Palmiers

Got a holiday party to go to?  Good.  Whatcha bringing?  Bring these!  Palmiers, a darling little puff pastry based cookie.  Also sometimes called elephant ears or palm leaves.  Because there's only three ingredients, one of which is pre-made puff pastry, they are one of the quickest and most economical treats one could make.  I really can't get enough of these little things.  

Palmiers

1 lb puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen

flour for dusting rolling surface

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine cinnamon and sugar.  Set aside.  On on lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry dough into a 18" x 14" rectangle.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.  Usea rolling pin to press sugar into dough.  Flip dough, sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar, press sugar into dough with rolling pin.  Fold left and right edges in so they meet at the center.  Fold edges into center again and fold in half like a book.  Chill about 15 minutes to firm dough - this makes it easier to cut.  Then slice into 1 centimeter wide slices. Press each slice into cinnamon sugar.  Arrange on a parchment or silpat lined sheet tray, leaving 2 inches between each slice with each slice sightly pinched out.   Bake 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip each individual palmier to caramelize the sugar on the other side.  Return to oven and bake 6 minutes more or until golden brown.  

Mulling Spice Blend + How to use it

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I stopped into our local wine shop a while ago and was welcomed by the warm wintery smell of baking spices.  Things got even better when I was handed a glass of mulled red wine.  It's the perfect hot holiday drink.  Whether you decide to use cider or red wine, everything can be tossed into a slow cooker and left alone until ready to serve.  Using the slow cooker means you have one more burner free on the stove, which if your holiday get-togethers are anything like ours: you need it.   

Serves 4.  

Mulling Spice Blend

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 of one whole nutmeg

8 green cardamom pods

8 allspice berries

8 cloves

4 cups apple cider or red wine

zest of 1/2 orange

In a small skillet, toast cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cardamom pods, allspice berries and cloves over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Lightly crush spices.  Place crushed spices in a tea infuser, tea bag or cheese cloth.  

In a small pot over low heat or in a slow cooker heat apple cider or wine, spice bundle and orange zest.  Heat 20 to 30 minutes and do not boil.  Remove spice bundle and zest, straining if needed.  Serve warm.