Differences Between Palets Breton & Galettes: French Cookies 101

French Galette cookies

Differences Between Palets Breton & Galettes: French Cookies 101

No doubt, you have been reading our endless praise of the addictively delicious French butter cookies, our bright spot for the post-holiday season! The ingeniously simple butter biscuits from France with just a hint of sea salt always hit the spot, and we always mean - movie marathons, stay-in cozy nights, and afternoon slumps, too. However, we get it; for the uninitiated, it could be a daunting task scrolling through the yummy selection of fabled French cookies if you can’t tell them apart - after all, French butter biscuits really look like twins! So, today we’re determined to take on the trickiest task of introducing you to French Galette & Palets cookies, teaching you where to find them and how to enjoy them like a true Francaise.

While both of these classic cookies come from Brittany, there are differences big enough to divide cookie-enthusiasts into two teams. The main distinction between a Palet Breton and Galette biscuit is the thickness - the latter is thinner yet large in size, and former goodies are smaller yet thicker. Another key characteristic of Palets is their uniquely crumbly texture and soft consistency. On the other hand, Galettes are crispier, making them perfect for cuppa-dipping. However, you must keep in mind that both French biscuits are made using the same ingredients, only the proportions differ! So, the overall flavor mood might taste alike, but the texture makes a difference. And, we dare to say, a HUGE difference!

French galette butter cookies

To fully understand the greatness of these French butter cookies, we have to talk about how Brittany makes its butter - it’s special, so unexpectedly special that if you’ve never heard about it before, we might have to revoke your foodie privileges. Here are some of the reasons why butter from Brittany is not just ordinary butter. In the 16th century, Anne of Brittany freed the region from the salt tax, leading to increased consumption and use of the staple ingredient in the recipes. As a general rule, Breton butter is made with Guerande salt, which helps heighten milk’s flavors. So, it’s more flavorful and, naturally, prized by pastry chefs worldwide. That’s why it holds a very special place in the traditional recipes of Brittany, and cookies are no exception. To get to know the two of the most famous cookies from Brittany, you can read along about how they came about and where to get your favorite French biscuits from!

Palet Cookies, Anyone?

Palets are thick French cookies with ever-so-slight sweetness and soft texture, achieved with salted butter on the ingredients list. They originate from Brittany, so, usually, these tempting cookies go by the name of Palets Breton of France. It sounds like a royal title, doesn’t it?  According to culinary lore, the name might be inspired by the famous game of shuffleboard - Palet, played with metal quoits, resembling cookies! However, Palet Breton biscuits are a relatively new addition to the French cookie collection - they were only made in 1920 by Alexis Le Villain, a baker who came up with just the perfect nickname for these beauties - Traou Mad, translating to “good things''!

palets breton cookies, sea salt and butter on a table

By simply pursuing our tasty selection of all the Palet Breton cookies from France, you will be stunned with the luxury of choice. While it could be fun to work your way through the delicious contenders for conquering your heart and taste buds, we can’t let you go without mentioning some of our absolute favorites. Butter Palet Cookies by St. Michel are classic delights from one of the renowned French family businesses. With more than centuries-old expertise under its belt, the brand has been leading the French cookie market for years! With St. Michel, you can feel the finest quality of locally-grown raw ingredients and French know-how with just an initial bite of perfectly-golden shortbread cookies. They are flawlessly melty and buttery but still deliver that suspiciously addicting crunch of indeed great cookies!

While St. Michel Palets will satisfy your cravings for classic goodies, you might want to consider adding exciting flavors to your French cookie jar, too. This is where exquisite Palet cookies with French lavender honey would come in handy. Maison Peltier, the famous French confectionery brand, has turned simple treats into luxurious biscuits with help from a special ingredient. These Palet biscuits carry an ever-so-slight floral aroma, and if you want to double it, you know just where to find French lavender honey!

Can’t Forget Galette Cookies

Unlike Palet biscuits, the story of Galette butter cookies creation is shrouded in mystery. Some say Isidore Penven created them, but no one can know for sure. They are beloved neighbor goodies of Palets, also hailing from Brittany. They are thin but, lucky for us, come in larger sizes. Of course, the signature salted butter is in a leading role- so, French Galette cookies are embellished with a delicate sweetness and velvety texture.

We suppose you already know where to get the classic version - yep, we're talking about the St. Michel Galette butter cookies, aka national treasure! The buttery crispness of these delights is something that must be savored on its own, but, we have to admit, they taste and look even better with a generous layer of French jam or chestnut spread, and, our digital aisle of French jams & preserves is at your service!

St. Michel galette cookies

Source: St. Michel

Lucky for you, our extensive selection of French Galette cookies is filled with a unique rendition of traditional delights, too. The orange blossom honey Galette cookies are definitely one of them. The luscious honey with delicate sweetness and notes of refreshing citrus adds depth and breadth of flavor at the same time. They are absolutely delicious enough on their own, but dipping them into your lemony cuppa is a truly comforting snacking experience!  

Even though butter cookies from Brittany have divided the cookie-lover community, we have to remind ourselves that BOTH is definitely an option, too! Why or how could anyone pick a favorite between irresistibly thick and buttery crispy French cookies? That’s definitely on our “no can do” list. It’s impossible! So, why torment yourself? With just a quick run to our French grocery store online, you’ll be ready to quell your cravings with a gourmet fare of all sorts!

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