Blogging about a variety of things I enjoy. Also peddling my wares at Thicket and Thistle on Etsy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

i gained 20 lbs. during my semester abroad off of these

Palmeritas (little palms, also known as elephant ears in the United States and palmiers in France) were a huge weakness of mine during my semester abroad en Espanya way back when (relatively). I used to pick up a dozen of the light, flaky, sweet, buttery cookies from the bakery at the Mas y Mas supermercado and hide them in the drawer of my nightstand so that the abuelita I lived with wouldn't know I was eating outside of the meals she cooked for me. Living abroad in someone else's home and being an imperfect Spanish speaker, I felt little control over my life and so I resorted to a sugary way to make and implement my own decisions. Galletas. Cookie upon cookie, day after day. By the end of my five months there, Donya Rosa told me my shirts had gotten quite tight around my chest and belly and advised me not to eat so much dessert (this was in the context of having a banana after lunch - hardly a postre to me - had she found my stash of sweets?). I returned home and shed the excess weight but my love of palmeritas stayed put. I've used the below recipe, adapted a bit (i.e., more sugar) from Epicurious, ever since I returned Stateside. Shall we begin?
First, thaw a package of square puff pastry sheets (generally two to a box). The dough needs to be room temp so it's pliable. Also, preheat your oven to 400F.
Sprinkle a thin, even-ish coating of granulated sugar (add a little cinnamon if you wish) over a flat surface. Lay down one of the pastry sheets; sprinkle sugar on top. Press the sugar into the dough a bit with your fingers to make sure it's embedded enough to stick.
Gently fold one side over to reach the midway point of the dough. Do the same with the other side to create a narrow vertical opening in the center. The dough should now be half as wide as when you started.
Repeat this process, folding each side into the center of the dough so that the width of the dough is a quarter of it's original size.
Roll the two sides together, along the same vertical crease, so that you have a log shape.
Carefully slice across the log in about 1/4-in. increments to create the individual cookies.
Press the palmeritas in a small pile of extra sugar so they're coated all around.

Arrange on a baking sheet, leaving enough room for them to puff peacefully.
Bake at 400F for 12 minutes, flip, and finish in the oven for about 5 minutes more.

Hay que lindas! The palmeritas will be half chewy, half crispy once they've cooled. Expect a little caramelization, which adds to the chewiness. Reduce the sugar if you don't enjoy this browning.