Lemon Verbena Galettes au Beurre Bretagne



I’ve become addicted to these biscuits (cookies) that are also known as Brittany Butter Biscuits. They are shortbread made even more rich with egg yolks. With ingredients  that are few and simple, the quality of ingredients is very important- no chocolate here to mask inferior butter or vanilla.  So do use the best you can find. I decided to use lemon verbena infused sugar to add a very slight hint of herbal citrus note to the basic shortbread flavour. I think it was a hit and now I’m thinking of other complementary combinations to try- maybe lavender or orange zest?

These are similar to a cookie called Traou Mad from Brittany that you can buy in some gourmet food stores. Traou Mad means “good things” in the Breton language.  And they are!  Making them at home is simple and they are so good when fresh. That said- they do keep for a long time so if you are baking for someone far away and need a cookie that will stand some shipping time, these are a great choice. They are absolutely made for that so French habit of dunking one’s biscuits into hot coffee or tea. I love them with a cup of Orange Dulce tea from  Mighty Leaf  Tea Company.


Lemon Verbena Galettes de Bretagne (Brittany Butter Biscuits or Galettes au Beurre Bretonne)

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1-1/4 cups Lemon Verbena infused granulated white sugar- see below, or regular granulated sugar may be substituted
  • 1 cup best quality butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel, ground finely before measuring

For Glaze:

  •  2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons water



At least two days before you plan to make these, take ½ cup of fresh lemon verbena leaves and bruise them slightly. Add 2 cups of granulated sugar, making sure the leaves are covered by the sugar, and store in an airtight container in a dark place. Shake the container now and then. After two days use a medium strainer and strain the leaves out. You will have a bit more sugar than needed for the recipe but any left over is very nice in a cup of tea.


Combine six egg yolks and the lemon verbena sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix for a couple of minutes at medium high, until the mixture is smooth, thick and pale yellow. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the butter in softened knobs and the vanilla extract. Combine the flour and salt and add them slowly, blending until a thick stiff dough forms. You can add a bit more flour if needed to achieve this. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. If you have to leave the dough in the fridge longer, remove it and let it warm slightly at room temperature (about 15 minutes should do) before rolling.


When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Stack 2 full size baking sheets together and line the top sheet with parchment paper. Or use 4 half sheet pans with two stacked together and the top lined with parchment.


Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Use a 3-inch round fluted cookie cutter to cut the cookie rounds; place them about 1 inch apart on the stacked/lined baking sheets. Use the tines of a fork to make a small crisscross on the center of each cookie.


For the glaze: Whisk together the two egg yolks and water in a small bowl. Brush each cookie generously with the mixture.


Bake 1 sheet at a time for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cookies are golden on top and brown around the edges. Cool completely on the baking sheet. This makes about eighteen  3” cookies. You could make them smaller if desired and just adjust the baking time down a bit by keeping an eye on them after 30 minutes.





  1. Jamie says:

    Wow! I live in Brittany and see boxes of these everywhere but oh to think that now I can make them from scratch! Brilliant! And your homemade galettes look so much better!

  2. vali says:

    just stop right there!!!! all this baking is making my mouth head into nonstop watering. i must warn you i am on a diet until the end of july, so it is absolutely unfair for you to be testing and posting such delights in the very middle of my own personal draught.

    but just so you know, this recipe looks dreamy and i just might consider cooking it in my dreams until i’m back off the wagon!


  3. Arlene says:

    I adore a good shortbread cookie. These look so elegant. The idea of baking them longer in a doubled pan is a good one. They are browned beautifully. I’m going to search out a fluted 3 inch cutter and try them.

  4. Gabi says:

    Hi Nick- What a nice compliment- thanks 🙂

    Maria- hey I grow mine in a pot and move it to the front porch since it won’t survive our Utah winters. You’re welcome to some of mine any time 🙂


  5. maria says:

    Where did you find your lemon verbena? I want to grow some. We did last year, but now we are in our new house! These look fantastic!

  6. nick says:

    I am not really a short crust/ shortbread fan, but these look JUST good enough for me to want to try one! 😛

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