Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bento for Baby Recipe: Pizza Palmiers

These are Baby Girl's all time favorites.  I've been making them since the early days of Baby Led Weaning.  She devoured them then and still squeals with excitement when I give her one now.  We make a lot of homemade pizza at our house so the idea for these popped into my head when I was trying to think of how I could make a teething biscuit that used whole wheat pizza dough, was easily portable and introduced some veggies into her diet.  They're a riff on the French cookie made with puff pastry.  I make these with homemade whole wheat pizza dough and any kind of easily spread vegetable and cheese mixture.  They work best when the filling isn't too moist and is light on the cheese.  The version shown here is a mix of spinach and ricotta, but you could make them with any number of combinations, pesto and broccoli, classic tomato sauce and cheese (but you need to go light on moist fillings), roasted red peppers and goat cheese, ham and gruyere. . .  the possibilities are endless. These freeze incredibly well, I just stick them in a ziplock after they cool. Baby Girl will gladly eat them frozen or thawed.  They're great for packing in lunches or taking with you for a snack on the go.  I think they are just about the perfect baby food.  These could also make really nice appetizers at a party.  You don't have to tell anyone that you make them for your baby, too.  


6 - 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (not leaf!)
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste (optional)


Thaw the spinach in the microwave.  When spinach is thawed, remove as much liquid as possible.  I do this by pressing the spinach against one side of the bowl then gently pouring out the liquid.  Mix the spinach with the ricotta and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Roll out the pizza dough as thinly as possible on a piece of floured parchment paper. Try to keep the dough in the shape of a rectangle. The dough I used to make the batch in these pictures rolled out really nicely, there is no need to get the dough this thin to make the recipe, although it does make for really pretty palmiers.

Spread the filling in a thin layer over the dough.

Roll up the dough on the long edges on each side.  Roll equally from each side until the rolls meet in the middle.  Wet the dough with a damp finger along the center edge of each roll.  Lightly press the rolls together.

Wrap the roll lightly in the parchment paper and stick it in the freezer for half an hour or so that it will be easier to cut.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the roll is a little firm, but not frozen, take it out of the freezer. With a sharp bread knife, trim the ragged ends of the palmier log to the point where all layers of dough is present and the filling is evenly distributed.  Slice the roll thinly with a sharp bread knife into ~1/3 inch thick slices.

Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I use the same piece I used to roll out the dough).

Put in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Flip the palmiers and cook until other side is lightly browned.

Let them cool on the sheet pan and then put them in a container to freeze.

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