Category Archives: Pastry

Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws

Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsHappy Halloween! If you’re looking for holiday-appropriate recipes, see here, here, and here. If, however, you are ready to move on to Thanksgiving recipes, you’re in the right place.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting the sorts of recipes I’d like to put on my holiday table. You know, the sorts of things I’d make if I came from a family that cooked on Thanksgiving.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws
I don’t though, and we already have a reservation, so consider these next six or seven posts as a little teaser of what I will one day make when I get to live out my dream of making a Thanksgiving Dinner at home.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsThere is going to be a lot of pie (starting Friday!), but before we get to dessert, let’s have an appetizer: Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsThese golden, twisted beauties are perfect for any holiday cheese plate. They’re salty, flaky, cheesy, and have an aromatic hit of fresh rosemary—they’re perfect sidled up to a pile of sliced fresh pears.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsWhile these cheese straws look fancy, they are easy to make from scratch and require only eight ingredients. The base recipe is rough puff pastry dough.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws
Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsWhenever possible, I like to use rough puff in place of frozen puff pastry. Here, it’s not an option to start with pre-made pastry because minced fresh rosemary is incorporated directly into the dough. Don’t worry—this is extremely easy to make and takes about five minutes total.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsOnce you have a dough, roll it into a sheet. Scatter fine, airy shreds of fresh Parmesan over the top and fold it all together like a letter. This will give you flaky layer of dough, along with almost impossibly thin layers of cheese. Flavor allllllll over the place!Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRepeat the folding process five more times and give it one extra, cheese-less fold to lock everything in—this is to ensure that there isn’t any exposed cheese left to burn during baking. Let the dough chill for an hour, or even a couple of days.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsWhen you’re ready to bake, slice it into long, thin strips. Brush them with egg wash and give them a twist before laying them on parchment-lined baking sheets.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsBake the cheese straws for ten minutes before flipping them over and letting them go for another two minutes.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsAren’t they stunning?Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsAnd talk about delicious—layer upon layer of rosemary-speckled pastry and Parmesan.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsYes.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws

Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws
makes 27-28 straws

1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into cubes
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold
4 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and rosemary. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Top with 1/6 of the grated Parmesan (about 2-3 tablespoons). Fold dough in thirds (like a letter), and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, scatter on 1/6 of the Parmesan, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, scattering, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. If anything gets warm or soft during this process, return the dough to the refrigerator for 15 minutes before continuing.

Roll and fold one more time (a 7th time); this is to seal in the last layer of cheese. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

Make egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl. Whisk them together with a fork. Set aside.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Slice in half width-wise, so that you have 2 10×7-inch pieces. Return one half to the fridge.

Slice the remaining piece of dough into 10×1/2-inch strips. Before separating them, brush them all with egg wash. Working with one at a time, twist strips and lay them 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Keep in mind that they will uncoil a bit during baking. If anything gets warm or soft during this process, return the dough to the refrigerator for 15 minutes before continuing.

Bake straws for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottoms and light golden on the tops. Flip them over and bake an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven. Let straws cool on pans for 3-5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat slicing, twisting, and baking processes with remaining dough.

Cheese straws are best the day they are made, but may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Do not refrigerate.Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRosemary-Parmesan Cheese StrawsRosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws

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Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Sweet Cherry TurnoversLet me pinpoint for you the moment I knew I wasn’t cut out for office jobs.

It was the summer of 2003 and I was working as a part-time receptionist at a doctor’s office between high school graduation and starting college. I was on my way to the office one early morning and decided on a whim to stop at the Blue Bonnet Bakery (of gingerbread man and florentine fame) and pick up some treats for my coworkers. You know, the sort of nice thing that you do every once in a while to brighten the mood.Sweet Cherry Turnovers
Out of all the pastries they had on display that morning, I decided to go with cherry turnovers—pockets of ultra-flaky pastry filled with cherry pie filling. Everyone at the office loved having a treat around so much that that one act started a trend. Everyday after that, somebody brought something to share. One day it was Seven Layer Dip, another was Chipped Beef (which I have never had before or since). The doctor and his wife/office manager would bring in doughnuts or fresh figs from their own trees. I even brought in my mom’s Ham Salad once. (Sounds weird, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it.)Sweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry Turnovers
Long story short, by the end of the summer, I knew once and for all that while I liked my coworkers, I did not care about office work at all. AT. ALL. Bored me senseless. But I did care about trying new recipes and food as a social experience.Sweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry TurnoversSweet Cherry Turnovers
It would be almost ten more years before I learned to bake from scratch, but in that time I learned to cook, wrote my first recipes, dreamed about owning a neighborhood restaurant, and gathered friends into tiny New York apartments to share late-night dinners. I had a few more office jobs too, and I can say now that I spent most of those work days reading food blogs and surfing a then-newfangled thing called Pinterest in search of recipe inspiration.

(Oops.)
Sweet Cherry TurnoversBut it all goes back to that impromptu stop at Blue Bonnet Bakery. That was the catalyst for the chain of events that lead me to where I am right now. It just took another decade or so and a lot of professional misadventures to manifest itself into E2 Bakes and being that person who always has cookies. #crazycookieladySweet Cherry Turnovers
Sweet Cherry Turnovers
And so, here I am on the first day of June 2018–fifteen years after my first office job—writing on my very own food blog about the Sweet Cherry Turnovers that I made in my kitchen this week. They’re made with my shatteringly crisp rough puff pastry and a tried-and-true sweet cherry filling, and they’re topped with a sweet vanilla glaze. They’re basically the very best kind of hand pie.Sweet Cherry Turnovers
Heck, if you’re lucky, they might even change your life.Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Sweet Cherry Turnovers
makes 6 large turnovers

Cherry Filling:
1 lb fresh whole sweet cherries, pitted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water

Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5-6 teaspoons milk

Cherry Filling and Pastry Dough may be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.

Make the Cherry Filling. Combine pitted whole sweet cherries, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until cherries are starting to release liquid. Remove from heat and stir in optional almond extract and butter. Let filling cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the tart. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment.

Make egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Slice into 6 squares.

Working with one square at a time, roll it into a 5-inch square. Place 2 tablespoons of cherry filling in the center, leaving behind any excess liquid. Paint two edges of each turnover with egg wash. Fold dough into half to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edge. Remove to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, chilling for 15 minutes if dough becomes sticky or difficult with which to work.

Chill pan of turnovers for 10 minutes. Cut vents in each turnover. Brush all exposed pastry with egg wash. Bake 25-27 minutes or until golden. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Make glaze. Combine confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and 5 teaspoons milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. For a thinner glaze, add 1 more teaspoon milk. Drizzle over cooled turnovers. Glaze should set after 20 minutes.

Turnovers are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Pastry will soften over time.

Note:

If you do not wish to make the Rough Puff Pastry, you may use one sheet of frozen all-butter puff pastry that you have thawed according to package directions.Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Blueberry Kolaches

Blueberry KolachesIf the warm weather could just get its act together and show up already, that’d be great. I am so tired of wearing a jacket.Blueberry KolachesWinter tends to linger up here. While the sub-freezing days are long gone, I could do without anything under 70 degrees. It seems like every time we get a nice day, the cold creeps back.Blueberry KolachesIt could absolutely be worse, but…I just want some consistency, you know?Blueberry KolachesAnyway, I may not have any control over the weather outside, but it is decidedly spring at the green market and in my kitchen. I’ve got berries on the brain, as evidenced by last week’s Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Compote and today’s Blueberry Kolaches!Blueberry KolachesBlueberry KolachesBlueberry KolachesBlueberry KolachesI’ve made three batches of these traditional Czech pastries this week and I can’t. get. enough.Blueberry KolachesBlueberry KolachesBlueberry KolachesThey’re a springtime spin on the Grapefruit Kolaches I made earlier this year. While those were good, I made a few adjustments to the recipe—streamlining is the name of the game these days—and think these kolaches are even better.Blueberry KolachesI mean, it’s pretty hard not to love buttery, pillowy soft pastry, cinnamon crumble (posypka), and fresh blueberry filling ❤Blueberry KolachesYep. Tastes like spring.Blueberry Kolaches

Blueberry Kolaches
makes about 16-18 pastries

1/2 cup (1 stick) + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature

Blueberry Filling:
1 pint (12 ounces) fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Posypka (Crumble):
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

The night before you want to eat kolaches, make the dough. Cut 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter into 8 pieces.Combine butter, whole milk, and sour cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Melt together, stirring occasionally, until mixture is warm to the touch (about 115F). Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to prove for 5 minutes. Mixture will have just a few small bubbles.

Add 1 cup of the flour, the lemon zest, and salt to the wet ingredients. Fold together. Fold in beaten eggs, followed by 2 1/4 more cups of flour. Dough will be very soft and a bit sticky.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes before forming into a ball. Dough will be very soft and sticky—use a bench scraper for easiest kneading. Grease a mixing bowl with oil. Place dough ball in the bowl, being sure to grease it on all sides. Press plastic wrap to the surface of the dough. Refrigerate overnight, about 8-12 hours.

Make the blueberry filling. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until berries start bursting. Cool for a few minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Remove dough from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to cut kolaches, rerolling as necessary. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Brush on the tops of cut kolache dough. Flour the back of a tablespoon and press it into the center of one kolache to make a well. Immediately fill with 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) of blueberry filling. Flour the tablespoon again and repeat process with all remaining kolaches on the baking pan. Repeat process with remaining baking sheet.

Loosely cover with plastic wrap (or greased foil) and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Make the posypka (crumble). Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until crumbly.

Position oven racks near the center. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Remove plastic wrap from one baking sheet of dough. Top each kolache with a big pinch of posypka. Bake kolaches uncovered for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans front to back at the 10 minute mark. They will be barely-golden when they are done. Brush baked kolaches with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Let kolaches cool slightly on the pans. Serve warm.

Kolaches are best the day they are made, but may be refrigerated for a couple of days. Warm before serving.Blueberry Kolaches

Grapefruit Kolaches

Grapefruit KolachesToday is Texas Independence Day! On March 2, 1836, Texas became independent from Mexico, briefly becoming the Republic of Texas before it became part of the United States in 1845. Growing up in the Lone Star State, I can’t recall ever acknowledging this holiday in any formal way, but when I realized that March 2nd fell on a “blog day,” I set out to bake up a Texan delicacy: kolaches.
Grapefruit KolachesIf you’ve ever driven up or down I-35 between Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth, you know the turn-off for West (the town, not the direction) means two things: a pit-stop and kolaches (“kohl-ah-cheh”). This small Czech enclave is one of the most popular food attractions in Texas. I’m not exactly sure how this came to be the state capitol of Czech pastry, but basically everyone who has ever stopped at the Czech Stop is grateful it exists. Kolaches are the ultimate in Texan road trip snacks.
Grapefruit KolachesFun fact: I happen to be of Czech descent (my mother’s maiden name is Fitzek), but my ancestors came to the U.S. by way of Chicago and didn’t bake, as far as I know. But back to the pastries…
Grapefruit KolachesIf you haven’t had a kolache, just imagine a puffy, pillowy-soft pastry filled with sweet fruit filling (or sweet cheese or savory sausage & jalapeño). Apricot, prune, and poppy seed are some of the most popular traditional flavors, but when I set out to make quality homemade kolaches, I wanted to go extra Texan. I set my focus on a sweet-tart filling made from Texas Ruby Red Grapefruits.
Grapefruit KolachesAs far as I’m concerned, kolaches are a great treat any time of day, but I think they’re especially good alongside a cup of coffee on a weekend morning. But who wants to get up way early and work with yeast dough for three hours on the weekend?!
Grapefruit Kolaches My solution is to make the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge while I sleep. This cuts waaaaay down on the early morning time commitment. Plus, the dough is initially super soft, thanks to the additions of sour cream, whole milk, and melted butter. It’s much easier to manipulate after a long chill.
Grapefruit KolachesGrapefruit KolachesJust punch it down in the morning…Grapefruit KolachesGrapefruit KolachesGrapefruit Kolaches
…roll it out and cut it into 2 1/2” circles. Brush them with melted butter.
Grapefruit KolachesGrapefruit KolachesLet them rise for half an hour while you mix together the posypka (crumble topping) and add a little flour to the homemade grapefruit curd filling. This will help keep it from running out of the kolaches while baking.
Grapefruit KolachesGrapefruit KolachesOnce 30 minutes are up, press a well into each piece of dough.
Grapefruit KolachesFill them with grapefruit filling…Grapefruit Kolaches
…and top them with the posypka.
Grapefruit KolachesBake the kolaches at 350F for 12-14 minutes, just until they’re barely starting to turn golden and smell like butter and grapefruit and nostalgia for your Texan childhood.

That last part may just be for me 🙂
Grapefruit KolachesGive the finished kolaches another brush of melted butter before digging in.
Grapefruit KolachesWhether or not you are familiar with these Czech pastries, you are in for a treat! Grapefruit Kolaches are super soft and buttery and the grapefruit filling has the perfect sweet-tart balance. One (or two) paired with a cup of coffee can make almost anyone happy to be awake.
Grapefruit KolachesAs if there were any doubt, I’m always happy to be Texan.Grapefruit Kolaches

Grapefruit Kolaches
makes about 22 pastries

1/2 cup (1 stick) + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature

Filling:
1 cup grapefruit curd (recipe below)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Posypka (Crumble):
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

The night before you want to eat kolaches, makethe dough. Cut 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter into 8 pieces.Combine butter, whole milk, and sour cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Melt together, stirring occasionally, until mixture is warm to the touch (about 115F). Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to prove for 5 minutes. Mixture will have just a few small bubbles.

Add 1 cup of the flour, the lemon zest, and salt to the wet ingredients. Fold together. Fold in beaten eggs, followed by 2 1/4 more cups of flour. Dough will be very soft and a bit sticky.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes before forming into a ball. Dough may be challenging to manipulate—use a bench scraper for easiest kneading. Grease a mixing bowl with oil. Place dough ball in the bowl, being sure to grease it on all sides. Press plastic wrap to the surface of the dough. Refrigerate overnight, about 8-12 hours.

In the morning, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Remove dough from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to cut kolaches, rerolling as necessary. Place 3 inches apart on prepared pans.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Brush on the tops of cut kolache dough. Loosely cover with plastic wrap (or greased foil) and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small bowl, use a fork to stir together grapefruit curd and flour until combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make the posypka (crumble). Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until crumbly.

Position oven racks near the center. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Remove plastic wrap from one baking sheet of dough. Flour the back of a tablespoon and press it into the center of one kolache to make a well. Immediately fill with 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) of grapefruit filling. Flour the tablespoon again and repeat process with all remaining kolaches on the baking pan. Top all kolaches with a big pinch of the posypka. Repeat process with remaining baking sheet.

Bake kolaches uncovered for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans front to back at the 6 Minute mark. They will be barely-golden when they are done. Brush bakes kolaches with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Let kolaches cool slightly on the pans. Serve warm.

Kolaches are best the day they are made, but may be refrigerated for a couple of days. Warm before serving.

Grapefruit Curd
makes about 1 1/3 cups

1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice, from about 2 large grapefruits
2 tablespoons grapefruit zest, from about 2 large grapefruits
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice, from about 1/2 medium lemon
1 large egg + 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 24 small cubes

Pour grapefruit juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 2/3 cup (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

In the heatproof bowl, whisk together grapefruit zest, sugar, warm grapefruit reduction, lemon juice, and eggs. Set bowl over the pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens slightly (it should coat the back of a spoon). Add butter 1-2 cubes at a time, whisking until melted. Continue until all butter is used. This should take 11-15 minutes total.

Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium mixing bowl. Push curd through sieve to remove zest. Transfer curd to a jar (or other container) and press a piece of plastic wrap to the top. Chill well.

Grapefruit KolachesGrapefruit Curd

Palmiers, Two Ways

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers (you might know them as “Elephant Ears”) are a simple pastry made by rolling a thin layer of filling into a sheet of flaky pastry dough. If you’re anything like me, you spent way too much of the early 2000s watching Ina Garten make them on the Food Network.

Palmiers, Two WaysThe whole appeal of palmiers is that they’re stupid easy and make you look like you know things about French pastry. It’s super common to use frozen puff pastry for palmiers–Ina does it, and until a couple of weeks ago, that’s all I’d ever used too. After using a sheet of rough puff pastry leftover from making Maple Pear Tarts though, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using the packaged stuff. I mean, look at these layers 😍

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysYou can certainly use frozen puff pastry (preferably the all-butter stuff) for today’s recipes, but I encourage you to try your hand at making rough puff. Pastry is intimidating to many home cooks, but this one is about as easy as if gets. As I said a couple of weeks ago, it’s easier than pie dough.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysThe possibilities for filling are nearly endless. Since the pastry doesn’t contain any sugar on its own, it works well with both sweet and savory fillings. Basically, if it can be spread or scattered, it can almost certainly be rolled into a palmier. I mean, if you play your cards right, you can start and end your meal with these elegant little pastries.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysIf you’re looking for a way to spice up your Turkey Day hors d’oeuvres spread, look no further than my Spinach Artichoke Palmiers. They’re filled with a slightly deconstructed version of my mom’s Artichoke Dip: a slick of mayonnaise, some chopped artichokes, and grated parmesan. I added spinach to bulk them up a bit, but you can leave it out if you like. I might swap it for chopped green chilies next time.

Palmiers, Two WaysAs far as dessert goes, I love the idea of serving a plate of Pumpkin Palmiers alongside a pot of coffee. And pie.

Palmiers, Two WaysWhat?! It’s Thanksgiving. It’s a two-dessert day. Three, if you count the Apple Cider Coffee Cake that you absolutely should make for breakfast. Anyway…

Palmiers, Two WaysPumpkin Palmiers are filled with a very pared down version of pumpkin pie filling: a light brushing of butter, pumpkin purée, three tablespoons of light brown sugar, and some pumpkin pie spice. Mix everything up and spread it all over the pastry.

Palmiers, Two WaysRoll up the dough and give it a chill.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysSlice up the palmiers and give them a quick brush with milk and a sprinkling of coarse sugar.

Palmiers, Two WaysIf you’re making the Spinach Artichoke version, swap the sugar for parmesan–toasty cheese, y’all 🙌🏻🙌🏻

Palmiers, Two WaysNo matter which kind of palmiers you’re making, the baking process is the same. Let them go for ten minutes at 400F. Flip them over, brush them with more milk and sprinkle on more coarse sugar (or cheese). Let them bake for ten more minutes and then, well…

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysThis is the part where you pretend you know things about French pastry.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysAnd I mean, after making palmiers from scratch, you sort of do.
Palmiers, Two Ways

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysSpinach Artichoke Palmiers {Elephant Ears}
makes about 1.5 dozen small pastries

Rough Puff Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For the palmiers:
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water
5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons mayonnaise 
1 cup grated Parmesan or grana padano cheese, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3-4 tablespoons milk

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the palmiers. Line a plate with paper towels. Drain artichoke hearts and transfer to a cutting board. Blog with paper towels. Slice them in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Place thawed chopped spinach in the center of a clean hand towel. Working over a bowl or sink, gather the edges of the towel and wring out all the excess water from the spinach. Set aside.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Spread mayonnaise onto the dough, leaving a thin border on the edges. Scatter artichoke hearts and spinach over the top, followed by 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and a few grinds of black pepper. Working with one side at a time, tightly roll the two long sides of the dough toward each other until they meet in the middle. Carefully wrap the long tube of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment.

Remove filled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and transfer to a cutting board. Blocking the end with your fingers or a bench scraper (so no filling gets out), use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the dough in 1/2-inch slices and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 10 minutes. Flip palmiers with a spatula, brush with more milk and sprinkle with more Parmesan. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan on a rack before removing to a serving plate. Palmiers are best the day they are made.

Pumpkin Palmiers {Elephant Ears}
makes about 1.5 dozen small pastries

Rough Puff Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For the palmiers:
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon coarse sugar (I used turbinado)

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the palmiers. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together pumpkin purée, light brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Brush dough with butter. Spread pumpkin filling onto the dough, leaving a thin border on the edges. Working with one side at a time, tightly roll the two long sides of the dough toward each other until they meet in the middle. Carefully wrap the long tube of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment.

Remove filled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and transfer to a cutting board. Blocking the end with your fingers or a bench scraper (so no filling gets out), use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the dough in 1/2-inch slices and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 10 minutes. Flip palmiers with a spatula, brush with more milk and sprinkle with more coarse sugar. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan on a rack before removing to a serving plate. Palmiers are best the day they are made.