Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pie Crust Palmiers

Palmiers are typically made with puff pastry, I know, but I'm always looking for quicker and easier ways to achieve greatness.  I also know I could just use store-bought puff pastry like most palmier recipes call for, but today I'm snowed in so that wasn't an option either.

We've always thought my pie crust was pretty great.  The kind with lots of flaky layers that you actually want to eat.  My husband has said the crust is the best part of my pies, which I guess could mean I should focus on improving my fillings!  But for today, in the spirit of the season, I'm showing him my love by transforming his favorite part of the pie into crispy little love shaped cookies.

I had big ideas of making Steve something crafty for Valentine's Day, but our 3 week old love child has kept me from accomplishing much.  In order to do today's baking, this is the only place I could get her to sleep:

In a little bundle hanging right where I carried her for nine months.  (I know it looks like I'm suffocating her, but the sides are covered in mesh so trust me, she can breathe.  I checked about every 30 seconds.)

Pie Crust Palmiers
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup colored sugar crystals

Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Grate cold butter directly into the bowl using a cheese grater. Using your fingers, work butter quickly into the flour mixture until it's broken down into course, chunky crumbs.

Using a fork, quickly stir in ice water. Turn the rough dough and crumbs onto a floured surface. Knead just until dough starts to hold together in a rough mass, up to 10 times.  The dough will be very dry.  Try not to add more water to bring the dough together.  Think of it more as the moisture and stickiness of the butter bringing it together than the water.  Once it's holding together in a shaggy mass, stop kneading.  Shape the dough into a rectangular disk and cover the dough in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll out on a floured surface into a rectangle about 10 inches by 6 inches.  Cover a 10 by 6 surface of the counter with 1/3 cup sugar.  Place the dough over the sugar.  Cover the top of the dough with 1/4 cup sugar (I used pink crystals used for cookie decorating).  Roll out the dough into a 12 inch by 12 inch square.  Trim the edges to be straight.

Fold two edges of dough to meet in the center.  Fold the two rounded edges in again to the center.  Fold in half so you have a long piece of folded dough as pictured.  

Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Slice cookies off the end using a very sharp knife, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick and place 2 inches apart on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Shape into hearts by pinching the end into a point.

Bake for 10 minutes and flip.  Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown and remove from the oven.  Cool on wire racks before serving.

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