Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Palmiers aka French Sugar Cookies #recipe by Leslie Budewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  When my first novel, Death al Dente, came out in August 2013, I wasn’t part of Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen yet and I wasn’t in the habit of photographing the recipes in my books. A week ago, the sixth book in the series, Carried to the Grave and Other Stories, my lucky thirteenth book overall, came out. And while it doesn’t include recipes, it does include food. 

In the title story, Erin and her friend Wendy the Baker are drawn into a web of secrets after the funeral of Wendy’s beloved grandmother. There’s plenty of food, including palmiers, the French sugar cookies made with puff pastry. After all, Wendy is a baker and her husband, Max, is French. Erin and Wendy served palmiers in Death al Dente, too, so I thought they’d be fun to make for you now. 

A recurrent friendly debate here at the Kitchen is whether using commercial puff pastry is “cheating.” The answer is no. You’re not likely to make it yourself—too much work—and the frozen product is easy to use and perfectly tasty. So go ahead. Use it and enjoy. But if anyone asks whether you made the pastry yourself, ’fess up. Anything else would be cheating.

These cookies are terrific by themselves or with ice cream and fresh berries or mint. They’re super easy, but look fancy and French. Or as Erin says to Wendy in “Carried to the Grave,” “Your Uncle Frank might give you guff about the fancy French food, but I notice he eats his share.”

Any favorite short-cuts in your kitchen?  

Palmiers aka French sugar cookies

3/4 to 1 cup sugar

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon sheet. 

Sprinkle your work surface with 1-2 T sugar. Lay the thawed puff pastry on the surface. Sprinkle with 2 T sugar. Roll into a 10X14" rectangle. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup sugar, stopping about ½" from the edges. Lightly press the sugar into the pastry, using your hands or the rolling pin. 

Use a knife to score a very fine line across the pastry, starting in the middle of the short side and running the length of the pastry. Start at one long side and roll up the pastry tightly, stopping at the score line in the middle. Repeat from the other side. Using a chef’s knife so that you’re cutting rather than sawing and tearing the pastry, cut into 3/8" slices. Lay slices 2" apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with 1 T sugar. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn cookies over and sprinkle with 1 T sugar. Bake 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and glazed. Place on wire racks to cool. 

Makes about 24. At my house, just like at Erin Murphy’s, these go fast. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. 

My kitchen ruler is a freebie from RWA, Romance Writers of America, proclaiming "Romance Rules!"

Roll the dough a little tighter than shown here -- I left a gap in the photo for illustration. 

CARRIED TO THE GRAVE AND OTHER STORIES: A Food Lovers' Village Mystery (May 2021 from Beyond the Page Publishing in paperback and ebook): 

Return to Montana’s Food Lovers’ Village with three-time Agatha Award winner Leslie Budewitz in this collection of five contemporary short mysteries and a historical novella, tales of secrets, envy, revenge, and murder, seasoned with humor, good food, and creative problem-solving.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Watch for her first standalone suspense novel, Bitterroot Lake (written as Alicia Beckman) in April 2021 from Crooked Lane Books.

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by Leslie's website and join the mailing list for her seasonal newsletter. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. Thank you for the Palmiers aka French sugar cookies recipe! I will be trying it - real soon. I've always loved them when I've eaten them, but never had a recipe.

    Congratulations on the release of CARRIED TO THE GRAVE AND OTHER STORIES! Can't wait for the opportunity to read it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. So simple and oh so elegant. And crumbly delicious!

    1. Not as crumbly as you might think, though you might end up with a bit of sugar on your shirt! (She said, knowingly.)

  3. Ooh those look good! In New Orleans the bakeries had versions of palmiers called shoe soles and elephant ears. Loved them!

    1. What fun! My fictional bakery, Le Panier, is named for one in the Pike Place Market in Seattle -- a name I borrowed long before I decided to write a series set in the Market!