Do you want something creative and exotic for a pastry recipe? Something you want to do with your kid during your precious bonding time? Why not try to make Elephant Ear pastries. The crisp and golden cookie coated with caramel will surely treat your tongue and palate with undefined goodness.
- 1 lb. (or 450g) of all-purpose flour
- 2 ready-made puff pastry sheets, thawed(if not making your own pastry dough)
- 6 oz. (or 75g) of nutella(optional)
- 1 oz. (or 60g) of raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 lb. (or 450g) of unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 9 fluid oz. (or 270mm) of ice-cold water
- 2 tbsp. of sea salt
- Combine all the dry ingredients (flour and salt) into a large bowl.
- Add the cubed butter and toss the mixture using your hands (or a rubber spatula if you prefer it), making sure that the butter is coated with flour.
- Start to cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender (or simply a spatula) until the mixture is roughly lumped with pea-sized pieces of butter.
- Drizzle the mixture with ice-cold water and begin to mix. Once you form rough dough, you are then ready to shape it.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and using your hands, form it into a rough rectangle (estimated 6×18 inches in size).
- Make use of a pastry scraper or spatula to clean up the dough’s edges.
- Again using the pastry scraper, carefully raise about top third of the dough and fold it down to the middle of the rectangle. Next, raise the bottom third of the dough and fold it up to meet the edge of the top third right in the middle.
- Now, rotate the folded dough into 90°, roll it and repeat the folding process. Make a total of three turns and after that, completely cover the dough with a plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough for about half an hour until the buttery bits are all set.
- After chilling the dough, continue the folding process by doing three more turns of rotating, rolling and folding. Notice that with each fold, the dough becomes smoother.
(Tip: IF you are already using a ready-made dough, then you are free to skip the next step.)
- In shaping the elephant ears, divide the homemade puff pastry dough in half using a sharp knife. Roll half of the dough out until it is only about ½ inch thick already. Try to maintain the rectangular shape as you roll the dough and trim the edges for a clean cut. You can repeat the step with the remaining half if so desired.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and while waiting, sprinkle the work surface with a few tablespoons of raw sugar.
- For plain elephant ears, put the rectangle of dough on top of the sugar and then generously sprinkle it with raw sugar.
- Roll each edge tightly to let them meet in the middle so the result will be like a heart-shape form or what we call, ‘elephant ear.’
- Meanwhile for Nutella elephant ears, spread Nutella thinly and evenly across the dough’s surface and roll the edges towards the middle.
- Sugar-coat the logs more and then transfer them onto a lined baking sheet. Freeze them for about 15 minutes just to make sure that they maintain their shape when they are sliced.
- After chilling, cut the logs into individual ½ inch-thick slices and arrange them on the baking sheet, observing 2 inches spaces in between.
- Bake them for about 15-25 minutes or until both sides are golden brown and the sugar has caramelized.
- Let the elephant ears cool down a bit, enough for them to harden on the baking sheets.
- After cooling, transfer them onto a wire rack to finish the hardening and crisping process before you serve them.