Welcome to Monday Morning Inspiration, ANNA's weekly online publication where we share our love of food, fashion and travel woven with heartfelt inspiration that will warm your soul and inspire you to Make Everyday Special!
Today, we share our love of France. xo Mari
Things we love about Paris
Thinking of Paris, a few lovely things come to mind. The timeless Chanel No. 5, The classic Louis Vuitton, The famous La Maison du Chocolat, The iconic Chanel fashion house, the Chocolate Croissant and our very favourite Steak Frite.
An Afternoon in France
Excerpt from Issue 17, Hope, Written by Tara Kaprowy
Every December, the venerable Gourmet magazine—God rest her soul—featured cookies on her cover. Like the rituals of the season itself, it was something one could rely on—pulling the glossy out of the mailbox and swallowing a decadent display of thumb prints, gingerbread, crisps and meringues. Sometimes they hung as ornaments, sometimes they were poured together on a platter, sometimes they sat as still-life art. Always, they spoke of celebration, joy and family togetherness.
On a cold, winter afternoon, there are few things more soul-satisfying then creaming sugar into butter. And when that act is matched with thoughts of wet cobblestone streets, romantic train station reunions, Parisian coffee and steamy bakeries, so much the better. While they play a part in almost every family’s holiday story, almost every kind of cookie has a tale of its own to tell. To enrich those afternoons, we’ve put together a batch of French cookies for you to try. Interestingly, each variety is thoughtfully named, adding an extra layer of appeal to their elegant, delicate bites.
Madeleines, immortalized in France by author Marcel Proust, are the most famous. While their exact origin is unknown, in one legend a woman named Madeleine is said to have baked the scalloped-shaped cakes to feed the pilgrims headed to Saint Jacques’ burial site. The scallop shell is a sign of protection and is often associated with the saint. Indeed, the savory coquilles Saint Jacques is one of the most popular dishes incorporating scallops in France.
Sables, France’s version of butter cookies, mean sand in French and refer to the sandy texture of the cookie. Like a North American peanut butter cookie, sables are usually stamped with a crosshatched pattern. To dress things up, and to honour their name, we’ve kept their surfaces smooth and edged them with sanding sugar.
Palmiers are buttery, caramelized treats made with feather-light puff pastry. Their name means palm tree and, indeed, these curled cookies are often called palm leaves because of their shape.
Tuiles are also aptly named, using the French word for tile. In this instance, they refer to the rounded, red clay tiles that so often top the homes in France and elsewhere in Europe—an image that provokes more dreamy thoughts on a cold, winter afternoon.