Palets bretons (Sweet and Salty Brittany Cookies)


This was one of the first recipes I have posted. I hardly had any visitors at the time, so I have decided to dig it up and write about these French biscuits (or cookies). They may look ordinary, but their delicate crumbly texture, buttery taste and a delicate touch of saltiness make them very special.

“Palet” (pronounced without the final “t”) means a “puck” , and “jeu de palets” is a Brittany regional game with pucks which shape is similar to those used in hockey. Brittany is famous for its rich in butter sweets – usually made with salted butter – and one of those is a crumbly cookie, called “palet” in reference to its puck shape. They have a buttery taste, are slightly salty and sweet at the same time, very crumbly and melt in your mouth too quickly… Palets bretons are quite popular all around the  country and can be found in every supermarket, but they are easy to prepare and obviously taste better baked at home.

Together with Crème brûlée palets are a good way to use up egg yolks (if you have made Coconut Cookies for example…or another dish calling for whites uniquely).

There are French internet recipes galore for these cookies. The one I tried for the first time and have always made with success comes the French blog Miamm…Maman Cuisine, where I also found the trick to keep their shape (see below).

TIPS: Click here to see a few ideas of how to use up the leftover egg whites.

You can sprinkle the cookies with coarse salt for an extra crunch and extra saltiness, but I don’t advise it for the first batch you prepare (you can test on one or two biscuits first).

Special equipment: muffins or similar size forms

Preparation: almost two hours (including 1 hour in the fridge)

Calories (the whole batch): about 1700 kcal

Ingredients for 12-15 pucks:

80g (about 3 oz) salted butter (or unsalted butter+1/2 teaspoon salt, but salty butter is better)

80 g (about 3 oz) confectioner’s sugar

140g (about 5 oz) flour

1/3 small package of baking powder (1 1/2 heaped teaspoon) 

2 yolks

(coarse good quality sea salt)

Mix the yolks and the sugar well in a food processor. Add the softened butter, mix again.

Add the flour and the baking powder.

Knead it for 5 minutes.

Form a thick sausage (diameter=the bottom of one whole in a muffin form), wrap it in plastic film and put into the fridge for 1 hour (or more, until the dough becomes hard enough to be easily sliced).

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap it, cut into 1 cm (about 0,4 in) thick slices.

Put them inside the muffin forms (this way they’ll be more or less of equal size and will only rise instead of spreading around).

If you don’t have muffin forms or other cookie forms, simply put the cut cookies on a baking sheet, but at your own responsibility: they’ll probably spread around and become flatter than the ones “imprisoned” in a mould.

(You can sprinkle them with coarse salt for an extra salty crunch.)

Bake for 15-20 minutes till golden.

38 Replies to “Palets bretons (Sweet and Salty Brittany Cookies)”

  1. Hi Sissi!

    Those are my all time favorite cookies. As a kid I loved them so much but I didn’t like butter, so I was for a very long time in a conundrum. lol But my love for the palets bretons never subsided, in fact I miss them more then ever. No idea why I never thought of making them since we got a new oven, I feel its about time that I make them again. By the way those are my husband’s favorite cookies too, he is going to be so happy when I make them for him. Thanks for the reminder Sissi and for sharing your recipe once again with us.

    1. Thank you so much, Helene. I hope you will start making them often. They are really easy!

  2. This sounds very similar to sable. I once made cookies in a muffin pan (choc chip cookies). Its much easier. They certainly looked different from regular cookies, but tasted the same.
    Have a good weekend.

    1. Hi, Mr. Three-cookies. You are right. Actually these are “sablés” too. “Sablé” means “sandy” in French and it refers to a very crumbly, buttery pastry (pâte sablée=sandy pastry), often made with confectioner’s sugar to ensure its extreme “sandiness”, so any cookie or tart crust which has a similar texture is called “sablé”. (I haven’t found an equivalent term in English.) Sablé pastry is often made for fruit tarts (and actually when one tries to make “pâte brisée” (shortcrust pastry?) a bit too hard and kneads the dough too much, it gets transformed into “sablé” pastry 😉 ). These are just called “palets” because of their form, or rather thickness. I have never managed to keep their shape without the muffin moulds… they become flat. Have a lovely weekend too!

  3. The shape really is similar to hockey pucks. I love how you describe the cookies. It is making me hungry already. Have a great weekend, Sissi! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Ray. Now that I read your kind compliments I’m getting hungry too 😉 Have a lovely weekend, too.

  4. That is indeed an interesting cookie; I can always count on you to introduce me to something new Sissi, thank you. While I do adore the salty and sweet combination, I am not big into cookies without inclusions, such as chocolate chunks or raisins and such. It’s appropriate that you post a recipe about a puck because our very own Maple Leafs (hockey team) almost made it into the playoffs, sadly losing to Boston just this past week.
    Our weather is much much nicer now, and the foliage is in full bloom. The weather man is predicting nice weather for our first ‘summer’ long weekend (Monday is Victoria Day and a Statutory Holiday). And it’s also our 27th Wedding Anniversary! Yes indeed, I was a child bride. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We’re heading up north to our cottage so I’m not sure how much blogging I will be doing.

    1. Happy wedding anniversary, Eva! 27 years??? Wow!
      Thank you so much for such kind compliments. It’s one of the biscuits (or cookies) you find in every French supermarket, but as I said home-made ones are always better, and since they are easy to prepare, I have stopped buying the supermarket ones (even though they were made with real butter and no strange E additions). As you might have noticed I am usually not fond of cookies and crunchy sweets (I prefer creams, mousses, custards, custardy moist cakes, truffles, etc.) but these are one of the rare exceptions together with ANZAC biscuits. You bite into them and they just melt in your mouth…
      Did you know that hockey is extremely popular in Switzerland? It’s I think the only country in Europe where there are so many hockey national matches! Funny, isn’t it?
      We have still the heating on… (it switches on automatically… so imagine the temperature outside…). It’s been raining all Sunday and when I opened the windows it felt like late autumn… I hate this year! I hope it’s not a beginning of a strange climate change.
      I hope you have had a lovely time in your cottage!

  5. The elegant sable cookie is on my (mental) list of things to make one day … don’t know why it’s not on the official bucket list. 🙂 And the only Breton I had ever heard of before this is Far Breton. I’d certainly like to give them (both) a taste one day … the thought of imprisoned cookies is quite intriguing.

    1. Thank you so much, A_Boleyn. It’s really easy! (As well as Far Breton, I have an easy recipe on my blog; now you have reminded me how much I love far breton… I will make it tomorrow!).

  6. I think it’s a great idea to re-post favorite recipes that went out in your earlier blogging days — some of the best ones end up getting buried so I’m happy to see this lovely biscuit resurrected! And you know you’ll always get a Canadian’s attention when you reference pucks 😉 (albeit shuffleboard pucks). Love the combination of sweet and salty — I find it irresistible and addicting, just as I’m sure these cookies are. That’s such a smart idea to bake them in muffin cups/tin! I’ve never thought of that for a cookie – I must try your trick; thanks Sissi! Have a great weekend (it’s a holiday long weekend for us).

    1. Thank you very much, Kelly. I like to be reminded of older recipes on other blogs, hence the idea. Oh, yes! This funny sports discipline! I find it fascinating! (You will laugh but some people practice it in Switzerland; there was even a tournament once in our city, but I learnt about it too late… The Swiss are also very fond of hockey!).
      These cookies are also very “sandy” in their texture, so that they are not hard as US cookies, but just melt in your mouth… We are also having a long weekend. I hope you are enjoying your short holidays!

  7. It’s funny that you bring these back now, because we’ve been watching the hockey playoffs and yep – these little beauties look like hockey pucks. What fun shapes! I LOVE your description – sweet, salty, crumbly, melt in your mouth. So what you are saying is – These are damn delicious! 🙂 I’m sold! Thanks for re-posting these cookies because I have not seen them anywhere before and am very happy to now know about them!

  8. I make French Macarons a lot so I always have extra egg yolks that I need to use up. 🙂 Can’t wait to give these cookies a try. I love crumbly and buttery cookies. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Amy. You impress me with macarons… I tried making them once or twice and it was such a tragedy, I decided I would never try again. As you say, it’s a good way to use up egg yolks.

      1. aw….don’t give up on Macarons! I know they might not be the easiest things to make. But with a few more practice, I’m sure you’ll get perfect ones too. I have a post with great tips on how to make the perfect macarons. Check it out before your next try. I’m sure you’ll find them a lot easier to handle than you might think. 😉

        1. Thank you so much, Amy, for your kind encouragement. You know, what? I will try again! I’m sure you have great tips on your blog!

  9. What a lovely idea to re-post recipes from you early days. These cookies seem like my kind of cookies. I don’t have too much of a sweet tooth, but I love sweet and salty together. And I love your use of muffin tins. It’s a great idea to keep them uniform in shape. Great recipe Sissi!

    1. Thanks a lot, Gomo. I do have a sweet tooth, but I rarely like cookies, so these are really exceptional for me.

  10. Sissi, I love the combination of sweet and salty, These cookies look so incredibly delicious. Love their simple and pretty shapes, and would love to have some with tea, or coffee!

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth. They are delicious and very easy. I hope you try them one day.

  11. I really think re-posting old archive recipes once in a while is a great idea because most of us start following your blog sometime after your first few posts (considering that my audience was just me, husband, and a few friends). Lovely cookies, and very simple ingredients. Another dessert recipe that I have to give it a try one day soon!

    1. Thank you, Nami. I don’t think I had five visitors at the time I posted these cookies 🙁 I hope you will try these. They are really easy and so delicious!

  12. Hi Sissi – I love palets, or as I say “pallets”! Yes, yes, I know the true pronunciation, but I like to pronounce some things in a British way sometimes when I’m with my wife… it makes me feel in touch with my heritage (for example, the place “Cergy-Pontoise”, I like to pronounce “Sergee Pontoyse” as a joke!).

    I can attest to them being so delicious as well. They were the “biscuit of choice” in the Smith household for quite some months. They sell chocolate palets as well, flavoured with cocoa powder… did you try those?

    Your palets look very nice – much nicer than those boringly uniform little discs that you can buy in packets! By the way, thank you for the translation of palet – I didn’t know it meant puck. It’s hard to find suitable translations sometimes… I still have problems with “pavé” (as in “pavé de rumsteck”). I know it can mean slab (and paving stone apparently) but none of those seem quite right.

    1. Thanks a lot, Charles. I can assure you that many Britons pronounce words in a similar way, but they do not joke 😉 (It’s worse in the case of most French people, but you would be surprised how well the Swiss, also the French speaking Swiss, pronounce foreign names. I still remember my relief when I heard here “Bach” pronounced finally by a French-speaking person with the final “h”…!).
      I don’t boast if I say these are much better than the supermarket stuff because they are ridiculously easy (especially if you use the food processor to mix the dough). I am less fond of the chocolate palets though. I don’t know why… maybe I should try baking them on my own and then decide? 😉
      Hmmm… Pavé… They translate it as “thick steak”, but it doesn’t sound very nice I suppose.

  13. Again I like your photo styling, very artistic!

    PS – Believe me, I know how to count, just it won’t let me put right answer in the above box.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so so sorry again 🙁 I thought you couldn’t open my website because it happened to me several times recently, but this sounds at least equally annoying…

    1. Thanks a lot, Kiran. I do it from time to time, but I also love to see other bloggers dig out their beloved but forgotten recipes.

  14. Well Sissi, that’s what I call good timing. I am just making my rounds checking out what the foodie friends have been up to. I have a few egg yolks in the fridge I didn’t know what to do with. I will make these tasty pucks for my husband and he will be happy. I promise to have a taste too.

    1. Hi Zsuzsa, I hope you will like them. They are very simple, but if you like salty sweets then you might enjoy them too. My husband eats the majority of these because luckily they are one of these sweets I am not able to eat in big amounts.

  15. I love butter based cookies. They bring my babyhood memories. 🙂 & Thanks for sharing the recipe for using up egg white too. Your easiest chewy coconut cookies indeed look very easy to make. It looks like koroke at a glance. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. The coconut cookies are I think the most frequent cookies I prepare: they are the quickest, the easiest I know and I have even recently baked them for a friend who started a gluten-free diet (I had never thought about it before but they are gluten-free). Korokke? Excellent! Maybe that’s why I love both 😉

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