whipped cream and palmiers

 

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Is it a day that you enjoy because you spend time with loved ones? Is it a day that makes you feel pressured to buy the right thing for the right person? Or is it a day that makes you feel lonely because you have not yet found the right person? It never ceases to amaze me how much emotion or stress one holiday can stir up.

Although Valentine’s Day was traditionally a day of romance in Europe, it was Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts who in 1847 created and popularized the mass produced Valentines Day card, creating, in essence, the original Hallmark holiday.

 

palmier collage

 

What do we do in our house on Valentine’s Day? Nothing. Sound unromantic?

Here’s a story for you. Two days ago after working on the floors in our old house, I fell down the long twisted staircase in our front hallway and got pretty banged up. My husband rushed over, packed me in ice, sat with me until I felt better, set me up with the computer, made me lunch and made me laugh. Since I can only stand on my left leg for 5 minutes at a time, he even made the puff pastry used in this recipe so I could write this blog post. To me, this is romance. No cash outlay. No corporate sponsored nationally designated holiday. Just friendship and love, daily.

So here’s to love and friendship. If you feel lonely, treat yourself to a museum or special activity that makes you feel good without breaking the bank. If you feel pressured, ask yourself why. If you feel loved, thank your lucky stars and don’t take it for granted. And if you feel hungry, make these cookies, share them with a good friend and laugh while you sip the hot chocolate and reach for another scoop of whipped cream.

Most importantly, love yourself…the rest will follow.

 

bowl of hot chocolate

 

Heart-Shaped Palmiers and Chocolat Chaud with Fresh Whipped Cream

(Palmiers are a French cookie made of puff pastry and sugar. The word Palmier means Palm Tree in French. Chocolat Chaud is French for hot chocolate.)

Palmiers

1 completed recipe puff pastry (I recommend the recipe in the book Baking with Julia, written by Dorie Greenspan)
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread out 1/2 cup of sugar onto a large silicone baking sheet. Place the puff pastry on the sugar and roll it out into a rectangle 24″X12″. Spread 1/2 cup sugar evenly over the dough. Turn the pastry so that it is facing you horizontally. Fold the bottom edge of the dough up so that it lies in the middle and the top edge of the dough down so that it lies in the middle. The two edges should now touch each other in the middle. Next, fold the left side in halfway so that it lies in the middle. Fold the right side in halfway so that it lies in the middle. Both sides should now meet in the center. Next, take what remains and fold it in half so that the left side meets the right side, like you’re closing a book. Chill for 20 minutes. Slice along the short end into about 1/2 inch slices and place flat on cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats. Fan out slighly at the top and pinch at the bottom to create a heart shape. Remember to allow room on your baking sheets because each cookie will triple in size. Because the dough needs to stay cold before it is baked, you may want to only work with a few slices at a time. Bake for about 8 minutes and flip. If there is not enough carmelization on the back, bake for a few minutes longer. Cool on baking rack.

Chocolat Chaud with Fresh Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
4 tbs. powdered sugar
85 grams chopped dark chocolate
2 cups whole milk
2 tbs. powdered dry milk

Whip cream in a stand mixture with powdered sugar until you have whipped cream. Set aside.

Heat milk in microwave for 1 minute. Add chopped chocolate, powdered milk and heat for an additional minute. Remove and stir to blend in chocolate. Heat for an additional 30 seconds or until hot. Top with whipped cream and eat with Palmiers.

hot chocolate and palmier

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day and Bon Appetit!

 

 

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76 Comments
  1. you fell down the stairs?? that’s horrible! i hope you are resting and healing up.
    your palmiers look divine as does the fresh whipped cream (nothing beats that does it?). kudos to your lovely husband for stepping in to help out. a true best friend who’s always there for you is the best valentine’s gift a girl can have 🙂

  2. Your husband made a puff pastry? I’ve never made it myself! You are so lucky! 😉 Hope your leg heals fast. I love the first photo of the whipped cream. I want to dive into it! 🙂

  3. Oh No! Howz your leg now?? Hope you are feeling better…

    I know what you mean.. it’s the everyday things that show love.. last week, I had the flu and hub made me chicken soup from scratch… Felt so blessed… and you are right.. can’t take love for granted 🙂

    Wish you a ton of being loved and a speedy recovery!

  4. You have no idea how much this post meant to me tonight. About 3 hours ago I had a fight with my husband about what he didn’t get me for Valentine’s Day. I got all caught up in not getting something that showed he loved me. After reading this I realized that all I wanted was his attention and friendship again. We hardly spend anytime together anymore. I showed him this post and he seemed to finally get what I was trying to say. He seemed relieved that it was him I wanted and not material goods. i’m writing this anonymously because I’m way embarrassed that I acted so silly and could not express myself better. He’s going to take a day off next week so we can hang out and go to the movies like we used to. Thanks El. This really, really helped me. Gorgeous photos by the way!!!

  5. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beautiful pictures of food. Do you sell these? If not, you should. I just found this blog and it is incredible. I’m loving it. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  6. I love these but I thought they are called Elephant Ears. No? Palmier sounds nicer. Thanks for including something to make in the microwave. If I try to make the pastry I’ll need something easy! Nice pics!!

  7. Great post! I also had an accident last weekend which required my spouse to bring me to the hospital. I do believe Valentine’s Day is celebrated not just one day of the year but every day by love and friendship.

    You have a great dessert to celebrates V-Day. 🙂

  8. This is a beautiful post and you seem to capture my thoughts on the day exactly. Sometimes its fun to celebrate with good food or small treats, but shouldn’t be a huge deal. And thanks for reminding everyone that loving yourself is most important! Wonderful, as always!

  9. So sorry about your injury! Your husband did a wonderful job on the puff pastry. A lovely post.
    We have never been big on commercial Valentines. All thorough elementry school, my children made their own Valentines for their classmates and each other. For me, Valentines Day is just another excuse to spoil my children and husband with “kitchen” love.
    Mimi

  10. What a lovely post El! If your husband making puff pastry isn’t love, I don’t know what is 🙂 Hope you’re feeling a bit better today, sounds like a nasty spill. Great photos as always!

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about your leg. I hope you’re feeling better!
    Your husband sounds like a wonderful person. Happy Valentine’s day to you both! Even if it is belated… I think that when you have found the love of your life you must celebrate it all the time, not with gifts but in a quiet, appreciative way, just like you said.

    I have the book “Baking with Julia” but I’ve never made these palmiers before. They look gorgeous! And your whipped cream, oh, I want a spoonful of that!
    Magda

  12. Awwww, how cute – such a romantic little story. And those palmiers look divine – I had an almost insane craving for them the other day, went to the bakery and bought six – ate them all in 5 minutes. Now I’m scared of making them – I might never stop eating them. Gorgeous photos xxx

  13. Your husband made the puff pastry for you! If my husband (who practically blows up the kitchen when he tries to cook) ever made puff pastry for me it would be a V Day miracle!

    Your photos are so beautiful. I especially love the little palmier resting against the window.

    ps: I hope you are feeling better!

  14. Really, really sweet post, El.
    I’m sorry to hear about your fall. I hope you’re on the mend now. I like what you say about loving yourself first and the rest will follow. A tough lesson to learn, but the biggest truth out there 🙂
    Happy belated V-day.

  15. I agree with justforlicks: everything about this post IS beautiful. Do you know what my husband and I did for Valentine’s Day? Took turns watching our 4-year-old so we could each take a much needed (and well deserved) nap. Now THAT is romance 😉

  16. I didn’t know that you fell, until reading this post! Sucks, but you’re lucky that your husband is such a good one! I have not yet made puff pastry for the blog yet, but when I do, I’ll be happy that I got it over with.

    As for this post. YUmm! I make Palmiers very frequently and absolutely adore them! Great post. 🙂

  17. Thank you for the well wishes and kind words everyone. Nothing is broken, just a sprained knee and ankle. It’s not recovering fast enough for me. I have too much to do and all I can do is sit here and look at a pile of boxes that need to be unpacked! Oh well, this too shall pass.

    Karine – I’m sorry you had to visit the hospital but I hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Kim – if you want to buy a photo, just email me.

    Anonymous – glad you worked things out with your hubby.

    Lastly, these palmiers are really addictive. We ate them all!

  18. I know everyone has said this already, but this was truly a love post. I agree that every day should be day of expressed love. Even though I’m sorry that you hurt your leg, I’m glad you have someone who supports you in your time of need.

    The palmiers he made look absolutely stunning, and the hot chocolate looks so comforting. Take care!

  19. I am so sorry to read that you are still suffering from the fallout of your accident! I hope you get well soon!

    If those palmiers tasted half as good as they look, their taste have have been heavenly! Simply gorgeous images, all!

    Get well soon!

  20. Oh no, I hope you are better and not bruised whatsoever! I think you hubby is so cute. There is really nothing like someone to care for you when you are ill. My hubby does that as well and he’ll cook noodle or something like whenever I’m sick. Hope you had a great V Day celebration.

  21. I think it’s nice to make Valentine’s Day your own special day, not any of the prescribed notions that we’re supposed to do. Having your darling Mr. Fresh New England make puff pastry sounds like the most romantic thing I can think of — and a beautiful post, as well! My Valentine’s Day gift was Mr. Wasabi getting rid of the old boat that’s been sitting in our backyard!

  22. Sorry to hear about your fall! Hope your left leg is slowly getting better with all the TLC from your husband 🙂 Valentine’s Day in our home is exactly the same too – no cheesy declarations of love, but lots of small, day-to-day gestures that mean so much.

  23. i love how thoughtful this post is. i hope someday I meet a guy as thoughtful as your husband. who wouldn’t want to marry someone who brings you this for dessert!

  24. I totally believe in your philosophy of love and friendship everyday instead of only one day. Hope you are better now. Take care. Don’t know how you managed to get these gorgeous photos with one leg.

  25. What a superb tasty post!! I love palmiers & to combine & eat them with freshly whipped cream & one of the best hot chocolate’s is the best!!

    A real winner combo, El!!

    Excellent pictures too!

  26. You are 100% right about what matters. It’s so hard for anything to work out if you don’t love yourself first. The palmiers might help too.

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