Punitions

Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)

Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)
Traditional French shortbread cookies taste best using a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold.Todd Coleman

For a dessert whose name means punishment, punitions—France's scallop-edged butter cookies—sure taste good. Originally from Normandy, punitions begin like all sables ("sand cookies"): with copious butter, which produces a decadent treat that melts on the tongue. When I lived in Paris, I'd indulge on my days off with a trip to Poilane, the 78-year-old bakery in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, where a basket of broken punitions sits on the counter, free for the nibbling. Today, when the craving strikes, I order them online—a memory of Paris, courtesy of FedEx. —Marc Murphy, Benchmarc Restaurants