A Delicious Idea for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re like me, you might enjoy adding a bit of cheesy fun to the occasion (pun not intended!). This year, I’ve come up with a delightful idea for a cute heart-shaped savory treat – Savory Cumin & Cheddar Palmiers. As I often do in my non-traditional recipes, I’ve given this French pastry a little Indian touch by incorporating cumin seeds, a staple in my daily Indian home cooking. I developed the recipe for the Valentine’s Day Fundraiser with Girls on the Run Bay Area. Together, we hosted a super fun, virtual live cooking class in which the participants baked these scrumptious treats along with me! 

Savory Cumin & Cheddar Palmiers

A Savory Spin on the Classic 

These Cumin & Cheddar Palmiers offer a savory twist on the popular French cookies, which are traditionally sweet and delicately crispy. I baked them at home, sprinkled with pink sugar, as a Valentine’s Day treat for my husband during the early years of my blog. They happen to be his absolute favorite – he buys them in bulk at Costco whenever they’re in stock! Much like the sweet cookies, these are also incredibly easy to make using store-bought puff pastry sheets, along with just a couple of other basic ingredients: cumin seeds and cheddar cheese. If you like, you can even sprinkle red pepper flakes to add a touch of heat.  

The Cumin & Cheddar Pairing

I frequently use cumin seeds in my day-to-day home cooking, always keeping them on hand in my masala dabba or spice box. Cumin is a warm, earthy spice with a mild yet distinctive flavor and a strong, aromatic scent. While I incorporate both the seeds and ground powder of this wonderful spice into my dishes, I specifically chose to use the seeds for this recipe. I wanted them to be visible in the savory cookies, adding a delightful crunch to the texture. Surprisingly, they pair quite well with the creamy, buttery, and nutty taste of cheddar cheese, which served as the inspiration for these savory puff pastry cookies. I recommend using mild or medium cheddar cheese, as sharp cheddar can be tangy and slightly bitter, potentially conflicting with the warmth and zesty flavor of the cumin seeds.

Effortless and Ideal for Prepping Ahead

These savory cookies are incredibly easy to make and turn a beautiful crispy golden color, ready to enjoy in no time. The use of store-bought puff pastry sheets makes the entire process effortless, yet the resulting cookies will make it seem like you’re a skilled pastry chef 😉. With a delightful hint of warm spice, a deliciously salty and cheesy bite, and a touch of freshness from cilantro/coriander leaves, these heart-shaped, buttery cookies simply melt in your mouth. They’re perfect for treating your loved ones on Valentine’s Day or any other occasion! This recipe is stress-free and fuss-free, making it ideal for prepping ahead and freezing for easy entertaining. Plus, you can let your creativity run wild by adding your own unique spin on it. I’ve included a short video below that I put together to guide you in easily whipping up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

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Savory Cumin & Cheddar Palmiers

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 12 cookies 1x


  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm/Trader Joe’s), defrosted
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 oz. pack of shredded mild or medium cheddar cheese, (see Notes)
  • red pepper flakes (optional depending on the preference for heat)
  • 56 sprigs of cilantro, leaves and tender parts of stem chopped


  • Thaw the pastry sheets overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 40 minutes until it is easy to handle.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Slightly roll the sheet out with a rolling pin. Sprinkle with cumin seeds, spreading it evenly throughout the sheet. Using the rolling pin, gently roll and press firmly so that the seeds stick to the dough.
  • Flip the sheet and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese in an even layer over the sheet. Sprinkle red pepper flakes, if using.
  • Starting at the short sides, fold pastry toward the center, leaving a 1/4-inch space in the center. Fold one side over the other, making a 4-layer rectangle. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.
  • Press the rolled pastry rolls gently and then cut 1/4-inch thick slices. Place cut-side down 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle any cheese and cumin seeds that fell out.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and the sugar caramelizes.
  • Remove from the baking sheets and cool on a wire rack. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Keywords: Quick & Easy, Baking Recipes, ​​Store-bought Shortcuts, Puff Pastry Recipes

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

About the Cheese

You can use mild or medium shredded cheddar cheese but no sharp cheddar or extra sharp as it tends to be tangy and slightly bitter, conflicting with the flavor of the cumin seeds.

More Cheese Options

You can also use shredded pepper jack, cheddar-jack or Mexican blend.

Recipe Variations

Substitute cheddar cheese with shredded Parmesan or Gouda cheese.

If you like carom seeds (ajwain in Hindi) , use them in place of cumin seeds; they pair very well with cheddar cheese (all varieties, including sharp and extra sharp).

Happy cooking

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.


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