My friend Alfie called yesterday. Actually, it was one of a few conversations we had during the day. As on most days, it was quite the animated chat, a mishmash of everything we can think of talking about (movies, books, fashion, makeup, perfume, shopping, Olympics, food and wine, our Netflix Queues), as if we are on a timer, against the clock.
Alfie: "I found this this recipe I have to tell you about. It's Ina's (Garten). Fabulous! You should make these. Palmiers. Easy peasy! I made them today and they were a hit and were scarfed down immediately".
Me: Of course, shoot!" As we are both on the computer she tells me where to look up the recipe (Food Network.com) I copy it (the Ina Garten Palmier recipe has dissapeared since, overnight! It shows as an expired recipe on the site. Aww!) , print it and promise to make them and 'report later"
I was thinking: I'll give it a go and what's the worst that can happen? That they do not come out right? Right! So…off I went, to defrost the puff pastry dough I had in the freezer. The one purchased on Sunday from DeLaurenti (their own, at $2.99 per package) and that I love to keep around at all times for last minute dessert or appetizer ideas and because, let's face it, I am just too lazy to spend all day making my own.
I get the marble ready, the rolling pin, the cardamom (ground and oh so fragrant! Purchased from The Souk, at Pike Place Market) and cinnamon. With the oven pre-heated to 450F, the Exopat and Baking Sheet (both from City Kitchens) ready and plenty of sugar to roll away with, I start the Palmiers.
The process was simple, quick (the store bought puff pastry dough made all the difference) and very enjoyable. I made two batches of four Palmiers: one with cinnamon and one with cardamom. It made the kitchen and my hands smell absolutely delectable.
In the oven, at 450F, 6 minutes of baking was not enough to get the Palmiers to their golden crusty yet soft center point. So I gave them a turn and baked for 3 more minutes. The cookies looked lovely, albeit a bit unshapely. Somewhere along the way I must have not rolled them out properly or perhaps they were not chilled enough as the little curls opened up and out a little too much. The looked more like hearts than what Palmiers are supposed to look like.
But you know what? The second I took a bite of my first home made Palmier I was hooked. This first batch would never win any Blue Ribbons for looks but oh my! The flavor, the flakiness, the crunch, the tender center! Cardamom and Cinnamon, two of my favorite spices, infused these babies with such flavor and fragrance it was just impossible to resist the impulse to eat them all. By the time I thought about reaching for the camera to take a photo, the Palmiers along with a tall glass of milk were half gone.
Although I have not been a big cookie eater since my Sesame Street, grade school days, I ate all the 8 Palmiers I made last night (ok, I was home alone and they came out tiny, so there!). I'll keep practicing my rolling of the dough skills and improvising of sweet and savory flavorings and fillings for future batches (later this week). But for now, the trouble with Palmiers is that they are, for the most part, too easy to make and just too tasty to have only one.