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Elephant Ears Pastries (Palmier cookies)

Serve these elegant Elephant Ears Pastries (Palmier cookies) for dessert or tea. Or for Valentines Day! Buttery and flaky with a hit of orange-lemon zest.

Citrus Palmier Hearts, sweet flaky pastries with lemon-orange zest

I’ve been meaning to try these elephant ears pastries (also called Palmier cookies) for years. I decided to give them a shot for Valentines Day because they were shaped like hearts. Well I must say, they were very easy to make. Five ingredients, about 30 minutes and … voila!

Lots of recipes out there, as usual, and they’re all pretty much the same with some minor tweaks. I decided to add a citrus lemon-orange zest flavor which I always like.

Unfortunately, my sister called during the last 5 minutes of baking and distracted me, so the ones you see in the pictures are slightly over baked.  They should be a lighter  golden brown, not as dark as these.  I found out that if you over bake them, they get too crunchy. Mind you, my husband (my Valentine) liked them well enough to wolf down 6 in a row.

The timing will depend on how thick you slice the dough, so just watch carefully in the last few minutes. I sprinkled some leftover citrus sugar on the Elephant Ears pastries before I baked them, adding a nice caramelized finish.

Try serving them with a no-bake berry crumble or a tropical fruit salad.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • omit the citrus zest or use all lemon zest or all orange zest
  • add a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the sugar mixture (with or without the zest)
  • add some cardamon spice to the sugar mixture.

Make Ahead

  • Make these ahead and store in an airtight container. They also freeze well.

How to make palmier cookies (elephant ear pastries)

Here are the step by step pictures that follow the recipe instructions.

Citrus Palmier Hearts, sweet flaky pastries with lemon-orange zest
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Elephant Ears Pastries (Palmier cookies)

Serve these elegant elephant ears pastry (Palmier cookies) for dessert or tea. Or for Valentines Day! Buttery and flaky with a hit of orange-lemon zest.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Tea
Cuisine: French
Servings: 25 pastries
Author: Cheryl


  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • pinch salt
  • 1 sheet, frozen puff pastry, thawed about 7-8 ounces


  • Heat oven to 425F/218C.
  • PREPARE CITRUS SUGAR: Put sugar, lemon zest, orange zest and salt in a small bowl. Mix to combine.
  • ROLL DOUGH: Spread half of the sugar mixture on a cutting board lined with parchment paper. Lay the dough flat over the sugar. Sprinkle the other half of the sugar on top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 13 x 13 inches (33x33cm) square to about 1/8 inch (3mm), embedding the sugar into the dough. It's ok to have sugar left on the sides.
  • FOLD AND CUT DOUGH: Fold one side of dough to the middle. Fold the opposite side of dough to the middle. Fold the first side again to the middle, doubling it. Then the opposite side. Now fold one double-folder side on top of the other. You now one roll with 6 layers of dough. Slice the roll every 1/3 -1/2 inch (9-13mm), ending up with about 25 slices. Place on two parchment lined pans, cut side facing up and 2 inches (5cm) apart (they will spread). For heart shapes, open the tops of the "ears". Press down slightly on each palmier with the palm of your hand. Add a small sprinkle of leftover citrus sugar on each Palmier if you want some extra caramelization.
  • BAKE: Bake the Elephant Ears for 9 minutes, flip over, then bake another 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. The timing will depend on how thick you cut the dough slices. Don't let them get too dark or they will be too hard/crunchy. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.


Make Ahead: Store in an airtight container if making ahead. Or freeze.
Nutrition values are estimates. 


Nutrition Facts
Elephant Ears Pastries (Palmier cookies)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 23mg1%
Potassium 6mg0%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1IU0%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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