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.
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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!








Comments

  1. Lovely picnic! Seems like the perfect way to celebrate in February. I wouldn’t want to picnic outside either… but, indoors by a fireplace would be even better than fresh air. Great job.
    Andrea Kruse recently posted..Emmy Rossum’s New CD – #SentimentalJourney – Out Now!My Profile

  2. Oh I know where you are talking about in Paris! I love Paris too! What a great idea for an indoor picnic. The book sounds great! Love your Eiffel Tower!
    Raquel @ Organized Island recently posted..Nutella CookiesMy Profile

  3. Oh my goodness, that looks like such a sweet and romantic spread! I love the little touches!
    Mimi recently posted..Deciding to Celebrate Valentine’s Day This Year!My Profile

  4. Gorgeous!! I love it! I need to make a table setting for Valentine’s Day!
    Tonia@thegunnysack recently posted..{Easy} White Chocolate Fudge TrufflesMy Profile

  5. Ian and I spent our honeymoon is Paris – and now I SO want to go back – what a gorgeous picnic Dorothy
    Heather @French Press recently posted..Fish Enchilada Casserole for taco TuesdayMy Profile

  6. I love this idea Dorothy! My husband and I also rarely go on dates anymore because we are so busy with our work, but this is an easy way to spend some time together. We have also been to Paris once, and loved it…especially all of the yummy pastries!
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen recently posted..Dried Cranberry Couscous SaladMy Profile

  7. What a lovely idea! I love Paris and this picnic is so very french! And chocolate palmiers – oh yum!
    Holly Lefevre recently posted..Beach Picnic for Two: A Little Rustic, A Little Glam, A Little RomanticMy Profile

  8. Love this! So romantic and Gorgeous! Your photography is outstanding! (And so do those palmiers! -Which *gasp* I’ve never heard of before!)
    Michelle @ The Gluten Free Wife recently posted..Copycat Pottery Barn PillowsMy Profile

  9. I love how this turned out Dorothy! Your husband is a lucky man :)
    Trish @ Mom On Timeout recently posted..Your Creative Timeout Party {No.68}My Profile

  10. I am so doing this! My hubby and I rarely get to have a date night out of the house and who said once the kiddos go to bed we have to go out to spend time together. He would be so surprised if I did this so thanks for the inspiration. I went to Paris 18 years ago yet it seems just like yesterday. I hope to get back there again someday, it is truly a beautiful city.
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme recently posted..Valentine’s Day PrintablesMy Profile

  11. Swoon! I love this setting and I love the idea of it. Hubby and I are home for lunch together so I have to try this.
    I bet the Palmiers with chocolate chips were good!
    Karyn – Pint Sized Baker recently posted..Cream Cheese and Jelly DanishesMy Profile

  12. Awesome. I don’t know why I don’t do that more often! Oh wait, I have three kids who would steal all my yummy food. That’s right. Well, when they’re teenagers and hate me, and don’t want to be in the same room with me, I’m TOTALLY doing this!
    Mindy recently posted..Signs Of Life: The BackyardMy Profile

  13. Lovely idea to make a picnic at home for a special night in for a couple. Your chocolate palmiers are perfect for a French themed picnic -don’t you just love a simple recipe that looks and tastes amazing, I know I do !
    Nice visiting your blog-I found many recipes I like ;-)

  14. Those loaves of bread look really good too…and that cheese. This sounds like such a fun idea. Maybe next weekend for V-Day??
    Kristin recently posted..Some girls…My Profile

  15. What a beautiful setting you created! I remember being in France and enjoying pan au chocolat every morning. Definitely NOT healthy, but oh sooooo good. ;) Thanks for sharing the recipe – sure to remind me of those wonderful days!
    Laura / The Shed blog by Pet Scribbles recently posted..Creating a Romantic Champagne Table for TwoMy Profile

  16. that is so sweet:) I hate picnics though, the bugs the grass the yuck! I only do it if we really have to, but an indoor picnic, that I would do for sure!!! Oh and out date nights? Passing out in bed after a long day, we try to talk for a bit but we usually just fall asleep, I plan on being the old couple that has date nights every week when kiddo is older, and we are rich;p
    sue @ cakeballs, cookies and more recently posted..Easy Valentines Day Marshmallow PopsMy Profile

  17. That is just the sweetest!!! What a gorgeous picnic, and I love that it brought back such wonderful memories for you & your hubby :) The palmiers look delicious and chocolate chips ALWAYS make things even better! :)
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..S’mores PieMy Profile

  18. That is such a beautiful table, I love the tribute to your anniversary :) and of course you can never go wrong with chocolate!
    Abby recently posted..Valentine’s Inspiration: Thai Chicken + Mushroom MezzalunaMy Profile

  19. Dorothy, this setting is gorgeous! Such a romantic touch to it. When Kevin and I have lunch together one day (we are never together for lunch these days!), I must create a beautiful picnic setting like this as a surprise. It’s so cute and would make the lunch feel even more special :)
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..raspberry chocolate coffee cake.My Profile

  20. What a cute idea for a stay-in date night. Now that my kids’ ages range from 6 to 18, there is no time when the kids are in bed and we aren’t anymore. I miss those days.

    The palmiers are gorgeous!
    Kristen recently posted..Chocolate Rice PuddingMy Profile

  21. You are the cutest, sweetest wife ever!!! I might totally steal this idea for Valentines. My husband and I got engaged in the south of France . :)
    Ashley recently posted..Rylan 11 Month SummaryMy Profile

  22. This is such a great idea! Perfect for a stay in date night!
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction recently posted..Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese SauceMy Profile

  23. très belle!! ;) How incredibly special that you were able to celebrate your 2nd anniversary in Paris! This indoor French picnic was a lovely way to relive those memories during a beautiful {& DELICIOUS}date night at home!! Years ago I spent a few weeks traveling Europe. We only had 2 days in Paris, but your post took me back! ;) Thanks for sharing!!
    Brenda @ChattingOverChocolate.blogspot.com recently posted..Most-Requested Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese (5 Ingredients to YUM!)My Profile

  24. What a fantastic idea!!! I love your picnic setting, I think it turned out perfectly inviting! I would love to go to France someday, you two are very lucky to have that memory. You palmiers are divine! I always thought they were difficult too!

  25. Wonderful idea… love your table scape!
    Emily ~SoDomesticated~ recently posted..Chocolate Cherry Chunk Scones…My Profile

  26. Simply stunning! I need to get that book so I can come up with some nice tablescapes on our date night!
    Shawn @ I Wash…You Dry recently posted..Authentic Refried Beans RecipeMy Profile

  27. How freaking cute! Great idea and I love how you put it together :)
    Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted..Vegan Bean and Mushroom White ChiliMy Profile

  28. What a wonderful vacation memory! You upgraded from plastic “wine glasses” ;) LOL The palmiers sound wonderful!
    Brenda recently posted..Very Vanilla Cupcakes for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  29. This is such a lovely post! Your indoor picnic is beautiful, I love all the French touches!
    Back For Seconds recently posted..Mediterranean Fish TacosMy Profile

  30. What a sweet idea! I love it and the palmiers look amazing. I’m trying to think of a cute picnic my husband and I can do. Our date nights are usually after the kids bedtime too! :)
    Aubrey @ Real Housemoms recently posted..Snickers Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  31. I love date nights at home (and not just because we can never find a babysitter, lol!). And now I want to try Palmiers 700 different ways!
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue recently posted..Give Your Valentine a Fortune {Like a HUGE Fortune}My Profile

  32. I love this!!! How fun to have an indoor picnic like that!!! I’ll have to plan one too :) And those palmiers look great, the addition of the chocolate chips sounds really good!
    Maria recently posted..A Little Tour of PragueMy Profile

  33. I am in love with this idea. Too often in a relationship you get swept up in your daily lives and forget to interject a little romance. And I had no idea how easy palmiers were to make! I’m excited to go make them.
    Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry recently posted..Valentines Day Dinner: Scratch DeliMy Profile

  34. Such a great idea!! So sweet. I have never been to Paris but would love to go someday
    Meg @ Sweet Twist recently posted..Red Velvet Blondies with white chocolate chips and cream cheese icing.My Profile

  35. what sweet memories you have from your trip to Paris. And the book sounds like a must-have for busy parents.
    The palmiers sound delish Dorothy. Thanks for sharing and thank you for your sweet comment left on my guest post on Aimee’s blog
    Roxana | Roxana’s Home Baking recently posted..Peanut butter cake with peanut butter frostingMy Profile

  36. Oh my goodness, I LOVE Paris! It’s my 2nd favorite city in the world, it’s just so magical. I thought the French people were so nice too (contrary to what so many people say). Love these palmiers!
    Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas recently posted..Irish Cream White Chocolate TrufflesMy Profile

  37. I want to create this for my husband and I! Your photos are so stunning, they make me want to just hop through the screen and try some of those awesome pastries.
    Chelsea @ Someday I’ll Learn recently posted..Brown Eyed GirlMy Profile

  38. Dorothy, your tablescape is beautiful! Thanks for the chocolate chip palmiers recipe, they seem really easy to make! :)
    crystal recently posted..Spring Tablescape for TwoMy Profile

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