Last updated on October 22nd, 2021
French Butter Cookies — Sablés Breton — originated in the northwest region of Brittany, France. In France and elsewhere in Europe, the cookies are instantly recognized for their fluted edges, crosshatch markings, and brilliant sheen. To me, the buttery biscuits taste like a trip to Paris without the jetlag. They are crisp, slightly-crumbly, and definitely delicious.
A note about the butter. For the best-tasting cookies, use best-quality butter. I used “Kerrygold” unsalted butter, and it worked out brilliantly for my Sablé. Kerrygold and other European-style butters are infinitely more flavorful than standard supermarket butters.
A freezer note. The raw cookie dough and the baked cookies both freeze perfectly well. Consequently you can bake as many cookies as you want, and then freeze the remaining dough for baking later. Just be sure to wrap the dough tightly in cling film prior to freezing it. Baked cookies should be frozen in an air-tight container.
A video is worth a million words. Be sure to watch the above video demonstration for these French Butter Cookies. The video will provide you with visual clues that neither photographs nor written words can convey.
I hope you will give these cookies a try. They are uniquely wonderful! xKevin
Other cookies you might like to bake:
Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies.
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French Butter Cookies (Sablé Breton)
- A stand mixer or electric handheld beaters
- Parchment paper
For the cookie dough:
- 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted, good-quality butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the egg wash:
- 1 room temperature egg beaten with up to 1 tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half
Making the cookie dough:
- Using the paddle attachment of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy -- 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat at low-medium speed until incorporated -- about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat at lowest speed until incorporated -- about 1 minute.
- Form the dough into a rough ball. Then wrap the dough in cling film and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Rolling out the dough:
- Cut the chilled dough in half. Roll each half between sheets of parchment paper until the dough is between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. Place the dough, still in its parchment paper sandwich, on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until the dough is cold and firm -- 30-40 minutes. Or, freeze the dough for 15-20 minutes.
Pressing out the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel off the top sheet of parchment paper, and press out cookies with a fluted, 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter. Transfer cookies to parchment- or silicon mat-lined baking sheets.
- Brush the cookies with the egg wash. Then, using the tines of a fork or a toothpick or wooden skewer, make crosshatch markings on the top of each cookie.
Baking and storing the cookies:
- Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies turn golden-brown around the edge, and the tops color lightly. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze the cookies.
these cookies look superb, my 7 yr old grandson is coming this week! he’ll have your cookies to enjoy . Thank you Kevin for Sharing … YUMMY !
My Grandmother had a recipe like this. . The only difference between your recipe and my
Grandmother’s was that my Grandmother didn’t roll out her cookies but used a Tablespoon
of the dough, formed a ball in her hands and flattened the cookies with a fork making the
crosshatch design. I still make these cookies today. Best butter cookie out there.
My heritage is from the Netherlands on both my Mother’s and Father’s sides of the tree.
Do you have a superb recipe for hermit cookies!
Kevin, I’m really fond of buttery Shortbread Cookies – however, I look forward to giving these a trying since you said they are the best tasting butter cookie around! Thank you for sharing recipe and great video “how to”!
Thank you for this fine recipe!
A general remark, it would be of great help to a lot of us giving the amount in grams as well.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Gillis – See the printable recipe above. Measurements in grams are listed for the butter, flour, and sugar. Enjoy!
Can I use salted butter & eliminate the salt instead of using unsalted butter? Thanks heaps…!!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Sarah – Commercially-produced salted butter usually doesn’t contain much salt. Consequently, I’d go ahead and add the 1/2 teaspoon salt called for in the recipe. Hope you enjoy the cookies as much as I did!