge for too long it will become soft and sticky. Make sure to have everything ready before taking the pastry out of the fridge. Sprinkle the dough with flour on both sides while rolling it out to make sure it won’t stick.
  • I recommend rolling out the pastry on a piece of baking paper, or even better – silicone rolling mat – they are great for rolling out dough.
  • Homemade puff pastry or all-butter puff pastry is more sticky than storebought puff pastry made with shortening, so all those tips may be irrelevant if you’re using such pastry. I recommend searching for an all-butter puff pastry, as it tastes so much better than shortening puff pastry.
  • Rolling out the dough is important (dough that is too thick may not be baked through). Thinly rolled out puff pastry may look too thin prior to baking but remember it has thousand of pastry and butter layers and it will puff up! All of those layers should be cooked through – this will result in a crispy and not soggy pastry.
  • If you’re using frozen puff pastry, you must first thaw it in the fridge overnight. Don’t thaw the pastry on the counter or it may crack.

Other puff pastry recipes you may like:

Cinnamon palmiers – 3-ingredient puff pastry cookies

Crunchy, fragrant cinnamon cookies that are super quick to make! Puff pastry is sprinkled with granulated sugar, which caramelizes during baking, adding an additional crunch.
cinnamon palmiers
Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes
Pin Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 1916kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 11 oz (300g) puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup (50g/1.8-oz) light brown sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  • Roll out the puff pastry thinly on a sheet of baking paper into a rectangle, approx. ⅛-inch (2-3 mm) in thickness. It is very important to sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, it can‘t be soft and stick to the paper. Brush off excess flour.
  • In a small bowl, mix the sugar with cinnamon together. Divide roughly into 3 parts: 2 very large and 1 very small.
  • Sprinkle the first large portion of cinnamon sugar onto the rolled out puff pastry (be careful to apply sugar and cinnamon equally, cinnamon likes to gather at the bottom of the bowl), lightly press the sugar with a rolling pin into the dough.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper on the dough and turn it over, sprinkle the other side of the dough with the second large portion of sugar, press the sugar lightly into the dough.
  • Roll up the longer side of the dough in towards the middle, now roll up the other side in towards the middle (see photos). Don’t roll up the dough too tightly, because it may not bake through and be soft inside, but also not too loose, because it can be too fragile.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut about ½-inch (1 cm) slices (cookies).
  • Dip each side of the cookie into the reserved cinnamon sugar mixture (third part).
  • Transfer the cookies onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan, at least 1.5-inch (4 cm) apart to allow for the cookies to expand.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 °F / 220 °C / Gas Mark 8. Put the sheet pan with the cookies in the fridge while the oven is warming up.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 °F / 180 °C / Gas Mark 4 and bake for about 10 minutes.
    After 15 minutes of baking time, keep an eye on the cookies and if they brown too quickly – reduce the temperature or cover them loosely with a piece of aluminium foil. The cookies should be light brown in color and baked through – all layers should be crispy and sugar should caramelize (especially at the bottom).
  • Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If using frozen dough – it should be completely thawed, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Don’t thaw puff pastry on the counter or it may crack.
  • It’s important to thinly roll out the dough.
  • Store the cookies in a tightly closed container. They taste best about 2 hours after baking them, then they start to become less crunchy.
  • Cinnamon can be omitted (authentic palmiers are made without cinnamon).
  • Calories = whole recipe = about 20 cookies. This is only an estimate!
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword cinnamon palmiers, puff pastry cookies

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    B
    20 August 2018 at 22:29

    4 stars
    I made these but after turning down the oven and 5 more min. they were burned.
    If I cut the burned part off they are good.
    Any suggestions?

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      23 August 2018 at 18:39

      I’m really sorry for the delayed answear. I had small problems with my site and your comment landed accidentaly in trash 🙁
      So, you need to adjust the oven temperature, as every oven bakes different. Reduce the oven temperature a bit and keep an eye on the cookies, when they’re golden – they’re ready! I hope this helps 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalie
    6 August 2018 at 01:52

    5 stars
    I love Palmiers! These look so delicious and crispy! Perfect to make with kids!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      23 August 2018 at 19:00

      I love them too! They are really easy, my daughter has sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top of them 🙂

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