So I was looking for something simple to make for a thank-you gift for some friends who did us a favor– I always promise baked goods for things like this. Since our friends had little kids I wanted to make sure that whatever I made was relatively mess-free, as well as being easy to eat and not too outrageously sugary. When I thought of palmiers I knew I’d hit on the right idea. But you know me, I never let well enough alone– I wasn’t going to go to the trouble of making my own puff pastry (it never turns out well for me) so I had to doctor them up somehow.
I decided to forego the (delicious, but overdone) options of chocolate or Nutella and try something more interesting– orange and cinnamon. The subtle freshness of the orange sets off the warmth of the cinnamon and ginger for a great variation on this rich, buttery classic. The texture is shatteringly crisp with just a hint of chew at the end, and the bottoms are lightly caramelized. These would be lovely with tea, or maybe an orange-infused hot chocolate.
Orange Spice Palmiers
1 package store-bought puff pastry
1 large orange, zested and juiced
1/3 cup coarse sugar, plus additional for final sprinkling
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Combine your 1/3 cup sugar with the zest of the orange and the spices.
3. Sprinkle one extra tablespoon of the plain sugar over your rolling surface. Spread out one sheet of thawed puff pastry on top of the sugar and press down to embed it in.
3. Brush the puff pastry with orange juice and sprinkle half of the sugar/spice/zest mixture over it.
4. Roll opposite edges of pastry towards the center until they meet.
5. Repeat with remaining pastry and sugar to make two rolls.
6. Chill rolls in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes, then slice into 1/2″ thick slices and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at least 2″ apart.
5. Sprinkle the tops with more sugar and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.
(I know, I know, I’m showing before and after from two different batches, but the ones on the right started off looking just like the ones on the left, I promise. Bottom line: leave lots of space between these!
- I specified chilling these in the fridge instead of the freezer for a reason– I baked two batches of these, and the ones that were frozen didn’t puff up nearly as much as the ones that were just chilled. On the other hand, it may have been due to…
- Using parchment instead of foil. The palmiers I baked on foil were a lot harder to get off of the baking sheet– the caramelized (in this case, also slightly burned) sugar was extremely sticky, so I would definitely recommend parchment paper or a silicone pan liner. Maybe the sugar caramelized and stuck to the sheets so well that the pastry couldn’t expand? I may never know…
- If you want these to be even prettier, you may want to make a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, brought to a boil and then cooled) to brush over them when they’re right out of the oven. It’ll make them gorgeously shiny.
- By the way, you don’t need to fully juice your orange– a quarter or even a half of it will provide enough juice to brush your dough with. Though I suppose you could use more juice instead of water to make brushing syrup as noted above, for extra orange flavor.