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5 from 2 votes

French Butter Cookies (Sablé Breton)

These are crisp, slightly-crumbly, and totally worth your time.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time14 minutes
Chilling time1 hour
Course: Afternoon Tea, cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 24


  • 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.