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Sables French butter cookies

This recipe for Sables comes from Wini Moranville's cookbook, The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day (Harvard Common Press; 2011). Find out more about Wini's book at chezbonnefemme.com.

About this recipe, Wini says, "These elegant French butter cookies are a bit like a cross between English shortbread and the American sugar cookie they're not as thick and crumbly as shortbread (though they are as wonderfully buttery!), and they're not as sweet as American sugar cookies. They're perfectly right down the middle."

Here's the recipe: makes about 4 dozen cookies


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,* softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Beat in the flour mixture until just until combined. Using your hands, press the dough together in the bowl until it forms a ball. Divide the dough in half, form it into two disks, and wrap each separately in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until the dough is firm and easy to handle, about 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough disk until 1/4 inch thick. With a 2-inch round cookie cutter (a cutter with scalloped edges is traditional), cut out the dough. Transfer the cutouts to ungreased cookie sheets. Reroll any scraps and cut out more cookies.

3. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg yolk-water mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container, separated by layers of waxed paper, for up to 3 days.

Sables French butter cookies

Sables French cookie

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