Having recently tried my hand at homemade puff pastry, I needed to find ways to use it. One of the recipes I was most excited to try was Perfect Elephant Ears on page 210 of The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri. Although we won’t get to the Puff Pastry section in the Modern Baker Challenge for almost a year, I couldn’t wait to make these wonderful looking pastries.
The ingredients list couldn’t be any simpler: puff pastry and sugar. That’s right, no cocoa, cinnamon, or other spices. Just puff pastry rolled in enough sugar to caramelize the ears.
I began by sprinkling the board and puff pastry liberally with sugar, then patting out the pastry to soften it slightly. I rolled the pastry into a rectangle, adding more sugar to the board and top of the pastry as I went. I rolled the sides of the pastry in toward the middle, then rolled one side over the other and flattened the resulting cylinder slightly.
After chilling the dough, I sliced it with a sharp knife, dredged the pieces in sugar, and put them on a baking pan lined with a Silpat. I baked the elephant ears at 375° F for about 18 minutes, until they were well caramelized, almost to the point of burning.
I enjoyed the elephant ears with a cup of tea. The lightness of the puff pastry paired well with the caramelized sugar. These pastries were so simple to make, but were delicious enough to serve to company.
Now that I’ve discovered how easy it is to make puff pastry, I will have treats like these elephant ears around quite often.
Hopefully not too often.