Rainbow sprinkles make everything a little more fun, from cakes to ice cream sundaes, and I’ve always had a soft spot for them. At one point in the not-too-distant past, rainbow sprinkles wouldn’t have made it into “fancier” desserts, but these days color is in and you can really get creative using this old standby. These Rainbow Sprinkle Palmiers are a fun, colorful version of a French classic – and a great example of how you can incorporate sprinkles into desserts that seemed very far removed from them just a few years back!
The palmiers are made with puff pastry, sugar and sprinkles. I used a combination of rainbow sanding sugar and rainbow sprinkles (aka rainbow jimmies) to add color to these pastries. All palmiers require sugar to give them that sweet, caramelized crunch that makes them so delicious and a colorful sugar gave me a nice base here. The rainbow sprinkles are where the really bright color comes from but, unlike the colored sugar, the jimmies can actually melt in the oven after a while. This means that you don’t want a too-thick coating of them, or your colors will just run together. If you can’t find colored sanding sugar (which you can buy at specialty stores and online), you can use plain sugar, which will still contrast extremely well with the rainbow sprinkles. I like a slightly coarser sugar because it adds a little more crunch, but any sugar will do.
Both sides of the pastry should be coated with sugar, but the rainbow sprinkles should be tucked inside the folds of the palmiers. This way, the sprinkles will be revealed when the individual palmiers. Bake the palmiers until they are golden brown and crisp, then allow them to cool completely before serving.
Rainbow Sprinkle Palmiers
1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup colored sugar
or 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1-lb puff pastry (16-oz, or closest package size), room temperature
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the colored sugar and the plain sugar in a small bowl.
Cover a cutting board or counter top with a layer of the sugar mixture , using abut 1/2 cup for 1-lb of puff pastry. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a shallow bowl or baking dish.
Place puff pastry onto the sugar-coated counter top and press down lightly to coat one side of it with the sugar. Turn pastry over and press down again into the sugar mixture. Sprinkle the exposed pastry with about 2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles.
Fold the left and right sides of the pastry in until they meet in the center of the pastry sheet. Fold the “new” left and right sides of the pastry until they, too, meet in the center of the pastry sheet. You should have four layers of pastry on each side. Fold the pastry in half to create a heart-shaped roll with eight layers of pastry.
Cut the roll of pastry into 1/2-inch slices using a sharp knife. Using the palm of your hand and making sure the pastry is on a part of the work surface that still has sugar on it, firmly flatten each piece of pastry until it is less than 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining piece of pastry and remaining sugar.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool completely before serving or storing.
Makes about 20.