Butter Cookies From Brittany
That’s “Brittany” as in “French Brittany” the westernmost maritime province of France.
Glad you ask.
The cookie is called Galette Bretonne in French and is a very simple cookie, totally unsophisticated: a real country cookie, really, with only a few ingredients and a pure butter taste (Butter from Brittany is renowned throughout France, and so are confections made with it). It’s similar to a short-bread cookie. Need I say, get the best butter possible? There, I said it.
You may use any cookie cutter shape you wish, but the traditional shape is round: I just use a small water glass to cut out the cookies. If you roll out the dough thinly, you’ll have lots of cookies; if you roll it out thick, you’ll have a lot less (but they’ll be very fat). Sometimes, I make thin cookies, sometimes I bake fat cookies. Depends on the mood. You just need to cook the thick cookies a little longer. I can make 4 dozen thin 2 1/4 ” (6 cm) cookies out of one batch or 2 dozen medium-thick cookies or 1 dozen thick cookies. Your choice…
The dry ingredients are measured by weight, not volume, as is typical of a French recipe and in grams. I won’t convert in ounces, because some of you – despite exhortations to the contrary – will read that as fluid oz and use cups. Also the recipe is easy to memorize in grams. Yep, time for you to get a scale! They are not that expensive and they come in really really handy – especially if you start baking for real. The liquid ingredients are measured by volume.
Butter Cookies From Brittany/ Petites Galettes Bretonnes
Yield: 4 dozen 2.25″ cookies if rolled thin; 12 to 15 cookies if rolled thick.
- 250 grams of all purpose flour + more for dusting
- 150 g of sugar
- 10 g baking powder (oh, OK, that’s 2 teaspoons baking powder)
- 1 large pinch of salt (omit salt if you are using salted butter)
- 75 g of cool butter, cut in small pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 15 ml of milk (more if needed). Oh, OK, that’s 1 tablespoon
- for the egg wash: 1 small egg yolk, beaten with a little water
- In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add the butter, and incorporate it into the flour mix using your finger tips until the dough looks like corm meal. Make a well in the middle, and add the egg. Stir in with your finger tips, and then mix with your hands until the dough comes together. Roll into a ball, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes, in a bowl covered with a clean wet & wrung out tea towel.
- Generously flour your work area. Halve the dough if you plan to make lots of cookies (it’s easier to handle that way), dust more flour on top and roll out as thin or thick as you wish. Cut out the cookies, and lay on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper if preferred. Gather the trimmings, press them together, and roll out to cut more cookies. And again. Do the same with the remaining dough, if any.
- Chill the cookies for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Hold a fork vertically and use the tines to draw 2 half circle of the cookies (Watch out! don’t pierce through those thin cookies!). Brush tops with egg wash.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (maybe a little longer if the cookies are thick) until the cookies have puffed a little and are golden. Rotate the cookie sheets mid-way if you are using 2 cookies sheets.
- Remove cookies to a wire rack and let cool: they will crisp when cooling. Keep up to a week at room temperature in a tin. (See if you can make them last that long!)
For the recipe only, in printable PDF format, click HERE
Locavore log: egg, milk, butter