Sables, also known as a French Butter Cookie or Breton Biscuit, is a classic cookie originating in Normandy France. The name ‘Sables’ is French for “sand”, which refers to the sandy texture of this delicate and crumbly shortbread-like cookie. The traditional shape is round with fluted edges.The flavor of French Butter Cookies is dependent on the quality of the ingredients, especially the butter and vanilla extract. I splurged on KERRYGOLD BUTTER and SINGING DOG VANILLA BEAN PASTE and the cookies were buttery rich and “sandy” with the most delicious hints of vanilla.
It isn’t necessary to use a fancy cookie stamp, a round cutter will do fine, but I was eager to try the new little set of stamps I recently purchased on amazon.ca. I love anything that reminds me of my visits to Paris and the three stamps depict the Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur. A little recipe book is included “Les Sables de Paris” (in French) but the recipes are easy to figure out and include flavors such as pistachio, chocolate, lemon, rosewater and ginger. I tried to find the link to share with you but couldn’t locate it. I’m sure it is out there some place. If I can track it down I will let you know. It did take about 3 months to get my order…for some unknown reason. Anyway, I’m so happy to have these stamps and know I will use them when I’m in the mood for reminders of Paris.
Small stamps with intricate designs can be a bear to use. The dough gets stuck in the teeny spaces and all you have is a big mess and a stamp that has to be cleaned with a toothpick every time you use it. No fun…and it can take all day. If you have any stamps like this my tips are to make a dough that doesn’t call for baking powder. You want the design to be as sharp as possible so you don’t want a dough that rises. Flour the stamp well between each press and heavily flour the rolled out dough. This is the only thing that will keep the dough from sticking. After the cookies have been cut brush the excess flour off with a pastry brush. All of it will come off and you will have a nice crisp shape. Chill cookies for 30 minutes before baking.
UPDATE: I found the amazon.ca link so if you are interested in these little stamps they can be found HERE.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (250g) butter
- 1 cup (140g) sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2-2/3 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together sugar, salt and flour.
- Mix in butter and stir until mixture is crumbly.Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla.
- Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness suitable for your stamps. Generously flour the board and the surface of the dough so the stamp won't stick. Press the stamp into the dough and then cut out the design with a round cookie cutter. Using a pastry brush remove the excess flour from the top of the cookie.
- Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake until very lightly browned around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.