butter is a sweet baker's best friend, part deux

breton is just a frenchy euphemism for butter

one thing i have had to do as i pour over my baking recipes is suspend my disbelief at how much fat product goes into these things. i mean, yes, i know baked goods are not a dieter's dream. and now i don't even blink when i see a recipe with 1 cup butter. but my gosh, 8 ... EIGHT ... packs of cream cheese for cheesecake??!! holy crap. no wonder my butt got big, sheesh!

but i'm also one of those bakers who shun the "light" versions of our favorite baked goods. *maybe* if it's using applesauce. but otherwise, it usually looks like crap, and tastes like dry grit. no offense to those bakers out there who might do amazing things with those light versions. but my philosophy is that if i want a brownie, i will eat a brownie. and if i shouldn't eat a brownie because i can't button my pants, then i should go eat some apples instead of pretending like i'm eating a brownie.

with that said, tonight i also made these buttery beauties, which come to us from the french region of brittany. so go ahead, treat yourself. and then i'll see you at the gym tomorrow!

impatiently cooling

breton biscuits: makes about 2 dozen
from martha's baking handbook (2005, p. 86)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, plus 4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temp

1. sift both flours, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.

2. in mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until doubled in volume and pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. add butter in four parts, beating until completely combined after each, about 1-2 minutes total. with the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until combined.

3. turn dough out on floured surface. divide in half, and flatten into disks. wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

4. preheat oven to 325F. line two baking sheets with parchment. generously dust a large piece of parchment with flour. place one disk of dough in center and roll out to slightly thicker than 1/4 inch. transfer to baking sheet (on the parchment) and chill until firm, about 15 minutes. repeat with remaining dough. you can stack in the freezer.

5. remove one sheet of dough and transfer to clean work surface. using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut out ronds and place 1 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. gather scraps, roll out again, and cut out more rounds.

6. in small bowl, whisk the whole egg and 1 tb water; brush over rounds. let stand 5 minutes and brush again. using a paring knife, score each round in lattice pattern, making sure not to cut all the way through. repeat with remaining dough.

7. bake, rotating halfway through, until cookies are amber on top and deep golden around edges, 18-22 minutes. make sure not to underbake them or they will not be crisp. transfer parchment and cookies to rack to cool completely.

breton biscuits + a cup of tea = sweet dreams!


  1. Oh Shana! You made my favorites! I wish I'd live close to you!!

  2. These look really good! Yes, see you at the gym.

  3. tartelette: i couldn't believe how many of these i could eat in a row, butter and all! next time we'll have to share a virtual breton biscuit!

    susan: well, i haven't gotten to the gym yet, but i did eat a bunch of these yummies! so there's always next week right? ;)