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A plate of classic vanilla bean sables

French Sable Cookies

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  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 22 minutes
  • Yield: Approximately 30-36 cookies 1x


  • 1/3 cup (66 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped, or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 sticks (8 oz., 228 g) butter, salted or unsalted (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/41/2 tsp. salt (see notes)
  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour


In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer combine the granulated sugar and vanilla bean paste or vanilla beans and rub them together with your fingers until they are well combined and fragrant.

Add the butter (it should be at room temperature, but not oily), powdered sugar, and salt. Mix them together on low speed with a paddle attachment or on medium-low if using a hand mixer. Stir just until combined and creamy-don’t allow the mixture to become light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolk and beat it in for 1 minute. Dump in all of the flour at once and stir it on low until the flour has just been mixed in. You may want to stir in the last bit of flour by hand to avoid over-mixing.

Divide the dough into two equal portions (you can use a scale to make them exact), then place each of them on a sheet of plastic wrap.

Shape each half of the dough into a log about 9 inches long and 3-4″ across. Wrap it well with the plastic wrap.

Chill the dough for at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days.


  • I used vanilla bean paste for these cookies, but you can also scrape out the inside of a vanilla bean with a sharp, straight-edged knife and rub the beans into the sugar.
  • While most cookie recipes call for unsalted butter, I prefer to use salted for a simple cookie like this. There’s a certain depth of flavor that salted butter gives that can’t be replicated by adding salt. If you use salted butter, reduce the added salt to 1/4 tsp.
  • Turn the dough every 15-20 minutes during the first hour of the chilling time to avoid a flat side on your cookies. You can also gently roll out any “edges” that have developed on your roll of dough.
  • For the sugar that is rolled along the sides of the dough, I like to use turbinado. However, you can also use sparkling sugar, demerara, or any other coarse-grained sugar you’d like or have on hand.
  • When baking the cookies, watch them closely to not overbake them. Every oven varies in temperature, so you may need to adjust the bake time.
  • If you’re not sure if the cookies are under or overbaked, you can gently lift the edge of one with a metal spatula to peek at the bottom. If it’s a light golden brown, the cookies are baked.
  • While a sliced cylinder of dough is a classic way to make sables, you can also use this dough for cut out cookies in place of a sugar cookie dough.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes, + 3 hours chill time
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: French