Last year I took a great deal of pleasure in baking boxes and boxes full of cakes, muffins, biscuits, fudge and other sweets to deliver as thank you Christmas presents to the people who had been so supportive of LLG over the previous year. Amongst them were these Nutella & Toasted Hazelnut Palmiers.
As they were both easily the most popular present, AND the most popular recipe, I am repeating it here at the beginning of Advant for anyone who fancies a) Christmas present baking, b) sweet-toothed canape making and/or c) child-occupying.
The latter is because they are a doddle to make, as all they involve is a bit of pastry rolling, and some Nutella spreading. Mmmmmmmm……
NB: They are especially good eaten just out of the oven, as the flaky pastry showers over your frock as you bite into them, and the warm Nutella and butter drips down your wrist. Mmmmmmmm…….
There are just three ingredients: pre-rolled puff pastry, Nutella & chopped nuts, with a bit of sugar for sprinkling just before they go in the oven. I used those handy bags of chopped toasted hazelnuts that they now sell in supermarkets, and was unable to detect any difference from the ones I have toasted & chopped myself in the past. Finely chopped pecans or walnuts or almonds would all be good too. Don’t worry about toasting them if you can’t be bothered. If you can, just toast them gently by shaking them in a dry frying pan for a few minutes. (They catch easily so don’t leave them.)
Please don’t attempt to make your own puff pastry – it’s not easy, and I actually think you get better results from the shop-bought stuff for this recipe because of the relative thinness required of the pastry. It also means that the whole affair from unpacking the shopping bags to placing a Palmier in your mouth can take as little as 30 minutes.
Sprinkle some flour over your work surface, and unroll the pastry oblong form its paper wrapping. Roll it out once with a rolling pin in one direction to the thickness in the photos below. (It doesn’t rise properly if you muck it about too much.)
I find a third of a standard jar of Nutella is about enough for one pastry oblong. It can be quite stiff, so I scoop it out into a bowl and zap it in a microwave for 2o seconds. Be careful not to overheat it as it can separate.
Take a knife and spread the Nutella all over the pastry oblong, then scatter your chopped nuts all over the top, before rolling it up from each side in towards the middle, as below.
Using a very sharp knife, cut into half inch slices.
Turn the oven on to 180C at this point. Then fold them up in half, (middle Palmier below) before taking the flat of your knife and gently squashing them flat, (right hand Palmier below).
They look a little bit like the meat props from my childhood dolls house.
Either grease your baking sheet, or line it with a Silicone Baking Sheet (this is what I do), and set the Palmiers out, giving them enough room to spread during cooking – generally I put them four across. Sprinkle granulated sugar over each one.
Cook for 15 minutes, until they turn a light golden brown. Using a spatula (the Nutella gets boiling hot so use your fingers at your peril), lift them off the baking sheet onto a wire airing tray. (If cooking with children, this is the adult-only bit.)
I suggest testing one immediately – watching out for the hot Nutella. If you are putting them into a tin, do wait until they are completely cool, as otherwise they will go soggy.