These cinnamon palmiers are vegan and wonderfully delicious! Inspired by the famous French puff pastry biscuit, these crunchy and sweet cookies are so easy to make with just a few ingredients.
What is a palmier?
A palmier is a French type of cookie made from puff pastry. They take their name from their characteristic shape, which is said to resemble a palm tree leaf.
You might also come across these cookies called ‘elephant ears’ or butterfly cookies and many countries have their own version.
In Germany you’ll find them in bakeries, where they are called Schweineohren, or pig’s ears. And in Spain they are known as palmeras de hojaldre and often dipped in chocolate.
Wherever they come from, they all have one thing in common. They’re crisp and oh so delicious!
Are palmiers vegan?
Traditionally, these cookies are made with butter puff pastry. But it’s really easy to make them vegan, by using a vegan puff pastry.
We added some ground almonds to the recipe, which does an awesome job of adding some of the rich and buttery taste that traditional palmiers have. And some cinnamon to add a warm touch of spice!
You can use a sheet of puff pastry. These sheets conveniently come pre-rolled and make things really easy for you!
Pre rolled sheets come in different sizes. If your amount of puff pastry differs from the recipe, simply increase the fillings.
We actually used half a block of vegan puff pastry that we rolled out into a sheet. If using a frozen block, let it defrost overnight in the fridge.
Most Jus-Rol pastry is suitable for vegans (just check the packaging). In the US, Pepperidge Farm is vegan too.
We recommend granulated sugar as it’s coarseness adds a nice texture. Darker sugars such as demerara or brown sugar can bring a caramel flavour as well.
Feel free to mix or vary the type of sugar to your tastes.
You can use store bought or freshly ground like we do. Ground almonds are also known as almond meal.
To make your own, simply put whole almonds, with or without skin, in a food processor or grinder and pulse until coarsely ground. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer.
Step by step
Some recipes simply roll up their palmier from each side, but we do it by folding and gently firming together with a rolling pin instead.
We learnt this technique from a French kitchen and find it makes the uncooked dough easier to work with and results in neater shapes.
Step 1 - If you use block style puff pastry, roll it out on a lightly floured board into a rectangle to 10 inches wide (25 cm) and about ⅛ inch thick (3mm). If using a pre-rolled puff pastry sheet, remove from the packaging and peel off the baking paper.
Step 2 - Mix the sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon and sprinkle half on a wooden board, place the pastry on top, and then sprinkle the remaining sugar mix on top.
Step 3 - Roll gently over the pastry lengthwise so that the sugar and nut mix presses into and sticks to the pastry.
Step 4 - Fold the two long sides into the centre so they meet in the middle.
Step 5 - Then repeat this step, folding both sides to the centre again.
Step 6 - Finally, fold the bottom half up over the top and gently roll over the length with the rolling pin to lightly press the pastry together.
Step 7 - With a sharp knife, cut the rolled up pastry into slices ¼ inch or 6mm thick.
Step 8 - Lay the pieces on lined baking sheets with the filling sides facing up, and about 2 inches or 5cm between them.
Step 9 - Bake at 200C or 390F for 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown.
Watch them carefully as they can easily over bake or burn, especially if your oven cooks unevenly. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When cool transfer to an airtight container for storage. They’re nicest when they are fresh and at their crispest, but should keep for several days.
If using a pastry block, get it out of the fridge around 15 minutes before rolling. That will make it easier to roll out.
When assembling don't roll out the pastry too thin, or press too hard, as this can lead to your palmiers not puffing up so well when cooking. A gentle pressure along the length of the dough is all that is needed.
If you are finding the rolled up dough tricky to slice, you can chill it in the fridge for at least an hour, or pop it in the freezer for around 15 minutes.
We don’t find chilling necessary with this cinnamon sugar filled version, but if you make palmiers with a more liquid filling, you’ll find chilling is essential for easy slicing.
Once you know how to shape and bake palmiers, you’ll find there’s so many ways you can vary them, both sweet and savoury.
Here’s a few different filling ideas:
- Grated vegan cheese
- Some pesto
- Garlic and herbs
- Vegan chocolate and hazelnut spread
- Chopped dried fruit and orange zest
With the more liquid fillings you won’t want to roll them into the pastry, just spread them on top, fold then chill before slicing.
Chocolate dipped palmiers
As an optional bonus, you can dip either half the cookie or the whole cinnamon palmier in chocolate. Here’s how:
- Finely chop a bar of dark vegan chocolate.
- Place a heatproof bowl containing half the chopped chocolate over a saucepan of gently boiling water, and stir until fully molten.
- Remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the remaining chocolate and mix until smooth.
- Dip the cool cookies in the chocolate, and leave to set on a lined baking sheet.
We hope you enjoyed these cinnamon palmiers! If you are making them for the holidays, check out our Vegan Christmas Cookie Guide and FAQs for lots of handy tips.
- 1 sheet (250 g) vegan puff pastry or ½ block
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (25 g) ground almonds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 200°C or 390°F.
Shaping the palmiers (See step by step pictures above)
- If you are using a block of puff pastry, roll it out into a rectangle 10 inches wide (25 cm) and about ⅛ inch thick (3mm). If using a pre-rolled puff pastry sheet, remove from the packaging and peel off the baking paper.
- Mix the sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon together, then sprinkle half the mixture on a wooden board, place the pastry on top, and sprinkle the remaining sugar mix on top.
- With a rolling pin, roll gently over the pastry so that the sugar and nut mix presses into and sticks to the pastry so that it is evenly covered.
- Fold the two long sides into the centre so they meet in the middle.
- Then repeat this step, folding both sides over again to meet in the centre.
- Finally fold the bottom half up over the top and, with your rolling pin, gently roll over the length to lightly press the pastry together.
- With a sharp knife, cut the rolled up pastry into slices ¼ inch or 6mm thick.
- Lay the pieces on lined baking sheets with the filling sides facing up, and about 2 inches or 5cm between them.
- Bake at 200°C or 390°F for 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown. Watch them carefully as they can easily over bake or burn.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- When cool transfer to an airtight container for storage. They’re nicest when they are fresh and at their crispest, but should keep for several days.