Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

Posted by on Jan 1, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

Let’s welcome 2020 in grand style: with French shortbread called almond sables!

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I’ve made a lot of shortbread in my day. All varieties. This is shortbread that’s gone up in level. It tastes fancy. It’s a French recipe, so that’s only appropriate, right?

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I highly recommend you use President-brand unsalted butter for this recipe. My recipe is actually modified from a version they used in advertisements. However, you can use other butters, just make sure you use unsalted and only 7 ounces. That means you’ll chop off a tablespoon from the standard American butter stick.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I made these cookies twice to get the recipe the way I wanted it. I used salted butter the first time, and the cookies tasted noticeably salty. Not just to me, but to other eaters as well.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

Because these cookies have such few ingredients, the few that are present really have a chance to shine. They are buttery, mildly nutty, with a soft, sandy texture.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I liked using my fluted cookie cutters for these–that way the sugar coating has more nooks and crannies to cling to!

Recipe modified from a President butter advertisement.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

These French-style shortbread cookies taste delicate and refined. Note that the dough needs at least a few hours to chill prior to baking. Modified from a recipe by President Butter.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cookies, shortbread
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Beth Cato


  • small cookie cutter
  • parchment paper


  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 7- ounces President unsalted butter softened, or substitute other unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or substitute 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Toast the almonds prior to beginning cookies. Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Spread almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes; turn off oven.
  • Measure out flour in a small bowl.
  • Use a food processor to grind almonds to a fine crumb; don't process for too long or it'll turn to almond butter. Mix almond crumbs with flour.
  • In a big bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and salt, until smooth again. Add vanilla bean (or equivalent) and egg yolk. Gradually work in flour mixture. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead 3 or 4 times to form a cohesive ball.
  • Place dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and compress dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Enshroud in plastic wrap. Transfer to fridge to set, at least 2 hours but as long as 2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line large baking sheet with fresh parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough to closer to 1/4-inch thickness, then set aside top parchment sheet. Use a small round cookie cutter to cut dough, placing rounds spaced-out on sheet pan. Re-roll dough scraps to use up the rest, adding a touch of water, if necessary, to bring dough together again.
  • Bake until edges are just turning golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Measure out remaining 1/2 cup white sugar in a bowl. Use a spatula to dip warm cookies into sugar to coat top and sides. Place on rack to cool cookies completely.
  • Cookies keep well in sealed container for up to 3 days.


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