The well-known Petit Beurre biscuit is a classic French butter cookie that everybody in France has experienced at least once! The Petit Beurre recipe originates from the LU Company in Nantes in the 19th century. Since then this delightful, simple cookie, generally enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, has made the pride of the Pays de la Loire region.
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. Married to Mademoiselle Utile, this inventive baker decided romantically to place their initials "LU" on every biscuit.
Therefore, LU rapidly became a benchmark in terms of French pastry and confectionery and since then, the crunchy butter cookie has been commonly called Petit Beurre LU or Véritable Petit Beurre.
The "pure butter" cookie was rapidly a worldwide success, the recipe has been imitated thousands of times, but never equalled! The authentic Petit Beurre indeed perpetuates LU's reputation thanks to its brown golden colour, square shape and funny "ears" at the corners - that Petit Beurre lovers traditionnally bite off first!
In France, children - as well as parents and grandparents! - have been enjoying the typical French biscuit for a long time now. Another version topped with chocolate, named Petit Ecolier (schoolboy cookie) is also highly appreciated.
These crispy cookies that melt in the mouth are today the symbol of the seaside town of Nantes. LU's biscuit factory today produces about one billion French Petit Beurre a year, this corresponds to 41 million Veritable Petit Beurre packets - widely exported!
According to Nantes traditions, the authentic LU cookie has well-thought dimensions in order to be readily packed, transported and stocked.
The Petit Beurre connoiseurs even assert that the traditional LU packets contain 24 cookies to match the 24 hours a day!