Orecchie Di Elefante-Baking with My Chef Hubby

by cakeduchess on May 28, 2011 · 38 comments

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Five years ago in March, my husband Fabrizio said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t go into labor the grand opening week of the restaurant.” We were joyfully expecting the birth of our second child and the opening of our first restaurant.

I kept reassuring him, “Of course I won’t! Don’t worry. Luca will be right on time.” Right on time was supposed to be a few days after the opening of the restaurant. Luca had other plans. I had suffered from premature contractions with my first pregnancy and also with this pregnancy.
One afternoon in March, the contractions were particularly strong. My sister-in-law picked me up to take me to another visit to the hospital. We happened to turn the corner on the way and we were driving behind a car with a vanity plate that said “Lora” and some numbers. I am not kidding! My sister-in-law looked at me and said, “This is a sign. This baby is going to be born today. We are following this car all the way to the hospital!” And we did follow the car right up to the entrance of the hospital. Our little angel Luca was born that evening.
How does an executive chef juggle the opening of his restaurant with the birth of his first son? Luckily, the hospital and restaurant are close to each other and he went back and forth for both events. Smile
Here’s Gabriella when she met Luca for the first time. She was just four. They had a lot to tell each other that first meeting.Smile
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Fabrizio and his partner Francesco had been dreaming of opening a restaurant for years. They had worked together in another Italian restaurant on Palm Beach for five years and talked about how they would one day create their ideal restaurant. They chose the name Cafe’ Sapori. Sapori in Italian means flavors. We have been blessed with some wonderful customers and we are grateful they keep coming back for more authentic and delicious Italian food.Smile

I’ve been waiting for the moment that Fabrizio would be able to share a part of his life in the restaurant with my blog and my readers. It’s summertime and that moment has arrived! SmileSummertime is when the kids and I get to catch up on all the lost time from the busy winter season with our chef-daddy. The winter is packed with weddings, parties, special events, and all the regular customers that love to eat Fabrizio’s amazing food!

I finally got to go by the restaurant last week and spend a little time in the kitchen. I happened to be there one morning when they were making Orecchie di Elefante. They are also called Palmier Cookies. This is a recipe that is simple to make and has only two ingredients.Smile If you have puff pastry in your freezer and need to throw together something in pinch, this is your dessert! You could add cinnamon to the sugar too!

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Orecchie di Elefante-Palmier Cookies
1 sheet of puff pastry
2 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 300 F. Follow the puff pastry defrosting directions. Lay out puff pastry sheet on a clean working surface. With a pastry brush, brush one side of the puff pastry with water. Sprinkle about a handful of sugar on the wet puff pastry.
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Begin to roll the sheet but the horizontal ends of the sheet. Fold down each side until you reach the middle.
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Right before cutting, toss a little more sugar over the roll and roll it around in the sugar. Cut into the rolls slices that are about 1 1/2 inches thick.
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Lay out the slices on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  biscotti4
Bake for about 10minutes or until golden brown. Then raise the heat to 450 F for about 4 minutes. This will give the cookies a nice caramelized color.
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While I was there, they were making pizza for the staff for their early lunch before the restaurant opens. San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, on top of a light and crispy crust. Simple and delicious!
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After lunch, we enjoyed a really good espresso with Paolo, one of our managers and great friends. Paolo (on the right) was upset because an Italian vendor came by and had just told him he “seems a little rounder”. We celebrated this observation with that plate of beautiful cookies.Winking smile
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Here’s Fabrizio at an event at Trump’s Golf Course. Pretty ladies from The Breakers hotel came by to say “hi”!
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I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse at another side of our life. I’ll be sharing more recipes from my talented and adorable chef!

Enjoy the weekend with your family and friends. Enjoy the simpler things in life.

Take a moment to thank and remember the men and women that have served our country. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that that is really what this holiday is about.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Nisrine M. May 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Very cool name for a pastry. I usually call these palmiers.

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Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen May 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I’ve never tried these cookies but they look amazing. My family owned a restaurant when I was growing up, lots of hard work, but quite rewarding.

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Kate@Diethood May 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm

So glad to get to know more about you and your family, Lora. I love the restaurant’s ambiance…looks very inviting.
Thank you for sharing!

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Marnely Rodriguez May 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

It’s so great to peek inside your life and Chef-Hubby! I adore Elephant Ears (Palmeritas in Spanish) and definitely a great treat. Now I need to plan a trip to West Palm and your restaurant. I’m glad you now get to enjoy him during the summer. Winter in Florida…maybe we’ll do that next year? ;) XOXO darling!

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foodwanderings May 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Palmiers are delicious. Strike a nice balance f flaky and just perfetly sweetened, not too much. Love the Italian name for them and congrats on launching the Italian series in addition to baking. Love it!

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Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) May 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thanks for sharing this glimpse into another part of your life. What an exciting night for your family to have the grand opening and Luca’s arrival at the same time! I already gathered that you have a nice family from your other posts but this just seals the deal. Happy for you for the blessings in your life–it’s clear that you don’t take them for granted. :-)

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Chris May 28, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I *love* palmiers…Now I can “italianize” them and call them “orecchie di elefante” (that sounds SO much more romantic than “palmiers”!) :-D And so easy to make!

Thanks for the glimpse into your life – your hubby is adorable, and the restaurant looks so warm and inviting! Continued success!

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Maia Bee's May 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Palmeras were my favorite when I studied in Spain! Now, we live in Germany and they’re called “pigs ears” – though not terribly common in bakeries. :) My husband is crazy about them!! I can’t wait to surprise him!! Thank you for sharing!!!

And also a very big thank you for recognizing our military. My husband serves in the Army (we’ve been stationed in Germany for four years!) and while everyone is celebrating this weekend, he’ll be working (like he did on Veterans’ Day). Our men and women service members are on duty 24/7, 365 days and a simple “thank you” goes a long way. I really appreciate your words.

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Claire Gallam May 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

How adorable :) :) :) Thank you for showing us that side of your life!!

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Jill May 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

What a great post. Love reading about your family! My son is name Deluca – very close to your Luca! :)

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The Mom Chef May 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

It’s amazing how two little ingredients can be transformed into a dessert that is so elegant and delicious.

I also love the restaurant. It is beautiful.

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Maris (In Good Taste) May 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I loved this post! Your children are so precious!Gorgeous restaurant and gorgeous husband!I am glad you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Pegasuslegend May 28, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Fabulous Bravo gorgeous presentation and great instructions hope you feeling well and have a fabulous weekend!

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A Thought For Food May 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

What a great story! Thank you for sharing this with all of us! Your husband is obviously quite talented.

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Lizzy May 29, 2011 at 2:09 am

I first had these pastries as Elephant Ears…somehow the French and Italian words sound much more exotic! I still love these beauties. So fun to hear about the birth of Mr. Luca…and his sister looks so beautiful and proud in that photo. What a story! And your hubby is a cutie! If I haven’t mentioned that before, I’ve certainly thought it ;) Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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Lo-mo May 29, 2011 at 2:27 am

Thank you for sharing more of your life with us!! A lovely family, a wonderful restaurant, and a great post! The Elephant ears are so simple to make yet so tasty! I love it!!

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baking.serendipity May 29, 2011 at 3:16 am

I did not know your husband was a chef. So cool! I loved this story and glimpse into your family :)

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Angie's Recipes May 29, 2011 at 4:04 am

Thank you Lora, for sharing more of your personal life with us.
Didn’t realize that your husband was an Excutive Chef…those palmiers look so great.

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Betty @ scrambled henfruit May 29, 2011 at 5:28 am

My uncle had a bakery and he used to make those for us- yummy! Thanks for sharing about your hubby and his restaurant! :)

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Lizzy May 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

Lora, here is a link to the pan you asked about…I saw someone make individual key lime tarts using one on a blog a few years back and had to have it :)

http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-26635-12-Cup-Squares/dp/B001332WBI

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Pacheco Patty May 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hi Lora, thanks for sharing a personal side of your life and a wonderful simple recipe. I can imagine the restaurant is fabulous, if I was closer I would pop in for dinner;-)

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bunkycooks May 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Happy Memorial Day weekend to you! Thank you for letting us take a closer look at your life. You are right about the simple things and what is important. BTW, yes, your hubby is very cute! :)

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Magic of Spice May 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

What an adorable photo of your daughter and son! The restaurant looks wonderful and if I ever get out that way again I will most certainly visit :)
Hope you and family are having a lovely weekend…

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Veronica's Kitchen May 30, 2011 at 12:12 am

I love palmier and the rest of the baking looks so delicious. I wish my hubby can bake.

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Sandra May 30, 2011 at 12:46 am

What a lovely post Lora, thank you for sharing little o bit of the other side of your life! Photos are awesome, and your family is adorable!!!

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Reeni May 30, 2011 at 1:11 am

It was so great getting to know you and your family better Lora! Loved the story. Your restaurant looks beautiful and I bet the food is out of this world. Hope you’re having a good weekend! xoxo

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Claudia May 30, 2011 at 2:19 am

A beautiful posting of love and joy and sweetness – right down to the delectable puff pastry. My son is mad I didn’t name him after the Italian side of the family (Where we have our share of Luca and Dominick and Vincent – but what – pray tell woould an Italiam name be doing with a last name of “haas.?”)

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marla May 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Can I tell you that tears came to my eyes looking at that photo of your darling children. I have a similar photo of my kids. About the same age difference too. Love this post & hearing more about your family. The pastries look wonderful! xo

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Amy May 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

How many times a day do you hear how lucky you must be to have a chef for a husband?

Amy @ A Little Nosh

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Sara @ Saucy Dipper May 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I can’t believe you followed that car to the hospital! That’s craziness.

Thanks for sharing details of your family. You’re all lovely.

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Monet May 31, 2011 at 3:52 am

Oh my sweet girl…this was such a fun post! You know I’ve been waiting for this one, and I’m drooling over that pizza. Your husband is quite the catch (and of course, he is a very lucky man) Thanks for sharing so many fun personal details with us tonight. Love you!

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Lin Ann May 31, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hi Lora, what a great introduction! Your mom recently told me about your blog. Your husband’s restaurant is beautiful and so is your blog and your family! Can’t wait to poke around some more later.

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Elin May 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Lora…so all this while you have hidden a good looking executive chef hubby from us !!! LOL! thanks for sharing your family stories with us :) Can’t wait for more sharing from the handsome chef :) Btw, my Dorie’s Around My French Table has arrived and I am looking forward to joining Dorie’s French Fridays :) A great book no doubt.

Have a nice day,
Elin

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Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook May 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm

What a fabulous post. Your family is lovely! Wishing you a healthy and fun summer.

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Foodiva June 1, 2011 at 5:02 am

Lora, how does your chef husband stay so unround with his fab job and that beautiful restaurant? Thanks for sharing with us a bigger part of your life, your beautiful family and of course, those lovely palmiers and other cookies! Now I know why you always look so beautiful and happy!

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Roxana GreenGirl June 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for sharing this little glimpse at another side of your life.
What an exciting night. The birth of a child and opening your dream restaurant.

Happy weekend, Lora

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domenicacooks June 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Ciao Lora, I finally got a chance to look at this post. Loved reading about the restaurant and I hope you and Fabrizio will share more in the future. Magari un giorno avro’ l’occasione di venire a trovarvi e cenare al vostro ristorante. xox

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Sue June 8, 2011 at 5:43 am

Thanks for sharing, Lora! It’s fun to learn more about your family:) Love palmiers~ They’re so fun to make!

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