Seasonal Recipes

Recipe: Let guests break off their own pieces of broyé, a large, wafer-thin, French butter cookie

Giant French break-apart butter cookie
Giant French break-apart butter cookie(Sheryl Julian for the Boston Globe)

Makes two 9-inch cookies, or enough to serve 12

Broyé de Poitou is a large butter cookie with a pleasing salty taste from the Poitou-Charentes region in western France (broyé, pronounced BROI-yay, means “crushed”). Traditionally the whole cookie is served directly on the table to let guests break off their own pieces, as the French do with bread, but you can use a platter or board. To make the large rounds, roll out the sweet food-processor dough directly onto parchment paper, then slide the paper onto a baking sheet. It’s important to roll the dough quite thin so the cookie is crisp in the middle and wafer-thin; the edges can be craggy, but should be an even thickness. Brush with egg yolk, and use a fork to score a crosshatch pattern on top. For a deeper taste, replace the water with rum or orange flower water.


2cups flour
¾cup sugar
2teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
10tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons ice water
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
2egg yolks, lightly beaten

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand 2 baking sheets and 2 sheets of parchment paper cut to fit them.

2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the whole egg and water, and pulse until the dough forms large moist crumbs. It will seem like the dough is too dry at first to form crumbs, but keep pulsing until it does. It should not form a ball.

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and cut through the dough several times with a bench scraper or blunt knife until it comes together to form a ball. Divide in half.

4. On 1 sheet of parchment, set the dough and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough to a ⅛ -inch thickness, turning the paper as needed. The dough should be 9- to 10-inches across and doesn’t need to be perfectly round. Slide the baking sheet under the paper. Repeat with the remaining dough and the other piece of parchment, then slide it onto the baking sheet.


5. Brush both rounds with egg yolk. Use fork tines to score the top in a crosshatch pattern, making the second set on a diagonal from the first set.

6. Bake the rounds for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, or until they are deep golden brown.

 7. Cool on a wire rack. Place on the table or a board and let guests break off their own pieces. Jill Gibson

Jill Gibson can be reached at