Sable Cookies

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These French cookies are very buttery and have both a crumbly and tender texture.  I’ve never had the non-gluten-free version, but my friends and I all enjoy the gluten-free type, so that’s a good sign!

Sable Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt (but normal salt is just fine)
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • Decorating (coarse) sugar
  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy.
  2. Add sugars and salt and beat about 1 minute.  Only beat until the mixture is smooth; you don’t want it to be airy and fluffy.
  3. On low speed, beat in egg yolks.
  4. Stir in flour partially, then finish beating it in on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat just until flour is completely incorporated and the dough looks uniformly moist.  The dough won’t come together in a ball.  It will look moist and clumpy and feel a little like Play-Doh.
  5. Scrape dough onto work surface, gather it into a ball, and divide in half.
  6. Lay each half on a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 9 inch-long log.
  7. Wrap logs tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.  (They can be frozen for up to 2 months.)  To help keep a log round, you can slit the cardboard tube from a paper towel and store the log inside.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Beat an egg yolk in a small bowl.
  10. Remove one log from refrigerator and unwrap it, leaving it on the plastic wrap.  Brush yolk all over the log.
  11. Sprinkle entire surface of log with decorating sugar.
  12. Slice log into cookies that are 1/3-inch thick.  To help keep log round, rotate log a little with each slice.
  13. Place cookies on baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart.
  14. Bake for 17 minutes if gluten free OR 17-20 minutes if not.  When done, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges, and pale on top.  If you touch the top, they will still feel tender.
  15. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, carefully move cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.  The gluten-free cookies are prone to cracking and crumbling, so handle them carefully.
  16. Repeat process with second log.
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