Author Notes: When we use a little imagination and creativity, it is so easy to transfer just a simple and tasty by itself cookie to a beautiful Holiday gift. Here is how I did it just with things, which I am sure everyone has in their pantry and fridge. For a larger portion double the ingredients. —Kukla
Serves: makes 20 to 22 cookies
For the Palmiers
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
For the Pomegranate glaze and Mocha Ganache
• 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice
• Pinch of coarse salt
For the Mocha Ganache
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
• 1/2 cup skim milk
• 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• For the decorations:toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, slivered, toasted almonds, bitter-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, toasted pecan halves, fruit jellies, dried prunes and apricots, toasted pistachios and rock salt or any other
- In a bowl combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1/2 cup of the sugar/salt mixture on a flat surface such as wooden board or marble. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it's 13 by 13-inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom.
- Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers.
- Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Chill for 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake another 6-8 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the pomegranate glaze: In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, lemon and pomegranat juices, and salt. Thin with additional juice if necessary (glaze should be consistency of heavy cream).
- To make the Mocha Ganache: Place chocolate chips, skim milk, instant espresso powder and vanilla in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Cool for about 5 minutes.
- To decorate the cookies: Evenly spread the Pomegranate glaze or Mocha Ganache over the top of each Palmier and decorate as you like. Press the nuts and fruit lightly so they will set in the chocolate or glaze.
- Set aside for at least 2 hours until firm or refrigerate for 20 minutes; then transfer to an airtight container or pack in gift baskets or bags.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection