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French Sable Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Buttery, crumbly, decadent, and simple French Sable Cookies are the perfect companion to a cup of tea and are just four ingredients away!
A batch of French Sable Cookies are served on a platter alongside a cup of hot tea. The butter cookies are crosshatched and golden brown.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: My French Sable Cookies are the classic French Butter cookie, loved for their crumbly, sandy texture, simplicity, and decadent amount of butter. 

Can you believe that just four ingredients are all you need to make homemade French Sable Cookies? Believe it! The most beloved French cookie is beyond simple to make, but it requires one special ingredient: really good butter

Not unlike my 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies, French Sablé Cookies have a crumbly texture, almost sandy — in fact, “sablé” means sand in French — that melts in your mouth when you bite them. The taste is beyond simplistic, absolutely impossible to put down, and serves as the perfect companion to a cup of hot tea. 

These cookies are super quick to bake, too! Which means you can make them whenever the cravings hit — and once you try them, those cravings might hit a lot! 

A close-up photo of homemade French Sable Cookies show a crosshatch design. The cookies are golden brown.

What Are French Sable Cookies?

Sable cookies, sometimes called French Butter Cookies, Palet Bréton, or Sable Breton, are delicious butter cookies made with the most simple of ingredients. In texture and taste, they are similar to a traditional English shortbread cookie; however, French Sable cookie dough includes two large egg yolks. Then, before baking, brush the cookies’ tops with a third egg yolk! 

What Butter Should I Use For Butter Cookies? Cultured Butter Vs. Regular Butter

It is so important to use the best butter you can find when making Sable Cookies. Find good quality, high-fat, salted butter. Good butter is what makes these cookies taste delicious and melt in your mouth. If you can find it, use cultured butter. 

Cultured butter has a much more dominant buttery taste and is creamier than regular butter. Unlike regular butter, which is made by churning fresh cream until it forms solid butter, cultured butter is made by introducing bacterial cultures to pasteurized cream. The cream is left to ferment until it thickens. This fermentation results in a more buttery taste plus adds a slight tang, similar to the tang you can taste in yogurt. 

Tools You Need To Make Homemade French Sable Cookies

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Stand mixer or handheld electric mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Baking sheets
  • 2-inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter

Next to a cup of tea, seven French Sable Cookies are served on a golden platter.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Homemade Sable Cookies

  • Do not skimp on the butter quality for these cookies, as it is the main flavor. Good quality salted butter (cultured, if you can find it) is key.
  • Make Vanilla Bean Sables by mixing 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste into the dough along with the butter.
  • Try tossing 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary or dried lavender into the dough along with the flour.
  • Sandwich these cookies with some Homemade Ganache or Dulce de Leche.
  • These cookies hold their shape well, and you can use them instead of sugar cookies for holiday cut-out cookies. Instead of egg wash, make Royal Icing to decorate the cookies.

Try More Of My Favorite Cookie Recipes

 

French Sable Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Buttery, crumbly, decadent, and simple French Sable Cookies are the perfect companion to a cup of tea and are just four ingredients away!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 24 cookies
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Buttery, crumbly, decadent, and simple French Sable Cookies are the perfect companion to a cup of tea and are just four ingredients away!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (6 oz/170 g) excellent quality salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (10 oz/284 g) all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a medium bowl and a handheld electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in 2 egg yolks, then turn the speed to low and gradually mix in the flour until incorporated.
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • On a floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼-inch (6-mm) thick and cut cookies using a 2-inch (5-cm) round cutter.
  • Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and, with a thin, sharp knife, score the tops to create a crosshatch pattern.
  • Whisk the remaining egg yolk with a few drops of water (up to ½ teaspoon) to loosen it, then brush it over the tops of the cookies.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Let cool on wire racks, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for about an hour.
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Debbie Dunn
Debbie Dunn
10 days ago

Hi Gemma 😊
I’m not such a great roller and cutter 🤷‍♀️ I wonder…can I roll this into a nice even log about 2″ across and refrigerate, then slice about 1/4″ cookies and complete as directed?
Thank you,
Deb

Judith Milne
Judith Milne
1 month ago

Hi Gemma – has the sugar got to be granulated, I usually only buy caster?

Beverlyann
Beverlyann
1 month ago

Very tasty recipe! Couldn’t get the ingredients to come together so I had to add an extra 1/2 a stick of butter. Also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Came out golden and yummy! Definitely a keeper!

Kathy
Kathy
1 month ago

Gemma: “2 large egg yolks plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature” is what the ingredient list has. The instrctions say 2 egg yolks. This is confusing.

Lizzie
Lizzie
1 month ago

These look lovely to have with tea! I’m going to try them with gluten-free flour. Most cookies work fine with gluten-free flour.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook