My appreciation for the wonders of puff pastry knows no bounds. If you keep a package of puff pastry in your freezer you can do all kinds of delicious things with it. You can make a savory palmier or a sweet palmier. All you need is a sheet of puff pastry and a little filling of some kind and you can have a plate of these in 30 minutes.
We end up with all kinds of little jarred toppings from gift baskets over the years and this kind of thing is perfect to use to make a palmier. You can also use Nutella to make a sweet little cookie type palmier or even use just sugar and a little cinnamon as a filling (like an Elephant Ear). You just spread a little on top of the puff pastry sheet, roll up opposite ends until they meet in the middle and then slice and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes. It's just so easy. What you spread on the puff pastry can be just about anything - that is why this post is not really a recipe. You can even use some grated cheese if that's all you have in your fridge. It makes a quick batch of "cheese straws". You can use a little pesto if you have it. The list is endless - that's why palmiers rescue me when I don't have anything else to make. I always have puff pastry in my freezer.
Puff Pastry ideally is thawed overnight in the fridge but you can thaw it out on your counter for about 30 minutes. If you are in an absolute rush, you can zap it in the microwave for just a few seconds, which I do for emergency appetizers. It thaws out very quickly. Just enough to let you open the sheet up, but without breaking it. If you have never used puff pastry before, it's super easy but you do have to remember a couple of things. Never let the puff pastry get to room temperature. It should always be slightly cold and defrosted just enough to let you open it up. Ideally, slicing the palmiers and letting them sit in the fridge for a few minutes before you bake them is ideal. If puff pastry becomes too warm, it will not puff up in the oven.
Once the puff pastry is thawed out, I like to take a rolling pin and even it out just a little. Place a piece of wax paper on top so the rolling pin doesn't stick. I just like to even out the creases a little. You can also do this just with your fingertips. Then spread your filling on top, roll each side in toward the middle until they meet and then slice into about 1/2" slices. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment paper. (If you have time, stick it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.) Then bake at 400 degrees F. for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Done!
Pepperidge Farms makes a great standard puff pastry that almost all of us can find in our grocery stores. If you want really great puff pastry and you have a more extensive selection at your store, look for Dufour Puff Pastry. It's just a little superior.
these kinds of little jarred toppings make perfect fillings for Palmiers
Tips to remember when working with Puff Pastry:
An overnight thaw in the refrigerator is best
Don't try to unfold frozen puff pastry - it will crack along the seams - make sure it's defrosted enough to unfold
Use baking parchment paper or a Silpat
Don't let puff pastry come to room temperature - it will stick together and you won't be able to unfold it
More Palmier ideas you might like: