No school, no stress, all baking.
Okay guys - if anyone is in my predicament, it's been a few days into the holiday season and there are cookies everywhere I look. I curse myself as I shove flavor after flavor of flaky goodness into my mouth and then I realize that most of the stuff I'm putting down my throat is cookies that I've made - which is why I more or less have to give them away...immediately.
These gingersnap palmiers has been an absolute holiday FAVORITE this year.
These beautiful cookies are made with puff pastry layered with a mix of gingerbread like ingredients carefully melted into a molasses syrup and a sugar dusting. When they bake - they wallow in bubbling goo and beg to be brushed with more syrup. And the best part? They're made with a little bit of fresh ginger - and the hint of ginger root is not at all overpowering. It's subtle, spicy, warm, and everything the holidays embody. Every bite makes you want to just close your eyes and get lost in the flavors.
They're crispy, they're crunchy, they're abso-freaking-shove-in-your-mouth-worthy. Even better? They're a creative change from the usual sugar and short bread assortment of the season (don't worry, there will be a post of those too).
I've heard a few of you are making these recipes - you guys gotta try this one out! Fair warning: there is a good amount of time that these guys have to sit in the freezer so they are a good prep now and bake later treat. They're a little more challenging technically than the other posts but man, are they worth it.
They make for great gifts for others, or yourself. I just packed up the last of these to give away (thank goodness)
Happy Holidays to all of you wonderful readers!! More to come!
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies (one of my favorite go to holiday cook books)
14 ounces thawed frozen puff pastry - cut into two 10X7 inch pieces
For the molasses syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (the best part!)
1/4 cup water
For the sugar coatings
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (yup, it's delicious)
Mix all of the ingredients for the molasses together in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Let the goo slightly thicken and let the flavors of ginger and christmas waft through your kitchen for 1-2 more minutes and then let cool.
While your goo is cooling, mix the ingredients for your sugar mixture in another bowl.
Time to start on the dough! It's very important that your puff pastry is fully thawed. If not, it will crack at the seams and you will be unable to roll these guys into their characteristic buttery-fly (ha!) shape. I did the whole assembly process on a sheet of saran wrap - I found that it was the easiest method.
Take a generous amount of your sugar mixture and spread it around the saran wrap to about the size of your first 10X7 inch thawed puff pastry. Then, put your puff pastry onto this sugar and slightly press the sugar into your pastry with a rolling pin. Next, brush a thick layer of molasses syrup onto the non-sugared side of your pastry which should now be facing you. Then, using that syrup like a glue, sprinkle another generous amount of sugar. Set your sugar mixture aside and cover your syrup as well. Don't toss it!
To make the palmier shapes, start rolling lengthwise on each side of your pastry and meet in the middle. Seal the middle with some more syrup. Now, here is why working with saran wrap works well. The leftover sugar that you didn't get onto the outside will still be on the saran wrap. Just wrap your roll of palmier with this saran wrap tightly and pop it into the freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight - ensuring maximum sugar contact! Repeat for your 2nd sheet!
Now that your rolls are hardened, preheat your oven to 425F and take your saran wrapped palmiers out of the freezer and cut with seal side down into 1/2 inch pieces. You should get about 3 dozen out of your two rolls. Roll each of your little guys in the sugar and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten with the palms of your hands a little bit so they spread out.
Pop them into the oven for 8 minutes. They'll be bubbly and delicious! Take them out and reduce to 400F. While they are out and sitting, brush the side that is not on the baking sheet with syrup and flip your cookies. Back into the oven for 8 more minutes and then let them cook completely. The syrup will harden up like candy as it cools and they'll get this glaze that will make you want to lick it off right then and there and burn off your tongue, but don't do it - not recommended.
**note: the original recipe called for 10 minutes baking at both the 425 and 400 oven settings but I found that this left some of my babies burnt, so 8 was a safe bet for me - always a good idea to do a tester batch**
^^ adorable gift idea - pack in jars and tie with a festive ribbon! I'm definitely doubling the recipe next year...oor....tomorrow.