Palmiers might just be the perfect cookie: crisp, buttery layers of puff pastry encased in caramelized sugar. It’s hard to improve on something so classically perfect, but we think our version with cardamom, pecans, and vanilla bean comes pretty close.
- ½ cup (57 grams) pecan halves
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cardamom
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved*
- ½ (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine pecans, sugar, salt, cardamom, and vanilla bean seeds. Process until mixture is uniformly incorporated and is the texture of fine sand.
- Pour about half of sugar mixture onto work surface. Place puff pastry on top, and sprinkle with additional sugar mixture. Begin rolling pastry, working quickly, incorporating more sugar (as you would when flouring your board while rolling piecrust or cookies). Roll up dough, jelly-roll style, beginning with each long end and meeting in the middle. Place rolled dough in the freezer until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spritz with water.
- Cut dough log into ¼-inch thick slices, and place palmiers about 2 inches apart on prepared pan. (See Note.) Freeze sliced cookies for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake palmiers for 8 to 10 minutes, turning with a spatula halfway through baking. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
*We used Heilala Vanilla Beans.