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Parmesan Palmiers

Parmesan Palmiers
Puff pastry is a handy thing to keep in your freezer and I always have a package or two on hand. I like to keep it around because it is so versatile and can be turned into a variety of sweet and savory treats very easily. Palmiers are probably my favorite easy, sweet things to make with puff pastry. The heart-shaped cookies are made with just two ingredients – the pastry and sugar – and bake into crisp, caramelized goodness in just a few short minutes in the oven. These Parmesan Palmiers are a savory version of this snack, made with the same pastry and a generous amount of parmesan cheese.

The technique used for making these is the same as it is for making traditional palmiers, except quite a bit of grated Parmesan cheese is used in place of sugar. I covered my work surface with cheese and simply rolled out my pastry right on top! Be sure to completely defrost your pastry before working with it so that it is pliable and does not break when you shape it. Parmesan is often blended with other cheeses, such as Romano or Pecorino, when it is packaged and it is perfectly fine to use a blend. To get the best results, however, try to make sure that your cheese is as fresh as possible. Now, Parmesan cheese is an aged product and I don’t mean that you should seek out a less-aged cheese when I say “fresh.” I mean that you should get it as freshly grated as possible. The shelf-stable packaged cheeses are not the ideal choice for this recipe if you can get your hands on better cheese.

These are best when they are served shortly after they have been baked, either while they are still warm or at room temperature. You can pair them with soups and salads, or simply set them out as an appetizer when entertaining. By cutting your pastry into smaller sheets, you can actually make a bite-sized version of these, though I prefer the slightly more generous size that offers a few bites because it delivers a bit more cheese flavor. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container, but consider refreshing them for a few minutes in a hot oven to recrisp them before serving.

Parmesan Palmiers
1 sheet puff pastry
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Cover a flat workspace with grated cheese. Place sheet of puff pastry on top and press down to coat with cheese. Flip pastry over and press down into cheese again. If the pastry sticks to the work surface, add a bit more cheese.
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 cheese on it, firmly flatten each piece of pastry until it is less than 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to baking sheet.
Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 16.

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