Savory Elephant Ears {ModBak}

Having made Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Elephant Ears several times, always to rave reviews, I recently thought I would mix things up a bit. Rather than the sweet elephant ears, made simply with puff pastry and sugar, I decided to make the savory version in The Modern Baker.

The savory elephant ears were made with cheese and paprika. I decided to use two kinds of cheese — Pecorino Romano and Gruyère.

Cheese en Place

 I began by rolling the puff pastry (using flour instead of sugar) into a rectangle.

I brushed the surface with egg wash,…

…then spread the dough with cheese…

…and sprinkled on some paprika.

I shaped the dough as with the sweet elephant ears by rolling the sides in about halfway, then folding a second time, and finally folding one side over the other.

First roll

Second roll

Final roll

I flattened the roll slightly, then refrigerated the dough for an hour or so before slicing and baking.

These elephant ears were puffy, buttery, and cheesy. They reminded me in a way of mustard batons. And even though they were really tasty, calling them “elephant ears” distracted from the experience, as I couldn’t help but compare them to their sweet, sticky, caramelized namesakes. Maybe next time, I’ll just call them cheese puffs.



  1. Renee said,

    October 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Agree. They’re very yummy but not quite like the elephant ears of fairs. I’m impressed you went savory. I could hardly resist and went sugary.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

      I’ve made the sweet ones at least a half dozen times, too!

  2. Kayte said,

    October 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    They look really pretty, too. That was an interesting combination of cheese, I must say…lol. Is that a combo you use for other things or is that something that was in the book or is that something you were flying by the seat of your pants on? Curious minds want to know. Someday I will try these. When they close my pool for the season is my best guess as to when I will be baking seriously again. It’s bound to come by next week. I believe I bartered with Bill on Monday, October 17th.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      I think the recipe called for Pecorino Romano, and I just happened to have some shredded Gruyere handy. I can’t think of many cheese combinations that I wouldn’t like.

  3. Abby said,

    October 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    These look good, but I agree; if I hear “elephant ears,” I will be expect sugar, caramel goodness and I would be very disappointed to take a bite of cheese. Cheese puffs, it is!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

      You could probably even get away with calling them cheesy palmiers. I think they could use a touch of cayenne.

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