French Butter Cookies

Butter cookies, also known as sablés, are traditionally French, and there are many ways to make them. This cookie from Sarah Kieffer, of The Vanilla Bean Blog, falls along the lines of shortbread with extra butter and egg yolks, making for a rich, crisp bite. A final dusting of sanding sugar dresses them up and adds a pleasant crunch.

French Butter Cookies
Makes 36 cookies
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) fine sea salt
  • 3 large egg yolks (56 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups plus 1 tablespoon (321 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and salt at medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, beating until dough starts to form a ball. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough. Using a metal spatula, gently place 12 cookies on each prepared pan. (Any dough scraps can be rewrapped and refrigerated while cookies are baking.) Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar.
  4. Bake, one batch at a time, until edges begin to brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool completely on pans. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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