A fun cookie exchange recipe is this classic Elephant Ear Cookies recipe. These three-ingredient cookies, also known as French Palmier cookies, are a tasty cinnamon and sugar delight.
For more sweets, check out all our dessert recipes.
Upside down puff pastry treats went viral on TikTok over the summer, and it was (some) people’s first introduction to puff pastry dough. Which, if you haven’t ever used it, it’s a laminated dough. So it’s basically layers of butter and dough, which puffs up when it’s baked. It’s really light and airy and just crumbles in your mouth.
One of the easiest puff pastry recipes, for someone who hasn’t worked with it before, is Elephant Ear Cookies (also known as French Palmiers cookies). The taste is similar in flavor to a churro, but they’re less dough-like and more crunchy.
They’re a really quick cookie to make, as far as the total time you’re actually active. However, the puff pastry sheet needs to defrost for about 40 minutes and the dough needs to sit in the fridge for 20 minutes after you roll it, so these do take a while in that sense. But trust me. These delicious, flaky cookies are worth it.
This classic version is a hit every time we make them for a potluck or add them to our Christmas cookie platters. Once you make this easy recipe once, you’ll be making it all the time.
I’m a huge fan of chocolate desserts, but not everyone else is. If you found this post because you were looking for a cookie recipe without chocolate, you’re in luck. We have a list of Non-Chocolate Cookies Recipes that you might like.
Elephant Ear Cookies Recipe
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How To Make Elephant Ear Cookies:
Defrost your sheet of puff pastry according to the package.
Basically, this means taking it out of the freezer and setting it on the counter for 40 minutes.
When it’s defrosted, pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
Roll out the puff pastry sheet on top of the sugared surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten it to about 12 inches across.
Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the puff pastry sheet.
Now it’s time to fold.
The long sides are the top and bottom and the shorter sides are the left and right sides. Fold the left and right side of the dough into the middle of the dough.
Then, fold the left side over the right.
Put the entire cookie sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the fridge. Set the pastry dough on a cutting board, and scoop any excess sugar mixture from the cookie sheet into a container. (A great way to use the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture is in our Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes recipe.)
Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry dough into 16 equal pieces (about a half inch wide).
Place eight of the pastry pieces cut side up on a silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet, giving them enough room to expand.
Bake for 7 minutes until the edges of the dough start to turn a golden brown color.
Flip the cookies and bake for an additional 7 minutes.
Set the cookies on a wire rack to cool while you bake the second batch.
We make these any time we need to bring a treat somewhere. But, since these Elephant Ear cookies are a small heart shape cookie, they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Elephant Ear Cookies: Frequently Asked Questions
An Elephant Ear pastry is a cinnamon sugar fry bread recipe. The dough is formed into a large circle and fried. Then, you sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. They look like an elephant’s ear, hence the name. In French, they’re called palmiers because palmier is French for palm and they resemble a palm leaf.
Since these cookies take those flavors and serve them in cookie form, rather than a form that resembles funnel cake, these are called Elephant Ear Cookies or Palmiers Cookies.
We specifically say store-bought puff pastry above because that makes these one of the easiest cookies you’ll ever make. Plus, puff pastry is available in the freezer section of any local grocery store, so it’s not a hard ingredient to find.
If you have a homemade puff pastry recipe that you love, you can definitely use that. However, a lot of people have a hard time making their own puff pastry, so I suggest buying it.
Puff pastry is the best dough to use for these cookies because it, quite literally, puffs up in a hot oven but also keeps all the beautiful layers in tact. Another dough, like pie crust, won’t make the flaky crunch you’re looking for.
I did try these once with leftover phyllo dough and they did not puff up or rise at all. I tried calling it a mini elephant ears recipe and my friend told me to call them elephant lobes. But really, they were just a mess that didn’t work. So, just stick to the puff pastry dough.
The classic Elephant Ears Cookies recipe is white sugar and cinnamon. However, if you want to add some chocolate, you could do it one of two ways.
First, you could either add some unsweetened cocoa powder into the half sugar mixture. So, mix together half the sugar and half the cinnamon, then spread that on the silicone baking mat before lying the puff pastry dough on top. Then, mix together the rest of the sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder and spread that on top of the pastry dough.
Your other option is to wait until the cookies have cooled, then melt chocolate almond bark and dip one side of the cookies into the melted chocolate. Then, let them cool on a silicone baking mat before eating.
Store any leftover Elephant Ear Cookies in an airtight container. You can leave the container at room temperature. The cookies don’t need to be refrigerated.
Homemade cookies can last between two and three weeks on the counter. That’s if no one finishes them all before then.
More Puff Pastry Ideas:
This recipe uses one sheet of puff pastry, however, packages come with two sheets. So, if you’re looking for a way to use the other sheet, our Puff Pastry S’mores Bites is delicious. Also, check out some of the viral Upside Down Puff Pastry Desserts out there.
If you want a great savory appetizer, our Mini Tomato Pies use puff pastry as the base and they’re so good.
- 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Defrost your sheet of puff pastry according to the package.
- When it's defrosted, pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Set a silicone baking mat down on a cookie sheet. If you don't have one, parchment paper will work. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the silicone baking mat.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheet on top of the sugared surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten it to about 12 inches across.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the puff pastry sheet.
- Now it’s time to fold. The long sides are the top and bottom and the shorter sides are the left and right sides. Fold the left and right side of the dough into the middle of the dough.
- Then, fold the left side over the right.
- Put the entire cookie sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the fridge. Set the pastry dough on a cutting board, and scoop any excess sugar mixture from the cookie sheet into a container.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry dough into 16 equal pieces (about a half inch wide).
- Place eight of the pastry pieces cut side up on a silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet, giving them enough room to expand.
- Bake for 7 minutes until the edges of the dough start to turn a golden brown color.
- Flip the cookies and bake for an additional 7 minutes.
I use a pizza cutter to quickly cut these, but you could use a knife.
Amount Per Serving Calories 58Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 5mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 0gSugar 12gProtein 0g
Have you made this Elephant Ear Cookies recipe? Let us know in the comments.