The Cookie with Lovely Names – Butterfly (a.k.a. Elephant Ears)

I’m not sure if you guys have similar experience like mine, but I always have a sudden crave for dessert. So I made myself this easy to make cookie on my last dessert crave. Palmier, or more commonly known as butterfly or elephant ears, is a kind of puff pastry cookie. It can be found in different countries like France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portuguese and there is not a known credit for the first recipe. It is in a palm shape or butterfly shape and has a lot of different name like elephant ears, butterfly, palm leaves and French heart etc. Personally I love to call it “butterfly” as this is the way I call this cookie since I was a kid. Here is the recipe of it:

Butterfly/ Elephant Ears (about 15-18 pieces)

Recipe adapted from Christine’s Recipes


1 sheet of puff pastry (24cm x 24cm)

1/4 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup melted butter


Step 1: Preheat oven at 392F (200C)

Step 2: Sift and sprinkle about half of the sugar over your working station. Then lay the fully expanded puffy pastry over the sugar. Lightly brush the melted butter on the pastry sheet. Sift and sprinkle the other half of the sugar over the puff pastry.

Step 3: Fold the left and right vertical side inward and stop at about 1/4 (about 6cm) of the pastry. Fold both sides inwards again and let them meet and touch at the center. Press the two sides together gently and make them stick to each other as close as possible. Let the pastry chill in the freezer for at least 30 mins. You can repeat the above steps to prepare an sheet of pastry if you have any.

Step 4: Take out the pastry from  the fridge carefully. Cut the pastry into strips of 1/2 inch (about 1.25cm) thickness. Lightly brush the melted butter on both sides of the strips. Press the two rolls firmly together to make sure they won’t unroll during baking. Place the strips on a baking tray lined with baking paper, open the opening side of the strip a bit and makes it looks like letter “Y”. Let about 2 inches (about 5cm) space between each strip as they expand during baking.

Step 5: Put the tray into the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 mins. Turn once at the last 10 mins. The cookies are done when sugar has caramelized and look golden brown. Cool the cookies over a rack for about 10 minutes then enjoy!

Little Notes:

  1. Look for instruction on the puff pastry box when trying to defrost the puff pastry sheet.
  2. Besides regular white caster sugar, you can also choose to use other flavored caster sugar like vanilla sugar. It can add an extra vanilla scent to your cookies and make them more tasty!
  3. Baking and flipping time are just a recommendation. The actual baking time may vary on different ovens. The best indicator of the baking time is the golden brown color of the cookies. Flip over the cookie when one side has turned into a golden brown and it is done when the other side has also turned into a beautiful golden brown color.
  4. Placing the strips like the letter “Y” helps to form the shape of the cookie.

The butterfly is a very easy to make dessert and not very time consuming. Indeed it is so easy to make that parents can turn this into a family activity. Children can help to sprinkle the sugar and brush the strips with melted butter while parents will be responsible for the cutting and baking part. What’s better than enjoying some home-made treats fresh out of the oven together with your family and friends?


One thought on “The Cookie with Lovely Names – Butterfly (a.k.a. Elephant Ears)

  1. You make it so easy to duplicate with your photos – even of the wrappers. I really like your opening and closing paragraph where you neatly give us background information,etc. Great work!

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