Here we go – the first recipe out of Baked Occasions! Anyone making these for an Election Day party? Posting date is November 9.
Yield: 20 to 24 mini palmiers
1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounces (1 ¾ sticks/200 g) unsalted butter, cut into
½-inch (12-mm) cubes
¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
½ cup (125 g) raw sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional, but worth it)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and ½ teaspoon of the salt and place in the freezer. Place the butter in a separate bowl in the freezer. Finally, in a small prep bowl or measuring cup, stir together 2 tablespoons water with the lemon juice and place in the freezer. Allow all the items to chill in the freezer for 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove all items from the freezer. Place the flour mixture in a food processor and pulse for 1 or 2 short bursts. Add about half of the cold butter chunks and pulse about 3 to 4 times in short bursts. Do not overprocess; the butter pieces should be slightly bigger than pea size. Add the remaining butter and pulse a few more times; the butter should still be quite visible and pronounced in the mixture. Drizzle in a few drops of the lemon juice mixture and pulse 2 or 3 times until crumbly. Test the dough by pinching a bit in your fingers; it should just hold together. If the dough does not hold together, continue to add drops of the lemon juice mixture and pulse as needed. (Note: you may not use all of the mixture, or you may need to add additional drops of tap water; this is usually dependent on flour brand.) Again, be careful not to overprocess; the dough should not form a ball.
Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until it just comes together. Use your hands to shape it into a rough 6-by-9-inch (15-by-23-cm) rectangle about ½ inch (12 mm) thick, with a short side closest to you. Make the first letter fold: Fold the bottom third of the dough on top of the middle third, then fold over the top third to cover, just like folding a letter. Rotate the rectangle so the short side is facing you, and letter-fold the dough again. Rotate again and use your hands to gently shape the dough into another rough 6-by-9-inch (15-by-23-cm) rectangle. Perform the final letter fold. If, at any time, the dough starts feeling soft or the butter starts to warm, refrigerate until cool again. Once all three letter folds are finished, cover the dough loosely in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin this time, roll the dough into an 8-by-15-inch (20-by-38-cm) rectangle, with the short side closest to you. Make the first letter fold: Fold the bottom third of dough on top of the middle third, then fold over the top third to cover. Rotate the rectangle so the short side is facing you and letter-fold the dough again. Rotate again, gently roll the dough back into a rough 8-by-15-inch (20-by-38-cm) rectangle, and perform a final letter fold. Cover the dough loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Set aside.
Place a rectangle of parchment (about the size of a half sheet pan, 18 by 13 inches/46 by 33 cm) on your workspace. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne (if using), and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Dust the parchment with one-third of the sugar mixture. Place the dough on top of the parchment and sprinkle the dough with another third of the sugar mixture. Roll the dough into a 12-by-15-inch (30.5-by-38-cm) rectangle about 1⁄8 to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm) thick, sprinkling a tablespoon or two more of the sugar mixture over the dough if it becomes too sticky to work with. Refrigerate the dough for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up. Roll up both of the long sides of the dough toward the center so that they meet in the exact middle. Brush the egg wash where the two sides of the dough meet; this will act as the glue to keep the rolls stuck together. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the parchment and use your hands to spread it around; you want the parchment to be slightly damp.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut crosswise into ½-inch (12-mm) slices; place the slices on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the slices.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip the cookies over with a spatula. Bake the other side of the cookies until they have spread slightly and are puffy and golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature.
How to store
Palmiers taste best when eaten within 12 hours.
Excerpted from Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2014 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.