Poilâne Les Punitions

These adorable fluted cookies are like little butter filled treats from heaven. I happened to be watching Giada’s episode with Appollonia Poilâne, daughter of the famous Lionel Poilâne. Appollonia brought Giada a box of Les Punitions. These are gorgeously golden butter cookies from Paris. Pierre Poilâne’s grand-mère used to play a game with their grandchildren.. she would call them over for “les punitions” which means punishment en français but she would surprise them with these little butter cookie treats instead.

Tea time avec les punitions
Tea time avec les punitions

Now, for a long, long while, I’ve been pining for this French butter called beurre de baratte. This butter is hand formed and encased golden foil wrappers, then sealed with Monsieur’s Le Meunier signature. We shall don this the 12 dollar butter. This is a higher fat content butter which means the cookies will be extra delectable. I finally found it at a local fromagerie in Orange County. I will never forget seeing it in all of its glory in the case, wrapped in its gold oval form. I knew what it was the second I set eyes on it. I didn’t buy it the first time I was in the shop because I was there for my precious mimolette cheese. Mimolette was pulled due to our federal regulations – bah! People in France don’t die from their cheeses! They were killing me when they put the restriction down. I digress, but it is CHEESE! J’aime le fromage!

Make sure you have the fluted cookie cutter for this, it makes them look a lot more attractive than the smooth round cutter. Below you will see both the round and the fluted cookies. There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this recipe but it is very important to use a high fat content butter such as beurre de baratte or a kerrygold type.

Les Punitions

Makes about 50 cookies

  • 1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces; 140 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Slightly rounded 1/2 cup (125 grams) sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Put the butter in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the butter is smooth. I used my kitchen aid stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and process and scrape until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the egg and continue to process, scraping the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the flour all at once, then pulse 10 to 15 times, until the dough forms clumps and curds and looks like coarse meal.

Mixed dough. I used my Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment.
Mixed dough. I used my Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the ball in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap the disks in plastic. If you have the time, chill the disks until they are firm, about 4 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can roll the dough out immediately; it will be a little stickier, but fine. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Ready to be chilled. Wait the 4 hours, it's worth it.
Ready to be chilled. Wait the 4 hours, it’s worth it.

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (4 and 7 mm) thick. Using a 1 1/2 -inch (4-cm) round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) space between them. (You can gather the scraps into a disk and chill them, then roll, cut and bake them later.) I actually gathered the scraps up, put them back in the saran wrap then tucked mine into my ice cube tray for a quick set.

Smooth Round
Smooth Round
Fluted
Fluted cookies

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are set but still pale. If some of the cookies are thinner than others, the thin ones may brown around the edges. These markings here and there show they are made by hand. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Baked round
Baked round

Keeping: The cookies can be kept in a tin at room temperature for about 5 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 1 month.

Les punitions
Les punitions

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