A buttery flavor, sandy texture and sugar coated edges make the classic French butter cookies, sablés, truly swoon-worthy! While the words "French classic" may fill you with dread, these slice and bake treats are surprising simple. It's easy to make dough logs days ahead or stash in the freezer for cookie emergencies.
The key to maximum deliciousness is to use good butter. After all, it's the star of this cookie. European butter, with its higher fat content, will yield far superior results. We use Irish butter for ours. If you can't find it or don't want to bear the extra expense, American butter will still give you a delicious cookie.
This recipe makes about 24 cookies. We sliced our cookies a little wider than 1/4 inch (6mm), maybe around 3/8 inch (9mm).
These are AMAZING when fresh, but wait until they're cool for best flavor. Cookies keep in a sealed container at room temperature for several days. They also freeze well, although you may get some color bleeding if you use colorful nonpareils or sprinkles like we did in our photos.
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200g) decorative sugar, like sanding sugar, turbinado or nonpareils/sprinkles
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with SideSwipe or a flat paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add granulated sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, around 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater if necessary.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla, and mix on low speed until incorporated.
- Add the flour and mix on your mixer's lowest speed until just combined. Watch this phase closely. The dough will be done when the flour streaks disappear.
- Line your counter space with 2 foot (60cm) long piece of plastic cling wrap. Form the dough into a 12 inch (30cm) log. You can make the log squared off or round.
- Sprinkle the sanding sugar over the log, pressing the sugar or decorations gently into the dough on all sides. Wrap in the plastic and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or overnight.
- With your oven rack in the middle position, heat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice the chilled log into 1/4 inch (6mm) - 3/8 inch (9mm) slices. Place onto the parchment lined sheets, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) between cookies.
Bake 11-14 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn a very light golden brown, but the centers are still pale. Rotate the pans (front to back) to make sure the sablés bake evenly. We also recommend that you bake a few cookies as a test batch to see how they cook in your oven, as we found our sablés we done on the lower range of typical baking time.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan before transferring to a plate or container
These simple cookies lend themselves to adaptation. Feel free to add crushed dried berries or crushed nuts to the dough before mixing. We especially love pistachio in ours!