This light, crunchy pastry is often referred to as “elephant ears” in America. However, the French Jews serve these “ears” at Purim, attributing their shape to Haman’s misshapen ones. Ears are often associated with the villain Haman because medieval Europe had a ritual of cutting off a villain’s ear prior to execution.
This is a very easy recipe, especially because you don’t have to make the dough from scratch. I have given you detailed steps, but the cookies can be prepared in very little time. Purchased puff pastry sheets are, so this can be served with tea after a meat meal.
One 17.3-ounce box of puff pastry sheets
- Remove the two frozen sheets of dough from the box and defrost at room temperature for 20–30 minutes.
- Spread about 3/4 cup of sugar over a pastry board or countertop, and press the sugar into both sides of one sheet of dough.
- Roll the sheet lengthwise on the sugar surface until the dough is slightly thinner and about 16 inches long. Do not change the width of the sheet.
- Find the center of the dough on the long side and make a little mark with a knife.
- Starting from each short end, tightly roll up the dough so that each side meets in the middle. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Repeat the procedure with the other sheet of dough.
- When ready to bake, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use foil, dull side up, which you have lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
- Slice the dough into 1/2-inch slices.
- Sprinkle additional sugar on your board or counter. Using a rolling pin, gently roll each slice, cut side down, in the sugar until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Turn the dough over, and coat the other cut side with sugar. Place it on the cookie sheet, with about 1 1/2 inches between pastries.
- Place in a preheated 400°F oven and bake for 12–15 minutes, until the bottom and sides of the cookies are caramelized.
- Remove the cookie sheets from the oven, and gently turn the cookies over, using two spatulas.
- Return them to the oven and bake for another 3–5 minutes, until the bottoms are golden.
- When thoroughly cool, remove the cookies from the sheets. Store in an airtight container for a week or freeze until needed.
- Because the pastry consists of many fine layers of dough, it is important when working with any leftover pieces that the scraps be layered and not just bunched into a ball.
- This recipe often calls for confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated. I prefer the extra crunch one gets from the granulated.
- Another alternative is to cut the dough into circles, cut the circles in half, and pinch the dough in the middle of the straight edge to resemble an ear.
- When cutting shapes from puff pastry, never twist the cookie cutter. This motion will stretch the dough out of alignment, and the pastry will bake slanted.