French Sable Cookies

French Sable Cookie Recipe

When David asked the charming Dorie Greenspan what her cookie du moment was during our Christmas podcast, this was her answer. Although actually, we suspect this would be her response no matter what time of year we asked given the passion she expressed for the simple French sable. We’re not about to disagree. With its crispy, perfect exterior and cakey, tender interior, it’s got a sort of simple elegance, as Dorie says. Can’t think of an occasion when that wouldn’t be welcome.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC Sneaky Sable Note

Leave it to the French to create a cookie that is as graceful at accommodating other ingredients as a Parisian is at tying a scarf about her neck. Spices. Citrus zests. Nuts. Icings. You’ve got not just one cook, but countless. Sneaky sable.

Special Equipment: 2-inch baking rings (may substitute 2-inch round cookie cutters and muffin tins)

French Sable Cookie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • Makes about 2 dozen cookies


  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • Sanding sugar, for decorating


  • 1. With a mixer on low speed, beat the butter, sugars, and salt together for 5 minutes, until smooth. Beat in the yolks, then the vanilla. Scrape the bowl and add the flour all at once. Mix only until the flour is incorporated.
  • 2. Divide the dough in half, flatten into disks on a lightly floured surface, and place each between sheets of parchment or wax paper. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick. [Editor’s Note: Just like in the story of Goldilocks, you want the dough to be not too thin and not too thick but just right at 1/4 inch thick. Trust us.] Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze for at least 1 hour.
  • 3. Center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • 4. If using 2-inch baking rings, cut out the first batch of cookies and, using an offset spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If using 2-inch cookie cutters, cut out the first batch of cookies and, using an offset spatula, gently transfer the cookies to muffin tins to help the cookies retain their perfect shape during baking.
  • 5. Sprinkle the cookies with sanding sugar and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on their bottoms and around their edges. Cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet or in the muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 6. Continue cutting and baking, always using a cool baking sheet as you gather the scraps of dough, roll, chill, cut, and bake. We think you can take it from here.
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