Nantes Cakes – Cookies

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I recently acquired a very good book about the food that Claude Monet, the artist, used to like to eat. It included a lot of recipes of that food and also included lots of information and also photos of some of his paintings.  Coincidentally shortly after I bought the book one of my subscribers on Youtube wrote and offered to send me a copy, which was most generous of her.  I did, during that exchange promise to make at least one of the recipes once I had returned from my holiday.

So today’s recipe is from The Monet Cookbook and is for Nantes Cakes which, it seems to me are actually biscuits/cookies. They are a form of shortbread I think with ground almonds included and they certainly taste very good.  However the recipe seemed to be in error in a couple of ways, for instance it said that it would make 20 Nantes Cakes but the volume of ingredients certainly indicated that I would have many more than that.  In the event I got 48 biscuits/cookies, which certainly look the same size as the photo in the book.  Also some of the ingredients as measured in cups seemed to be incorrect, so in the recipe below, and in the video, I have adjusted that.

The recipe is very simple indeed and the resultant cookies taste very good indeed. They are very crunchy and have a subtle lemon flavour.  If anything I might have used twice as much lemon zest to give a slightly stronger flavour.  But as they turned out they were very good.

Monet’s Nantes Cakes 
                         Monet’s Nantes Cakes – Video                                


  • 500g(4 cup) plain flour
  • 250g(1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
  • 250g (2 sticks + 2 tbsp) softened butter
  • 100g(1 cup) ground almonds
  • 4 medium eggs(large in USA)
  • zest from one lemon
  • flaked almonds to top the cookies


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F.
  2. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper(the original recipe said to grease the paper, but it isn’t necessary).
  3. Place the flour, sugar almonds and lemon zest into a large bowl and stir to mix together.
  4. Add the butter and eggs and mix together to combine into a stiff dough(you can do this with a hand mixer too).
  5. Roll the dough out, on a floured surface, to a thickness of about 5mm(1/4 inch).
  6. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter(or a thin rimmed drinking glass) cut out discs of dough and transfer to the baking trays, leaving a 1.5 inch between each.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 – 18 minutes until the cookies just start to colour and they are baked through.
  8. Allow to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The book does suggest that these are best left for 24 hours before serving, but I couldn’t wait that long.

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