A Starry Christmas at Poilâne: Shortbread Ornaments

by Tory Hoen

Our friend Wendy Lyn (of The Paris Kitchen) shares of one of her favorite Christmas traditions: Poilâne’s irresistible shortbread cookie ornaments… for decorating, eating, or both!

Text and Photos by Wendy Lyn

As soon as the first “sapin de Noël” (Christmas tree) appears on the city sidewalks, I know that is my cue to go to the Poilâne bakery for the pretty all-natural shortbread cookie ornaments.

Parisians have adored this tiny shop since 1932, queing for buttery crossiants, apple tarts, shortbread cookies called “punitions,” walnut scones and boule miche breads made in the wood burning ovens downstairs. During Christmas, it is especially charming — practically raining cookies and tempting customers with heavenly aromas wafting out of the door.

To make the ornaments, shortbread dough is rolled out into large rounds, then a cookie cutter cuts out the shape of trees, leaves, moons, hearts and stars from the center. The larger round (with the shape cut out) and the smaller cut-out shape are punctured with holes so that they are both usable as ornaments. If you don’t live in Paris, these are easy enough to do chez vous, non?

Not only are they pretty to look at, they smell divine and are one-of-a-kind. The little sachet is a price-friendly 4.20€, but I had to buy two of them based on experience from years past… one for me, one for the tree. It just isn’t Christmas in Paris to me without them.

Poilâne Bakery, 8 rue du Cherche Midi, 6th, M° Sevres-Babylone or St. Sulpice. Closed Sunday.

Edited by Tory Hoen  for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Tory Hoen

After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of's Guide To Life After College. View Tory Hoen's Website

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