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Orange Scented Palmiers

yield: 2 dozen miniature cookies

Special Equipment

  • a pastry dough blender
  • a pastry bench scraper


For the Rough Puff Pastry Dough

    (makes around 1 pound)

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup very cold water

    For the Orange Scented Palmiers

    • fresh zest from 1 orange
    • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling


    For the Rough Puff Pastry Dough

    • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut 1 cup cold butter into thick, 1-inch slabs:
    • Add the butter to the flour and salt mixture and toss with your hands or a rubber spatula to coat with flour. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is dry and rough with 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks of butter:
    • Drizzle 1/2 cup very cold water and continue cutting the butter into the flour until you get a shaggy dough that barely hangs together:
    • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rough rectangle, then roll into a 6 by 18 inch rectangle, flouring the rolling pin as necessary. It’s okay if the dough is ragged at first — it will eventually come together:
    • Once the dough is in the rough shape of a rectangle (it doesn't have to be perfect as this point), use a pastry bench scraper to bring the dough together and clean up the edges:
    • With the bench scraper, carefully scrape the dough from the work surface and fold both short ends toward each other so they meet in the middle:

    • Fold one half over the other half to make an approximate 4 by 6 inch rectangle, using the pastry scraper to clean up the edges:
    • Now, use your rolling pin to re-roll the slab of dough you just made into an approximate 6 by 18 inch rectangle. Repeat the folding technique above. If your dough has gotten too soft, place in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Once you've rerolled and refolded the dough, it should start to come together and be less shaggy than the previous slab:
    • Wrap this slab in plastic and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes to re-harden.
    • Once the dough has chilled for 20 minutes, re-roll into another 6 by 18-inch rectangle. Roll and fold the dough again as directed above, flouring lightly as needed:

    • As you go through the process, you'll notice the dough coming together and becoming smoother. Be sure to continue using a pastry scraper to clean up the edges to get this smooth effect. The dough should be smooth with visible flecks of butter:
    • Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

    For the Orange-Scented Palmiers

    • Sprinkle work surface with 1 cup granulated sugar. Place the chilled puff pastry on top of the granulated sugar and roll to a rectangle 8 by 26 inches and approximately 1/8 inch thick, continually sprinkling with additional sugar to prevent the dough from sticking.
    • Sprinkle orange zest evenly over the rolled pastry dough. Working quickly but gently, roll the short end of the rectangle to the center of the pastry, making sure to roll tightly and evenly. Freeze the rolled log for 20 minutes, until very firm but not frozen. Use a knife to slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, placing the palmiers 2 inches apart on water-sprayed baking sheets. Sprinkle more granulated sugar on the top of each palmier before covering with plastic wrap and freezing for at least 1 hour.
    • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake palmiers 8 to 10 minutes, until golden on the underside. Flip with a spatula, pressing down to flatten if palmiers seem to be unrolling. Bake 4 to 6 minutes more, watching carefully, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.