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.


Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen has been published by New York Magazine, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Fortune, and others. She was Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur, where she founded the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online.

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