Sables (pronounced SAH blay) are a classic French butter cookie that originated in Normandy and are now popular throughout France. The name of these cookies means “sand,” which refers to their crumbly texture. Traditionally, the deliciously buttery shapes are round with fluted edges, but you can use any of your favorite cookie cutters.
Specialty tools: Rolling pin, cookie cutters
Preparation time: 1 hour; includes chilling
Baking time: 9 minutes
Yield: 4 dozen
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add. Pulse until the butter is cut into very tiny pieces. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla and add to the butter mixture. Pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 30 seconds.
To mix the dough using a mixer and bowl beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cream together well. Lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and add. Blend well, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Combine the flour and salt and add to the mixture in three stages, blending well after each addition.
Divide the dough in two and roll each section between sheets of lightly floured wax paper to a thickness of 1/4 inch. If the dough is soft, chill on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Gently peel off the wax paper and use a variety of cookie cutters to shape the dough. Transfer the cookies to the lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between the cookies.
Bake for 9 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are golden and set.
Remove the cookie sheets and transfer the cookies from the parchment to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or freeze for longer storage.
Per serving: Calories 65 (From Fat 28); Fat 3g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 17mg; Sodium 9mg; Carbohydrate 8g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 1g.