A Colorful Explosion of Elephant Ears

Despite the snow flurries this week in Zürich, all I can think about are palm trees.  Well, palmiers actually.  I had first made these swirled “elephant ear” pastries for Chanukah, the Jewish holiday that began last Friday evening, December 11th and comes to a close this Friday evening, December 18th.  As a nod to the holiday, I broke out my blue sugar crystals and made them blue.  Realizing just how easy and fun they were to make, I then decided it was time to play.

Palmier / Elephant EarsPalmier / Elephant EarsPalmier / Elephant EarsPalmier / Elephant Ears

Blue palmiers for Chanukah… red palmiers for Christmas.  But of course.  I used red sugar crystals and watched these little red cookies puff up in the oven.  They finished pink after baking though, so it might help to use red food coloring next time.  I also made more classic palmiers with white sugar and let them get real golden in the oven, for that extra crunchy, caramelized finish I love.  Blue, red, white… I was thinking of all the holidays and corresponding colors.  But then I realized, I don’t need to use sugar at all.  Without making savory palmiers, which is entirely possible of course, I went back into my cupboard and started to play some more.

Zoom in on my large collection of jams that simply gets larger as I continue to travel.  Why not jam, I thought.  And so, I made palmiers with a raspberry-peach jam (recipe below), which came out fantastic.  Instead of my mini palmiers, I also decided to go a bit bigger.  I used two sheets of puff pastry, one on top of the other, with a layer of jam sandwiched between the two.  And instead of folding, I rolled the two far sides of the pastry in to meet each other.  This is the method I’ll be sticking with from now on.  You get these fantastic round spirals, showing you why they are after all referred to as elephant ears.

Palmier / Elephant EarsPalmier / Elephant EarsPalmier / Elephant EarsPalmier / Elephant Ears

While reading this blog throughout the past year, you may have noticed Olivier’s absolute love for Nutella.  He shmears his crêpes with Nutella, and tops his Kouign Amann with it too.  My Polka Dot Jam Tart later became a Polka Dot Nutella Tart, and my Hamantaschen were inevitably filled with the creamy, hazelnut spread as well.  I think you all know what’s going to be swirled into the next batch of palmiers…!  What about you, what would you choose?


Jam–Swirled Palmiers

2 squares of puff pastry
Egg yolk

Make sure you have two squares of puff pastry the same size. Spread your jam of choice on one of the pastry sheets, smoothing it out to all corners. Lay the second pastry sheet on top of this. Press down lightly. Roll in the left and right sides towards each other, so that they meet in the center.

Mix the egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon of water. Use this egg wash to “glue” the two rolls together. Wrap in plastic and put in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius). Remove the pastry from the freezer when firm, and cut into thin slices. If the pastry cracks when you cut, it is too cold. Simply wait a few minutes and start again. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and flip palmiers over. Bake for another 2 more minutes.

* If the round centers start to rise real high, no worries. You can simply push them back down with a spatula.  Or when you flip them over, just press down lightly.

* Click here to see the previous post on palmiers with more photos and a recipe.

22 Responses to “A Colorful Explosion of Elephant Ears”

  1. Lani says:

    WOW!!!!!! I am absolutely dying to have one now!!!! Put it right through the computer!!! I just love palmiers and yours look so delicious and perfectly sweet enough for me. You are holding a palmier that is just plain sugar and that is perfect for me….the sugar crystals shine! Your kitchen must have the best aroma!

  2. VeggieGirl says:

    Love the holiday variations on the treats!

  3. Abby (Nibble, Nourish, Run( says:

    Oh so festive! What a great idea…and I think I just might have some frozen puff pastry lying around…need to give these a try!

  4. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Nutella? I think I’ll have to fight Olivier for the jar. My family buys small little packets of it as stocking stuffers for me – as a joke!

    I wouldn’t have thought of putting jam inside the palmiers. I have been wanting to experiment with these for a while, too. Now you have inspired me! 🙂

  5. Kerrin says:

    Lani, oh absolutely, the kitchen smelled outrageous. Batch after batch, hours of caramelizing sugar and butter !

    VeggieGirl, thanks !

    Abby, how perfect – always an excellent idea to have frozen pastry at the ready. Let me know how it goes.

    Julia, oooh I think Olivier will give you a good battle. Not much comes between him and his Nutella jar ! 😉 Glad I could provide some inspiration – go for it ! I can already imagine how beautiful your palmiers will be…

  6. Andrea says:

    Bless you. I’ve wanted this recipe for a while….and it looks like I can actually handle it…so bless the already-prepared-puff-pastry as well. –Danke Du. Andrea

  7. Anita says:

    Wow, they seem quite easy – and look fantastic. May just give them a go.

  8. Emma says:

    Mmm yum. I’m not big on savory when I can choose sweet instead (which is almost all of the time), but… I wonder if one could spread the dough with a filling of pesto. Or maybe a walnut/Gruyère purée. Mmm I must be hungry. I like the looks of the big round spirals!

  9. Meeta says:

    oooh this is a great idea kerrin! jam and palmiers – and fresh baked ones. we gotta make these when i come to zurich!

  10. Elisa says:

    oooh, yum. I haven’t had palmiers in forever! *love*

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  12. The Cooking Ninja says:

    They look delicious! Love your jam version. 🙂

  13. Nicky says:

    Wow, these look totally lovely! Have to put these on my Christmas holidays baking list…

  14. iain says:

    Great pictures, as always! I still call them ‘palmiers’ due to childhood indoctrination, but I have to admit that I’ve never seen the connection. Elephant ears… hardly better. They’ve always looked like flaky squiggly hearts to me. -i

  15. Kerrin says:

    Emma – “not choosing savory when you can go sweet” – YES, welcome to the club ! 🙂 That said, I think your pesto idea is fantastic. The options are unlimited really. You could use tomato paste too – probably the most fun to use fillings with strong colors for the presentation. Oooh, you could even use a gingerbread spice mix – could be perfect for the holidays. Oh wait, I’m going back to sweet…! 😉

    Meeta, done. It’s on the Zurich baking list. Can’t wait already !

    Nicky, thanks ! Oh definitely perfect for your holiday baking list – these are pretty quick to throw together too.

    iain, thanks ! Apparently palmiers’ characteristic swirls resemble the leaves of a palm tree, hence the name (I don’t think so though !). But I think your “flaky squiggly hearts” description is more accurate ! When I used red sugar, they especially looked like little hearts. I’m with you ! 🙂

  16. Deborah says:

    I wish I had one of those beautiful swirls of heaven to eat with my coffee, right now!!! Kerrin, thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

  17. Angela says:

    The closest I come to cooking is more along the lines of “assembling,” and I think I might be able to “assemble” this. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. jen laceda says:

    I love my Nutella, too!!!

  19. Mowie says:

    Pink! I love it! =)

  20. florence says:

    j’ai eu la chance, que dis-je? le privilege de gouter a ces petites merveilles…
    et ooooohhh, c’etait drolement bon!

  21. Stéphanie says:

    I love the name, says it all!

  22. Sinful Southern Sweets says:

    Yummm! These look so wonderful!

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