Texas Living

French Palmiers Make Entertaining Easy

By Eve Hill-Agnus 2.7.24

The dainty French pastry called a palmier could not be easier to make and love. Its secret lies in the method and presentation. Layer and fold the flaky sheets like a croissant, press the sugar into puff pastry (or perhaps use other fillings, as we’ll cover), and with a stint in the oven, voilà!

Visually, the brittle little treats are unmistakable, with their crisp, curled sides, like the tips of ferns, waiting to unfurl. Flavor-wise, palmiers rely on a simple (yet chemically complex) process called the Maillard reaction, in which the oven’s heat forms the crackling caramelization that gives them a lacquered look — and their addictive, browned-butter taste.

A tip: Make sure you focus on the rolling and folding of the puff pastry. Once you get the hang of it, the effort is worth it and infinitely repeatable for a quick, impressive, sweet, or savory bite. And don’t hesitate to use store-bought puff pastry, though a homemade rough puff pastry adds just one step if you have the time to chill the dough.

palmier recipe
Photo by Natalie Goff. Styling by Kylie Valigura

Sugar & Spice Palmiers

Makes 35-40


  • 1 box (2 sheets) store-bought puff pastry (or 1 lb. homemade rough puff pastry)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Seasoning Options:
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cardamom (You can add 2 teaspoons of orange zest as in this recipe by Sally McKenney).
    • If you choose to omit the sugar above, spread 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and/or several tablespoons of pesto, dried herbs, finely chopped sundried tomatoes, or tapenade for a savory version.


  • Combine the sugar and salt (and spices, if using) in a small bowl.
  • Working with one sheet of puff pastry at a time, roll out the dough in the sugar mixture, forming a 10-inch square. To do so, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture on a work surface. Coat the rolling pin and roll out the dough (sprinkling a bit of sugar mixture on top of the dough to keep it from sticking). Make sure the edges are even, trimming them at the end if necessary.
  • Then sprinkle another 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture on the 10-inch square and press it into the dough with the rolling pin as best you can.
  • Find the square’s centerline. Slowly roll (or fold in and then fold again) the left edge to the centerline, then repeat with the right. Keep the rolls tight. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate.
  • Repeat with the second portion of dough and sugar mixture.
  • Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut off any uneven edges from each end (to create an even cross-section). Cut each log into several 1/2-inch slices. (Feel free to reroll the slices if they fall apart.)
  • Space the cookie slices 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 6–8 minutes (until caramelized on the bottom).
  • Flip the palmiers. (Remember that flipping is the secret to having caramelized, crisp edges on both sides.) Bake for another 6-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature for several days.

Enjoy your freshly baked palmiers with an equally exquisite oat milk matcha latte.

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