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Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
I love making palmiers! They’re an incredibly easy cookie that only requires a few ingredients, and that crisp, flaky texture is to die for! So today for Day 10 of my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, I knew I had to share these cinnamon palmiers. They’re the classic puff pastry palmiers recipe, with an added touch of brown sugar and spice. So quick and easy, and so perfect for a simple holiday treat!
What is a palmier?
Palmiers are a light puff pastry cookie originating in Algeria in the early 20th century. They’re enjoyed all over the world under different names: Schweineohren (pig’s ears) in Germany, orejas (ears) in Latin America, ulleres (eyeglasses) in Catalonia, and butterfly pastries in China. They’re typically made simply, with pastry and sugar, but in many variations can contain other ingredients or be topped with honey or chocolate.
In my experience, there’s a reason why palmiers are so popular all over the world. They’re easy to make and so tasty — what’s not to love? And to me, this variation, cinnamon palmiers, is a perfect spin on the classic.
Here’s what you’ll need for these cinnamon palmiers:
- store-bought frozen puff pastry – I always keep a box of frozen puff pastry in the fridge in case I want to make a quick batch of palmiers. I typically use Pepperidge Farm, but you can use any frozen puff pastry you like — just be sure to thaw it first!
- turbinado sugar – raw sugar gives the outside of these palmiers that signature crunchy coating.
- ground cinnamon – cinnamon really shines in this recipe, since it’s the main flavor. That said, I don’t like to use too much of it so that it’s not overpowering. I usually only use about a tablespoon or two.
- light brown sugar – goes perfectly with the flavor of the cinnamon! Typically, palmiers are made with white sugar, but I find the brown sugar gives these cinnamon palmiers a nice caramelized flavor.
- salt – optional, but recommended to bring out the cinnamon flavor.
This recipe is SO easy — you won’t need a mixer, a mixing bowl, even a spoon! All you’ll need is a rolling pan and a prepared baking sheet and you’re ready to go!
Step by Step
- Roll out your puff pastry dough. You’ll want to sprinkle some turbinado sugar and roll the puff pastry on top of it to flatten it a bit. This will help to ensure that the outside edges of your cinnamon palmiers are coated in that crunchy sugar.
- Sprinkle your cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt on top of your puff pastry. Try to keep it nice and even, so that you don’t end up with pockets where the filling is overly thick.
- Fold your puff pastry in from the sides, so that the outside flaps are now halfway to the center of the pastry. Try not to let the brown sugar and cinnamon spill out. Then fold the edges over themselves again so that both sides of the puff pastry meet in the middle. Finally, fold the puff pastry together like a book. You should end up with a long, thin roll of pastry. If necessary, now’s the time to add more turbinado sugar to the outside of the pastry roll if any fell off.
- Cut into thin slices with a sharp knife. Your pieces should each be between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch. Again, be careful not to let any of the brown sugar and cinnamon spill out the sides.
- Carefully place the palmiers flat on a lined baking sheet, spaced two inches apart. At this point I like to flatten the palmiers a bit so that the two swirls on either side have a rounder shape.
- Bake! Once they’ve baked for 6 minutes, carefully flip each palmier and continue baking for about 4 minutes. They should be golden brown on the edges. Once they’re done, take them out, immediately transfer your cinnamon palmiers to a cooling rack, and cool them completely before enjoying!
Tips and variations
- Use parchment paper. For this cinnamon recipe, I recommend using parchment paper to line your baking sheet rather than a silicon baking liner, since the excess brown sugar will definitely caramelize on your baking pan. It’s just easier to toss parchment paper than it is to clean hardened sugar on your silicone liner.
- Enjoy your cinnamon palmiers as soon as they’re cool. This is one recipe that doesn’t stand up well to being stored for later. You can store them in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container, but you’ll likely need to crisp them up in the oven for a few minutes after thawing.
- If you like, add vanilla or salted caramel icing! This cinnamon palmiers recipe has a lot in common with my pie crust cookie twists recipe. And just like with that recipe, these cookies would be amazing drizzled with a sweet vanilla icing or salted caramel! Check out that recipe post for the recipes for the icing and caramel sauce.
If you like these cinnamon palmiers, chances are high that you’ll also enjoy these coconut palmiers! They’re a very similar recipe and technique, but with shredded coconut instead of cinnamon! I definitely recommend checking them out!
Also, these Oatmeal Cookie Bars with Brown Butter and Salted Nutella Swirl are one of my latest 12 Days of Christmas Cookies recipes and a new favorite of mine! The salted Nutella swirl is incredible and makes these oatmeal cookie bars irresistible!
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
- On a clean surface, evenly sprinkle ½ cup of the turbinado sugar. Lay first sheet of puff pastry on the sugar, and roll with a rolling pin to press into the sugar below it.
- Top pastry evenly with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.
- Fold the sides of the puff pastry towards the center so they are halfway to the middle, and then fold both sides again so that they meet at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other like a book.
- Repeat steps 2-4 with the second puff pastry sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, slice pastry rolls across into ¼ inch pieces and carefully lay on baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 6 minutes or until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and, using a thin spatula, carefully flip pastry over. Bake for another 4-5 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Cool completely before serving.
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