Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sables Viennois

Sables are actually French Shortbread. Shortbreads are traditionally a Christmas cookie made with just four ingredients, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. They are a rich cookie with a delicate buttery flavor but according to Pierre Herme, the addition of egg whites gives these sables an extremely light and melting texture. 


Makes 50

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp(190 g) butter at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp(75 g) confectioners' sugar plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 large egg white
1 3/4 cups(225 g) cake or pastry flour, sifted


Put the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy.  Add the sugar, salt. vanilla, and egg white.  Mix for 1 minute, then add the flour.  Mix on slow speed only just until the flour is fully incorporated with the other ingredients. This dough is fairly soft and cannot be made with your hands.  If you do not have an electric mixer, it is fine to mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.  Take care not to overmix the dough after adding the flour otherwise these sables will be not crunchy and delicate.

Preheat the oven to 350f(180 c).

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.  Pipe the dough in "W" shapes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper leaving /4 inch(2 cm) space between each sable.

Bake until light golden, 12 - 15 minutes.

Remove the sables from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  When cold, dust with sifted confectioners' sugar. 



Mary said...

These sound wonderful, Lily!

Ube said...

I have a strong affinity with anything that bears the word “French” especially cookies and pastries and Sables is one of them. I love dunking them in piping hot Earl Grey tea for mid afternoon snacking. You're really firing up you oven for the New Year!

Quinn said...

Lily, do they taste like Dragon Cookies during CNY or what we know as Loong Peng? Are these hard to pipe? I think I gotta make some. Looks too good!

lilyng said...


these sables are like butter cookies. Check out my adventure with dragon cookies here

Wan said...

The cookies looks good and I would like to try making them. The only problem is that I do not have vanilla powder. Can I substitute with vanilla extract and how much should I add?


lilyng said...


absolutely you can use vanilla extract.

big boys oven said...

so beautiful!

Jacqueline said...

Hi Lily,

I just bought a new convection oven. I never use a convection before. I tried baking these cookies, but i can't seem to get them baked evenly. (I baked 2 racks at once). And the bottom of the cookies got browned, when the top is still soft. I read online, saying that the temp must be reduced by about 15c if using convection oven. Can u enlighten me on this? Are u using convection as well? Do I have to use the fan? and both top and bottom heat? :(

lilyng said...


yes, i like to use the convection of my wall unit oven. It has a fan at the back of the oven and i just choose the temperature you wish like a convention oven. Yes, please do reduce 25f from the required temperature. When baking 2 trays whether using convection or convention, it will be better to rotate the trays half way through baking. Invest in an oven thermometer and you can move it on either side of the oven to see if the temperature is correct, then you can work around the discrepancy.

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