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Feb 06

Chocolate Chip Palmiers and an Indoor French Picnic

Indoor French Picnic

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend our second anniversary in Paris. We only spent 4 days there, but it is still one of my absolute favorite cities and still my favorite vacation with him to date. Every time we see something French or Parisian we sigh and look at each other, the memories surrounding us, and we wish we could go back. Some day I hope we will!

During our stay in Paris almost a decade ago (OMG where does the time go??) we stayed near the Rue Cler, which is a quintessentially European street. Markets and cafes line the street, striped awnings jump out from the rooftops, and people bustle around with their shopping bags. It’s the sort of street where you go to one place for your cheese, another for your wine, and a third for your bread. We ate breakfast at a little cafe on the Rue Cler every morning: cafe and a pan au chocolat.

On our anniversary we took a break from the sightseeing and shopped for a picnic along the Rue Cler: bread, cheese, wine, fruit. We took our picnic to the grassy field in front of the Eiffel Tower and ate ourselves silly with good cheese and wine while enjoying the view of one of the most spectacular sights in the world. It’s a day I’ll never forget!

My husband and I rarely go out on a date; our date nights are always at home, after Jordan is in bed. Or, nowadays, we can sneak a quick lunch in while she’s at school or at a playdate. I love coming up with fun and exciting ideas for our date nights, because they are our only special time together. When I read Seductive Tables For Two by Moll Anderson, I was inspired to re-create our French picnic from that long-ago summer day.

seductive table for two book

Moll’s new book, Seductive Tables For Two, is all about creating tablescapes and picnics for two that inspire romance. Moll Anderson is a lifestyle and romance expert and has some fabulous ideas for entertaining at home. Her book includes so many different themes for all occasions: indoor, outdoor, and holidays. She even includes recipes to highlight each theme. Her Passionate Picnic theme includes recipes for an outdoor salad I’m dying to try – in a mason jar!

That was the theme that actually inspired this post: the picnic. Unfortunately, it’s January and while it’s not freezing anymore, the ground is wet and muddy and not inviting at all. So I decided to create an indoor version of our favorite day. An indoor French picnic!

Of course, any picnic needs dessert. What is more French than a palmier? {Um, nothing.} But, in ode to those pan au chocolat we ate our weight in, I added chocolate chips to these palmiers, to make chocolate chip palmiers!

Chocolate Chip Palmiers

It is so easy to make your own palmiers, did you know that? I didn’t. I was expecting some laborious effort. But, if you use frozen pastry dough, they are the easiest things to make ever! All you have to do is coat the bottom and top of the pastry sheet with sugar. Roll them up after adding a hefty dose of mini chocolate chips, slice, and then bake. The trick to the crunchiness of a palmier is baking on both sides – so you flip them halfway through baking. It works perfectly!

Seductive Tables Pesto

There are tons of recipes in Moll’s book. I made her Presto Pesto for our picnic. It really was presto pesto – very fast to whip up and so yummy! Perfect with a crusty baguette and brie cheese.

Indoor French Picnic

I found some lace and a rustic blue cloth at the fabric store in the clearance bin. Moll is all about textures and colors for her tablescapes. She also includes flowers in all of her tables, so off to the flower section I went. Because I am in love with all things Eiffel Tower, (for obvious reasons) I already had this wall hanging in my kitchen. I took it down for the picnic and stuck flowers in it for a pretty centerpiece. I filled some votive holders with flowers as well, and served up wine in some little glasses instead of a traditional wine glass. On our picnic in France we didn’t have wine glasses – we used those plastic cups you get in the hotel room!

Chocolate Chip Palmiers

And the chocolate chip palmiers were are great finish to the meal. It made us wish we were back in France!

Chocolate Chip Palmiers and an Indoor French Picnic

Chocolate Chip Palmiers and an Indoor French Picnic

Recipe via Ina Garten/Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen pastry sheet (from a box of 2), thawed
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Remove your thawed pastry sheet from the refrigerator. Let sit for about 30 minutes on the counter, until it is soft enough to unwrap without breaking.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat. You can also use parchment paper, but spray it with cooking spray. I do not recommend making these straight on a cookie sheet. Unless you like cleaning hardened sugar off of them...
  3. Place 1/2 cup sugar loose on a large cutting board. Spread into a rectangle, a little larger than the size of your pastry. Place the pastry sheet on top of the sugar. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry gently. You aren’t making it bigger so much as embedding the sugar into both sides of the pastry. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and gently press with the rolling pin again.
  4. To fold: Fold the short ends over about halfway to the center. Fold them over again, so that the two folds meet in the center of the pastry sheet. Gently fold one side over the other, so when you look at the end, it looks like an oblong heart. Slice the cookies about 1” thick and place on your cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn them over. Be really careful - use a spatula and try not to touch them too much. All that browned sugar is HOT. Bake an additional 6-8 minutes, until the bottoms are as browned as the tops. Let sit for a minute and then remove to another silpat or a sheet of parchment sprayed with cooking spray. Cool completely.
http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2013/02/chocolate-chip-palmiers-indoor-french-picnic/

I can’t wait to try more ideas from Moll’s book. I think Seductive Tables For Two is going to be my go to date-night book from now on!

For more information about Moll Anderson, you can find her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or on her radio show is on XM Talk 168 every Saturday at 5:00 pm EST. Look for her soon on Access Hollywood!

You can read about my shopping experience for her book, Seductive Tables For Two in my Google+ album here.

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #cbias #SocialFabric #SeductiveTables. All opinions are 100% my own.

More ideas you might enjoy for a fabulous date night in:

Skinny Chocolate S’mores Pie

skinny chocolate smores pie 1 words

Almond Cake in a jar {for one two}

Almond Cake for One {in a jar} Great gift idea! www.crazyforcrust.com

This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff SaturdayWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!