Perfect Elephant Ears — The Modern Baker

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.


  1. October 21, 2011 at 8:01 am

    […] this isn’t a recipe for oxtail stew from the other end. Ox tongues are pastries, similar to elephant ears or palmiers, made by rolling puff pastry in sugar and baking until the sugar […]

  2. October 10, 2011 at 8:05 am

    […] made Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Elephant Ears several times, always to rave reviews, I recently thought I would mix things up a bit. Rather […]

  3. October 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    […] began by rolling puff pastry in sugar, just like when I made elephant ears. Once the dough was the correct size and shape, I chilled it while I made the filling, which […]

  4. Renee said,

    October 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Can’t wait to try these!!! My mouth is watering.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      Mine, too. I just got more homemade puff pastry out of the freezer so I can make them again tomorrow, along with more of Dorie’s mustard batons.

  5. October 7, 2010 at 4:00 am

    […] made them, Phyl made them, and then my daughter told me that in cooking class they made them, too – elephant […]

  6. October 5, 2010 at 8:30 am

    […] Pastry section in the Modern Bake Challenge for about another year, I have been wanting to try the Perfect Elephant Ears on page 210 of The Modern Baker for a while. And I couldn’t see making them with store-bought […]

  7. Kayte said,

    October 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Those look particularly lovely. Can’t wait to get to these. Have made them from Ina’s book, Martha’s book, and a French cooking book so I know their “dangers” well…I have even made the savory ones from Ina’s book and those were even way more dangerous!! In Indiana “Elephant Ears” are those deep fried things like funnel cakes at the county/state fair, so I was expecting something different when I read your title. Those are way dangerous as well! Great post.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 5, 2010 at 8:26 am

      Thanks. I’ll have to check my Ina books for the savory recipe. I love her stuff, too.

      Did I never tell you that I’m a Hoosier? I was born in SB and lived there until I was 10. When I saw “Elephant Ears”, I thought the same thing you did. But I was not at all disappointed with these!

      In Nick’s new book (yes, we’re on a first name basis now), he has several varieties of pastries similar to these. Can’t wait to try them.

  8. ap269 said,

    October 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Wow, these look great! Looks like you made them bigger than I made mine – mine were really tiny, but very delicious, too. Also made the savory version which was fantastic! Will blog about both soon!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 5, 2010 at 8:24 am

      I want to try the savory ones, too. I have a bunch of puff pastry now, so I’ll probably get to them soon. Can’t wait to read about yours.

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