Barefoot Contessa's Palmiers (Elephant Ear) Cookies

Despite the fact that there was a pastry or chocolate shop around every corner in Paris, I felt like my apartment's kitchen would have gone to complete waste if I didn't bake at least once.  After finding a tart pan in the kitchen cabinet, I came up with grand plans to assemble a strawberry tart with fruit I purchased from the market. 

There were two major flaws in my brilliant plan - I completely forgot ingredients for one key tart component, the cream filling. In addition, I purchased puff pastry, not pie crust. Sacré bleu! I blame all the rosé. 

While standing in my little kitchen I thought about what Ina Garten would do - when life gives her puff pastry and sugar, she makes palmiers. Problem solved.

These cookies are also fondly known as "Elephant Ears". They are incredibly easy to make, and the results will make you look like a baking pro. I can't confirm or deny the fact that we may have eaten the entire plate within 24 hours. 

Palmiers - Ina Garten

Total time: 35 minutes (prep 25 min, cook 10 min)

Makes: 18-22 cookies


  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 sheets puff pastry, defrosted


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1/2 cup of the sugar/salt mixture on a flat surface such as wooden board or marble. Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. You want an even covering of sugar.

3. With a rolling pin, or a bottle of vino in my case, roll the dough until it's 13 by 13-inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom. As you can see, mine was not a square. No big deal if the shape is a bit off. 

4. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers.

5. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. 

6. Bake the cookies for 6 minutes until caramelized and brown on the bottom. If they aren't completely golden, don't worry! The image below shows the cookies on both sides after 6 minutes - the top cookie hasn't been flipped, the bottom one has. Turn all the cookies with a spatula and bake another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.