There are plain old boring cookies, and then there are palmiers. Palmiers don’t even really qualify as cookies — they’re not made with the kind of dough that you’re used to, but the shape is similar enough for us to toss it in the cookie bin without much further consideration. These little lacquered pastry delights are basically just croissant dough wrapped thinly into the shape of a little heart, or palm leaf as their name would suggest, then dusted with a load of sugar. They certainly are simple, and that is why we love them, especially those served up at Village Baking Co.
Unjustly, the new Greenville Avenue location offers these French delicacies only on Saturdays, but you can generally always find them at the original location near Southern Methodist University. Wherever you end up, if you purchase these crispy, flaky, buttery palmiers, you’ve made an impeccable choice. Village Baking Co.’s palmiers are the best in Dallas.
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French pastry is tough. It requires a lot of effort, supervision and tedious work that your average bakery just isn’t willing to do. It takes time to layer that butter and phyllo dough so delicately that the hundreds of thin, crisp layers in a palmier actually have the texture that they should. Other palmiers from across Dallas, at bakeries that shall remain unnamed, were occasionally gummy on the inside, a product of not enough stretching of the dough and too little time in the oven.
At Village Baking Co., the palmiers are always just crispy enough to fall all the way down your shirt, and they pair excellently with whatever pot of coffee they’ve got on that day. The crystals of sugar will almost certainly make their way down the front of your bra, but no matter. When you’re indulging in one, you won’t give a damn that you’ve got about a quarter-pound of crumbs and sugar stuck to the front of your shirt. If you’re really lucky, you’ll catch one that’s really fresh, perhaps pulled from the oven moments prior.
Make sure to pick this pastry up at the beginning of the day. Because the layers of the palmier are so thin, they quickly become stale. Like most great French pastry, palmiers don't have much shelf life, and that’s because they’re intended to be eaten on the day you’ve purchased them. Fortunately, you can pick up just one or two, and the second (assuming it will make it) will be a fine midnight snack or, perhaps, sweet breakfast. If you're feeling really fancy, you can douse it with a little homemade caramel.
Even though macarons have outpaced just about every other French pastry as the sweet du jour, palmiers are, when done right, a superior snack. Should you find yourself strolling along Greenville Avenue with a sweet tooth (and it’s a Saturday!), pop into Village Baking Co. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll probably end up walking out with more bread than a responsible person should consume.