Friday, December 19, 2008


If you've been blog-hopping recently, you can't help but have noticed that there are many posts dedicated to mom's or grandma's or Aunt Marie's favorite Italian or Mexican or Greek butter cookie. What's more, they all sound suspiciously like the same recipe. In an effort to bring you something new (ahem!), I decided to share my favorite recipe for basic French sables. Oh, all right, French sables are butter cookies, too, but they're are tres chic and tres petite.

A few words of warning here. If your household is populated by several of the male species, you may want to hide these. Men don't get the concept of petite, They operate from the "more is better" variety. When you see your beautifully decorated little coins being grabbed by the handful and tossed into the mouth, you may get a sudden urge to resurrect the guillotine. Let me assure you that if you do manage to salvage some of these treasures, they are quite delicious and look rather festive.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg white, beaten
OPTIONAL: colored sugar, chopped nuts, melted chocolate, non-pareils
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat thoroughly.
Combine the flour and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend until the dough is smooth.
Shape the dough into cylinders about 1-2 inches in diameter on a lightly floured surface.
Wrap the cyliners in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
Brush refrigerated logs with beaten egg white and roll in decoration of choice.
Slice the dough with a sharp knife into 1/3 inch disks.
Place 1 inch apart on parchment or silicone mat covered baking sheets.
Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are slightly colored.
You may freeze the shaped, but uncooked dough for baking at a later time.
There are many variations to be made from this simple, but delicious, dough. You may, for example:
tint the dough
substitute 1/4 cup cocoa poweder for flour for chocolate butter cookies
substitute 1/2 tsp of the vanilla with mint, rum, walnut, or any other flavoring
make sandwich cookies by spreading one cookie with ganache
mold a log of dough into squares, ovals, hearts, or other simple shapes
roll and cut the dough with cookie cutters
While the first batch of these cookies is a distant memory, they are so easy they can be made in a snap. Joyeus Noel.


  1. I've been waiting for this post! I've never tried sables, but you're making me want to!

  2. you are so right about these Petite cookies. Tim grabs a hand full the down they go. LOL
    Cookies and Christmas they just go together.

  3. Isn't it amazing how little attention men pay to these things? I made tiny pink peppermint cookies with frosting, and carefully picked pink and white non-pariels out of my rainbow mix to adorn the little guys. It took me quite a bit of time and work. Then my husband and his friend just inhaled them without even looking at the cookies. Sigh.

  4. Those look so good. I love that you can add additional flavors to the outside and reinvent them.


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