If you’re still scrambling to find a cookie to bake for your family’s holiday gathering, look no further. These peppermint palmiers from the Institute of Culinary Education are equal parts festive and delicious. They’re easy as well; instead of asking you to make the dough from scratch, the recipe calls for a premade ingredient that chefs swear by.
According to the recipe author and ICE chef Carrie Smith, home bakers are nearly always better off buying frozen puff pastry from the supermarket than making their own. “To make puff pastry, it’s pretty labor intensive. We teach it at the school but it’s not something I would make even if I were home,” she tells Mental Floss. “When I had my own businesses, I just always bought it. It was just easier, very consistent.”
She recommends moving the puff pastry from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to use it to ensure it thaws evenly. Once it’s defrosted, unfold a single sheet onto your workspace. Spritz it all over with water and cover it with granulated sugar before folding each side of the sheet toward the center three times. Repeat the step by spritzing one side of the dough with water and sprinkling it with sugar. Fold it in half and let it chill in the fridge for half an hour.
To bake the cookies, slice the chilled pastry into half-inch slices and coat the segments in the remaining sugar. Bake in a 400°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, flip them over, then bake for 2 minutes more. Once the palmiers have reached room temperature, decorate them by dipping one side in melted chocolate and coating them with crushed peppermint candy.
Based in Los Angeles and New York City, the Institute of Culinary Education offers a wide array of classes in hospitality management and the culinary arts. If you’re interested in learning how to make more recipes like the one below, you can browse their curricula on their website.
By Carrie Smith, Chef at the Institute of Culinary Education
Yields: 12 palmiers
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups dark coating chocolate
1 cup peppermint crumbles
Prepare the dough
1. Lay out the sheet of puff pastry on your work space.
2. Spritz water across its surface, then spread 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar across it.
3. Fold each side of the sheet toward the center three times.
4. Spritz one side of the dough with water and then sprinkle granulated sugar across the dough.
5. Fold over and chill for 30 minutes.
6. Slice the dough into 1⁄2 inch slices and dredge each in granulated sugar.
7. Place slices onto a silicone mat-lined tray.
8. Bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Flip each cookie and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
10. Let cool at room temperature.
11. Melt the coating chocolate in short bursts in the microwave in a double boiler.
12. Dip one side of each cookie on an angle into the chocolate and place onto a paper-lined tray.
13. Sprinkle the dipped side with crushed peppermint crumbles.
14. Chill for 10 minutes to set the chocolate and store at room temperature.