French Palmier Cookies


Because it can be used for so many different things, this palmiers recipe has quickly become a family favorite.

Puff pastry is used to make palmiers, a traditional French cookie/pastry. Palmiers, also known as palm leaves, French hearts, pig ears, or elephant ears, are a type of pastry that can be eaten for breakfast, a snack, or a dessert.

Around the world, palmier cookies are known by various names. Bakeries and panaderas in Mexico sell a similar puff pastry biscuit called orejas (Spanish for “ears”).

Butterfly pastries, or húdié sū (蝴蝶酥), are popular in China.

Almost all bakeries in China sell these butterfly-shaped palmier cookies by the pound. As a mid-afternoon snack with tea, Judy and I would buy these in bulk while we were in Beijing and Shanghai.


Puff pastry, sugar, and a touch of salt are all that’s needed to make a classic palmier. Puff pastry is a layered dough that is rolled and folded over to create flaky layers of dough and butter.

Puff pastry can be purchased at the supermarket, but we have a simple recipe for rough puff pastry that you can use to make your own. Puff pastry cooked from scratch has no preservatives or shortening, and is far tastier than most store-bought puff pastry.


Yes! Palmiers can be frozen ahead of time for parties or for personal consumption if you prefer a couple at a time straight out of the oven. I can make them in the toaster oven in only a few minutes!

Prepare palmier cookies on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for at least an hour or until they’re hardened. Stack them neatly in containers and place them in the freezer fast (they defrost easily!).

For up to a month, they can be preserved in this manner.

Helpful Tips

  • The bottoms of your palmier cookies will be less likely to burn if you line the baking sheet with foil and parchment paper.
  • It is important to work fast yet carefully when rolling, shaping, and slicing the puff pastry since sugar softens it.
  • Return the puff pastry dough to the refrigerator or freezer to cool and stiffen it back up if it becomes mushy when folding.
  • On the baking sheet, give your palmiers room to grow. While baking, puff pastry swells and puffs up.


  • 1 recipe of rough puff pastry
  • 100g of granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt


  1. Make the sauce first. Mix a chunk of tamarind pulp the size of 1 x 2 inches (2.5 x 5 cm) with 1/2 cup of boiling water (you can add a little more if needed to dissolve the paste). The pulp should be broken up in hot water before being forced through a fine-mesh strainer. Throw away the solids. Add the sugar, fish sauce, Thai black soy sauce, Thai sweet soy sauce (if using), and white pepper to the liquid tamarind concentrate you created. Place aside.
  2. Pad Thai noodles should be soaked in hot water for 20 minutes or so, then drained in a strainer. To make stir-frying easier, you should chop particularly long strands of noodles into 10- to 12-inch lengths.
  3. Sliced chicken should be marinated by being mixed with 1 teaspoon each of cornstarch, water, and Thai thin soy sauce. Place aside.
  4. The dried shrimp should then be prepared by being ground into a coarse powder (we used a food processor). Prepare the eggs, mung bean sprouts, garlic chives, shallots/red onion, preserved Chinese mustard stems (zha cai), and peanuts. Before turning on the stove, you should have everything prepared.
  5. You are now prepared to cook! In your wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat until it just begins to smoke. The chicken should be added and seared until browned and nearly cooked through. Take out of the wok and place aside.
  6. 3 more teaspoons of oil should be added to the pan. Add the shrimp powder to the medium-high heat. Cook for two minutes, or until crisp and flavorful. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds after adding it. Add the zha cai and shallots. For an additional 30 seconds, stir-fry.
  7. Add the noodles and sauce, then turn the heat up to high. Stir-fry the ingredients, breaking up and spreading the noodles with your wok spatula as you do so.
  8. You can create a space on the wok’s side by pushing the noodles to one side. Add the beaten eggs and 1 more tablespoon of oil to the empty space. Gently fold them with your spatula to scramble them without overly fracturing the egg. Stir-fry the eggs to incorporate them into the noodles when they are about 70% done.
  9. The bean sprouts and chives should then be added. Combine in a stir-fry, allowing the chives to wilt. Reintroduce the chicken and stir-fry the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Place the crushed peanuts on a plate, then serve!
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