Ditch the Gingerbread Men in Favor of Gingersnap Palmiers

I enjoy croissants, appreciate brioche, and have been known to eat a madeleine or two. But, the one French pastry I'll never, ever turn down is a good palmier. It's that weightless flakiness, caramelized crust, and buttery end note that get me every time.

I'd never attempted to make palmiers; I was afraid it would end up disastrous and tarnish my image of them as The Perfect Cookie. But, when I encountered a recipe for gingerbread palmiers and realized I had all the ingredients, I knew it was time to get over my fear.

Making palmiers requires some attention, but it's not nearly as hard as you might imagine. Set your cookie plate apart from the others when you read more.

Gingersnap Palmiers

Gingersnap Palmiers

Gingersnap Palmiers

Ingredients

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
14 ounces good-quality thawed frozen puff pastry, such as Dufour

Directions

  1. Bring brown sugar, molasses, ginger, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Simmer until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour syrup into a bowl; let cool.
  2. Whisk granulated sugar, salt, and spices in a bowl. Lightly sprinkle sugar mixture over a clean work surface; place puff pastry on top. Cut into two 10 1/2-by-7-inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture; press into pastry with a rolling pin. Brush generously with syrup.
  3. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll in from both long sides, meeting in the center; brush with syrup to seal. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture. Wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours (up to overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip slices in sugar mixture. Space 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten with your palm. Freeze 30 minutes.
  5. Bake 10 minutes. Flip, and brush with syrup. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until darkened, 10 minutes more. Transfer palmiers to a wire rack; let cool completely. Palmiers can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

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