Gluten Free Butter Cookies (French Sablés)

These gluten free butter cookies are named “sables” after the town in which they were first made in 1670, Sablé-sur-Sarthe, a town in West France. The word means “sand” which is fitting of these cookies as they are tender and have soft crumbs that crumble easily. They are also known as “sand butter” cookies. Generally you make them without eggs, but if you prefer, you may make them with heavy cream. Roll out and cut the dough. You can even sandwich them with your desired filling. However, the dough may simply be sliced and baked. Sables compliment custards, poached fruit, and other moist desserts, similar to biscotti. Of course, you can serve them with coffee, tea, or milk, as well.

Gluten Free Butter Cookies (French Sables)

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Yield: Makes 6 servings.

Gluten Free Butter Cookies (French Sables)

These gluten free butter cookies are named "sables" in French. The French version of the butter cookie is usually crisp, but they may be made soft and buttery as well.

Ingredients:

  • 14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar for soft cookies (granulated sugar for crisp)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks (or 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose flour Blend
  • Potato starch, for dusting
  • 1 large egg, for egg wash
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream (or milk or egg yolk + water for dairy-free), for egg wash
  • Finely ground sugar (or confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling)

Instructions:

  1. Cream butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla together in the bowl of your electric mixer for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  2. Gradually pour in cream or add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat on medium speed after each addition.
  3. Sift flour into butter mixture and beat on low speed at first, then on medium, just long enough to combine.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and shape into a log shapes. Refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. On potato starched sheet of parchment paper, roll dough out to 1/4-inch thick and refrigerate dough until firm, 1 hour or more. Add additional potato starch as needed. (You want the dough to slide on the surface, never stick.)
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F for crisp cookies or 375°F for soft/buttery ones.
  7. Cut dough into desired shapes, and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Keep raw cookie dough refrigerated until ready to make next batch.
  8. If desired, sprinkle tops with fine sugar, or omit this step and once their baked and cool, dust them confectioner's sugar.
  9. To make the egg wash, in a cup, whisk egg and cream together, and strain the mixture using a small mesh strainer and discard any remnants of egg. Brush the top of each cookie, and then again if you wish a shiny top. For egg-free, skip this step.
  10. Bake on center rack for 15 - 25 minutes or until golden brown (longer at 325°F and shorter at 375°F).

Visit Carla’s Gluten Free Online Store.

5 Replies to “Gluten Free Butter Cookies (French Sablés)”

  1. Hi Carla, how much is “14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter” please ? I live in France and we mostly use grams. Is it around 200 grams of butter ? It seems a lot ! Thanks for your reply.

  2. My cookies just dissolved into formless shapes then burned. Really disappointed. Was using this for a child’s presentation.

    1. Hi Allyson,

      I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I can only assume that you did not use the flour blend that is listed in the ingredients list. It is extremely important to use my flour blend recipe as it calls for “superfine” rice flour, not the regular ground variety. In addition, if you used a premixed flour blend the ingredients may have had a different ratio of starch to flour, or may have been missing gum. Let me know if you used the flour blend recipe listed and we can go from there.

      Thanks,
      Carla

  3. Thanks for posting this recipe! My GF 11 yr old daughter is taking French and needs to bring something french to share for their “Thanksgiving Dinner” in class. These will be prefect!

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