Serious Eats: Recipes

Bake the Book: Cardamom Caramel Palmiers

[Photograph: Deborah Jones]

Palmiers are some of my favorite cookies. I'd always thought of them as the perfect combination of flaky pastry dough and crisp cookies mixed with just the right amount of caramelized sugar. But this recipe for Cardamom Caramel Palmiers from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich took these cookies to the next level by mixing in aromatic cardamom and a pinch of salt.

But intriguing flavors aside, the recipe is kind of genius. I have to commend Medrich for coming up with a virtually fail-safe method for home bakers to make such a flaky cookie—adding cream cheese to pastry dough is truly magic. After the cream cheese-butter dough is chilled, it's rolled out on a bed on cardamom sugar, chilled again, and formed into a roll of double spirals that are sliced and baked into palms (or elephant ears or glasses, depending on who you're talking to). The cookies are baked until brown on the bottom and then flipped and dusted with another round of cardamom sugar with salt. The salted sugar caramelizes, the cookies finish browning, and once they come out of the oven they've reached something extraordinary in both shape and flavor—sweet, salty, and aromatic, with bits of beautiful sticky caramel holding the flaky crisp cookie layers together.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies to give away this week.

Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich. Copyright © 2010. Published by Artisan. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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