I don’t know about you, but I’m perpetually involved in a struggle with my fridge. Its idea of what can fit in it and my idea of how much food I want/need have never quite matched up (yes, I know, first world problems). Seriously, someone needs to invent a TARDIS fridge. I would give them all my money.
The most recent thorn in my side has been a leftover roll of pie crust. I’ve gotten into the habit of making my own pie crust, but from time to time I still take the easy route and buy it. Last time was for a cinnamon tart that was giving me trouble. However, your standard tart only uses one crust, so that left me with an extra roll of crust floating around in my fridge.
Thankfully, the idea finally dawned on me last weekend to make a version of elephant ear cookies with the offending tube of pastry. This might be the simplest, easiest recipe I’ve posted yet. It’s 4 ingredients, one of which is optional (but strongly recommended). Technically, elephant ears, or palmiers, are made with puff pastry, but pie crust does the trick, especially when you have some to use up. You could make this instead with puff pastry if you’d rather. If you do that, decrease the heat to 400°F and be sure to chill the cookies before baking for at least 30 minutes.
These cookies are admittedly a little bland, but that means they’re good for coffee or tea cookies. Watch them carefully while they bake because they can burn easily on the bottom if you’re not vigilant. I tried two batches, one brushed with milk and the other without, and the milk-brushed cookies burned a little bit less than the plain ones. Feel free to jazz up the recipe as much as you want if a bland cookie’s not your jam. Add some jelly to the crust before sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar or add some ground nuts to the mix. Sprinkle the tops with decorating sugar or the decorations of your choice. Let me know what you come up with!
You will need the following ingredients:
For the cookies:
- 1 roll refrigerated pie crust (or half recipe sweet pie crust)
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. milk or heavy cream (optional)
For baking ambiance:
- Don’t overthink it. Just turn on the stereo to whatever’s in there (or turn on your MP3 player to whatever you were last listening to, I guess). Absent that, turn on the radio. This is all about the easy, after all!
Let’s get baking!
Preheat your oven to 450°F and grease or line two cookie sheets with foil.
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon until well-combined.
Roll out your pie crust on your work surface. If you’re using homemade crust, roll it out into a rectangle. If you’re using pre-made crust, you can use a rolling pin to make it more rectangular if you want. If you don’t, you’ll end up discarding the ends.
When you’re satisfied with the shape of your crust, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly on top.
Starting from the top edge, roll the crust tightly until your reach the middle.
Now roll the crust up from the bottom so it looks like a scroll.
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into ¼” slices. Tighten up the rolls if necessary, then transfer the slices to the cookie sheets.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the milk or cream onto the cookies.
Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until golden. Be sure to watch them to make sure they don’t burn.
Leave the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then remove them to cooling racks to cool completely.
You can download the printable PDF recipe here: Easy Elephant Ear Cookies