I love baking things with French names because they make me sound like a better baker than I really am or ever will be. We all know that French = Fancy, and you can’t deny it. Doesn’t the Apple Gateau Breton with Salted Caramel Sauce sound so much better than Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce? And Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée– you know it’s far more appetizing than Vanilla Bean Custard.
I especially love baking things with fancy French names that are unbelievably easy, because pulling off the rouse of being an accomplished baker is that much more enjoyable when people think you’re the shit and really all you did was sprinkle stuff on some dough and roll it up in a different way. Oh, the splendors of puff pastry. It’s in the freezer waiting for you to make magical things with it that sound impressive. It’s perfectly okay to use the frozen stuff, because who has the time or desire or mental stability to make their own layer upon layer upon layer of puff pastry? Thaw, roll out, sprinkle, roll up, slice, bake, serve, dazzle. Fini!
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 sheet puff pastry* (half of a 17.3-ounce package, or all of a Dufour package), thawed but still cold
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
- Roll the pastry into a 10 x 14″ rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly across surface, then gently roll into pastry to help it adhere.
- Starting at one long side of the dough rectangle, roll the pastry toward the center of the sheet, stopping at the middle. Repeat with the opposite end so the rolls meet. Refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour).
- Heat oven to 425° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch slices. Place the cookies 1″ apart on baking sheets and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 6 minutes, then gently flip over using a small spatula. Bake until golden brown, 5 – 7 additional minutes. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Snob alert: use Dufour puff pastry if you can get it/afford it. It’s what all the important pastry chef people use, so there. Roll the single sheet out to about 12 x 14″ since you’ll have a bit more dough than one of the sheets from a Pepperidge Farm box.
- The log of dough is so much easier to cut if it’s really, really cold. I had to pop it back into the fridge for a while halfway through cutting because the cookies were looking sloppy.
- You’ll need to reshape the little guys on the parchment paper after slicing them, as they’ll compress into weird shapes. No worries, it’s easy to do.
- I had to rotate my baking sheets halfway through cooking, but then again our oven has a mind of its own.
- Don’t under bake puff pastry! Better to be a little extra golden than too raw and chewy.
- Don’t feel like flipping the cookies halfway through? Skip it. They might be a bit darker on one side, but who cares?
- These freeze well.