Le Petit-Beurre (literally “little butter”) is a delicious and romantic little rectangular butter biscuit from France.
The origin of the French Petit-Beurre dates back to 1886, when Louis Lefèvre created an original square butter cookie in his Nantes-based biscuit factory in the seaside city of Nantes. Lefèvre was the first to create a cookie factory in France. Married to the beautiful Mademoiselle Utile, whom he adored, he decided to place both their initials “LU” on every biscuit. To this day, the crunchy butter cookie with its scalloped edges, tiny holes on the surface as if pricked by a needle, and a small browned ear at each corner is commonly called Petit Beurre LU or Véritable Petit Beurre and is the symbol of Nantes.
LU’s biscuit factory today produces about one billion French Petit-Beurre a year. The “pure butter” cookie has become a worldwide success. The recipe has been imitated thousands of times, but never equalled! Petit-Beurre connoisseurs even assert that the traditional LU packets contain 24 cookies to match the 24 hours a day. The modern authentic Petit-Beurre indeed perpetuates LU’s reputation as an entrepreneur thanks to its unique brown golden color, square shape and funny “ears” at the corners. Petit Beurre lovers traditionally bite off those corners first!
The two main characters, Lysi and Grace, in my latest novel, “Murder on the Seine,” devour dozens of these little French delights. Try them. You will, too.