Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From Paris Sweet: Punitions

Butter cookies based on a recipe from Boulangerie Poilâne via Paris Sweets
These are elegant cookies.

But they are not expensive cookies. Indeed, they are comprised of kitchen basics: butter, sugar, flour and eggs.

Their elegance is the simplicity of ingredients, the lack of unnecessary adornments, that combine to highly satisfying affect. Cookies that are enjoyed for themselves, not for extras thrown in or an icing on top.

The recipe is based on Punitions, the little butter cookies at Boulangerie Poilâne. Grandmothers in M. Poilâne’s home region of Normandy called the cookies Punishments as sweet surprises for children.

Writing in Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan described how she watched the late Lionel Poilâne mix his grandmother’s cookie dough by hand in a mere three minutes. You and the food processor can accomplish this in very short order.

These cookies will taste so much better than anything you can grab at the supermarket. They’ll cost less and won’t be filled with unpronounceable chemicals. Your kitchen will smell warm and wonderful.

Punishments (Punitions®)
adapted from a recipe by Boulangerie Poilâne via Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
slightly rounded 1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 c all-purpose flour

Position the oven racks in thirds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place butter in a food processor with a metal blade and process, scraping down the sides until the butter is smooth. Add the sugar and process until it’s blended with the butter, scraping sides with a spatula if necessary. Add the egg and process until the dough is smooth. Add flour all at once, then pulse 10 to 15 times until the dough forms clumps that look like streusel.

Put the dough on the counter and gather it into two evenly sized balls. Shape each ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Chill until firm, approximately 4 hours. (If you are in a hurry, you can roll the dough immediately, taking care because it will be a it sticky.

Roll one disk of dough on a lightly floured counter to a thickness between 1/4 and 1/8 in. Cut out  cookies using a small round cutter (mine was about 1 1/2 in. diameter). Transfer these to baking sheets, leaving an inch between each cookie.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until cookies are pale but firm. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool. (Note: My cookies in the photograph have a golden color because the telephone rang and I left them in the oven a couple minutes longer than called for. )

Other sources that feature these cookies:
Punition Sandwiches from Smitten Kitchen
La Punition from Chocolate & Zucchini

1 comment:

  1. fantastic recipe! I just made it for my french presentation and they turned out delightful. Thanks!


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