Poilane’s Punitions or Punishment Cookies


Punitions means “punishments” in English. I’m in a sour mood today, it’s raining and it’s grey. And I had the day off from work but sure enough my son woke up sick and lethargic. Now that he’s asleep, I decided it’s time to blog about my experience making these small buttery French cookies a few weeks ago.

This recipe comes to us via Dorie Greenspan’s book “Paris Sweets.” Which I’ve referenced time and time again. It’s adapted from the classic recipe from the world-renowned Parisian bakery Poilane.
When I started mixing the dough, I thought “Punishment? The French are sooo ironic, what a clever name!” When I began rolling it out, I thought “Punishment huh? Okay, so this isn’t that easy. But I’m working out all my frustrations, so this is actually great.” And then after I baked these cookies, I thought. “Punishment. Yup. These kinda suck.” They were plain old boring. Not quite enough sugar, not quite enough butter. Frankly the time I spent making these would have been better spent catching up on my laundry.

And I hate to be so blunt about it because Dorie Greenspan is one of the foremost authorities on baking and she is always spot on, and Poilane is a legend, and how can you mess up buttery sugar cookies? But I got dozens of cookies out of this one batch and they sat untouched in a container until I finally tossed them in the compost bin. My husband, fearful soul that he is, made a Punitions sandwich using two cookies and Nutella and declared that to be delicious. But that wasn’t the point was it?

Even after my miserly review, if you still want to try them, go right ahead. Maybe my milk had gone bad and I hadn’t noticed. I’d rather take the blame for it than pin it on Greenspan and Poilane.

Anyway, you can find the recipe here. I think, maybe, just maybe I will try making them again after watching the footage of Lionel Poilane showing Greenspan how to make these cookies.



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One response to “Poilane’s Punitions or Punishment Cookies”

  1. Brenda Avatar

    Thanks for the honest review Mary and sorry they weren’t what you expected. Don’t you hate when that happens!? I do! At least the rain has stopped….for now.