It doesn’t get much easier or tastier than chocolate sablé cookies. They are super tender, not overly sweet, and decadent with double the chocolate. These classic French cookies take just 10 minutes to prep, an hour to chill, and a few minutes to bake. Eat them warm or cool, but whatever you do…savor every bite!
A Few Notes About This Recipe
I am a big believer in learning and continuing our baking educations no matter how old we get. Taking classes allows us to gleam lots of little tidbits we can’t get from reading a recipe.
I learned how to make this French cookie recipe when I took an online class with Cook’n with Class. While it might not be financially affordable to travel to Europe or around the world on a whim, there are a lot of cooking schools offering online classes at very affordable prices.
Of course, this is not the same recipe I learned in my class. Rather, I took inspiration from the recipe and created my own version.
Salt & Chocolate Options
If you do not have fleur de sel or flaked sea salt, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt instead. Quality is always important, so please don’t use table salt. This recipe needs a good salt to enhance the chocolate.
For the best results, choose good chocolate as well. I prefer Callebaut or Valrhona because they both have a good melting quality and amazing flavor.
Also, did you know that the Pound Plus chocolate sold at Trader Joe’s is made by Callebaut? Yep! Much more affordable but still amazing quality.
What are Chocolate Sablé Cookies?
A chocolate sable cookie is a French shortbread cookie, but the texture varies some from an American shortbread cookie. The word “sablé” mean grain, like a grain of sand. So a sablé cookie is more grainy than it is smooth, but so delicious.
This cookie is best mixed by hand, but you can use a stand mixer if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. For a slightly more tender cookie, use your hands/spoon to mix. For a smoother cookie, use a stand mixer. Make sense?
As a side note, we get to know the texture of dough better when we mix with our hands. We can feel the dough and know when it has come together instead of just eyeing it.
Slice and Bake
French sable cookies are the perfect slice and bake cookie. Make them all at once, or make a few at a time throughout the week. That is the beauty of a slice and bake cookie. You can have a perfectly warm, freshly baked cookie every day if you want to, and it’s no fuss at all.
Natural Cocoa Powder vs. Dutch-Process
Should you use natural cocoa powder or Dutch-process for this recipe? Because this recipe calls for baking soda, it needs an acid to react with. Otherwise, the baking soda won’t activate and the cookies won’t rise and tenderize as much as they should. Because we need an acidic ingredient, we need to use natural cocoa powder.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder is cocoa powder that has been neutralized, so it has a neutral pH level. It won’t react with the baking soda, so don’t use it for this recipe.
My absolute favorite natural cocoa powder is this made by Cacao Barry. It’s produced in France, and the flavor is unbeatable. But in my experience, that’s usually the case with French produced goods in general.
It comes in a big bag and will last a long time, but if you need something a little more affordable, Ghiradelli also makes good cocoa powder.
3 Tips for Making the Best Sablé Cookies
1. Mix by Hand
Mix the dough with your hands and a spoon. Yes, you can use a stand mixer, but the cookies won’t be quite as tender. Use your hands to combine the butter and brown sugar, and then use a spoon to finish blending it before adding more ingredients.
A little hint- make sure the butter is somewhat soft so it’s easy to mix by hand.
2. Use a Serrated Knife
When it comes time to finely chop the chocolate, use a serrated knife (I’ll take this one to my grave, it’s that good!)
A serrated knife gives you better control as you slice through the chocolate. Instead of chocolate pieces flying off the cutting board from the force of the knife, the chocolate stays fairly neat. It makes for easier clean up, and the chocolate will chop easier in general.
3. Cut Thick Slices
Slice the chilled log of dough into 1/2 inch slices and bake. We want 1/2 inch pieces so that they don’t crisp up and bake too fast around the edges. Thinner cookies are almost always crisper, but these cookies should be tender and soft.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Bakery Style)
- Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- Buttercream Cookies
Chocolate Sablé Cookies
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Chill Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 26 minutes
- Yield: 20 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- 141 g unsalted butter, room temperature (10 Tbs)
- 100 g light brown sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 142 g bittersweet chocolate (use baking chocolate, not choc. chips) (5 oz)
- 120 g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
- 14 g natural unsweetened cocoa powder (2 Tbs)
- 4 g baking soda (1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional variation)
- 1 tsp Fleur de Sel or flaked sea salt
To Make the Chocolate Sablé Cookies
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine room temperature butter and brown sugar. Use your hands to combine the two ingredients. You can also use a spatula to full combine if necessary. Sometimes a spatula or spoon is helpful to smooth out any butter lumps. Add vanilla and stir.
- Use a serrated knife to chop chocolate into fine, small pieces, making some smaller and some slightly larger.
- Add all dry ingredients including chocolate to the butter mixture and gently stir just until the dough comes together.
- Pour dough out onto a long piece of plastic wrap and form dough into a log that is roughly 10″ long. You will need to use your hands to bring the dough together so it’s smooth. Wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and cut dough into 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife. Place no more than 12 cookies on one baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure to stagger cookies so that they bake properly.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cookies should still look slightly gooey but not raw.
- Cool and enjoy. If desired, add more fleur de sel on top of the cookies.
Keywords: chocolate sables, chocolate sable cookies, chocolate shortbread cookies, french cookies