Like so many tourists from around the world who make homage to this world famous boulangerie, I too visited Poilane on my last trip to the City of Lights and picked up a little complimentary “Punitions” cookie (or two, or three) from a basket by the cashier on my way out. I can still recall the moment the robust buttery flavor and subtle sweetness hit my taste bud – it was heaven. Just like the French culture, these cookies present a paradox that we Westerners often struggle to decipher: how something so simple (cookies made from only butter, sugar, egg, and flour) taste so rich, luxurious, and opulent.
There’s no mystery why these butter cookies from one of Paris’ most famous bakers are called, “Punitions,” or punishment, because it’s just plan cruel to have to wait to bite into them until they cool down. Yep, it was definitely a torture.
You can find the recipe and a lovely story by Dorie Greenspan in her book, Paris Sweets. Or, click here for the recipe. This is one of my all-time favorite baking books.