Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies

What is a Sablé Cookie? | The Best Slice and Bake Cookies | How to Make Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies | Frequently Asked Questions

Out of all the cookies I make in a year (and believe me, it’s a LOT of cookies), these Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies are one of my very favorites. They are super simple to make, and the taste and texture are amazing! Read below for the details.

vanilla bean sable cookies

A sablé cookie is similar to American shortbread cookies. The main difference is the texture and sometimes the mixing method. “Sable” means grain of sand.

So if we were to interpret the literal meaning for French sable cookies, we get cookies with a somewhat sandy texture.

That does not mean, however, that they are grainy! On the contrary, they are not grainy at all. They are light, buttery, and they have a wonderful texture.

This sablé cookie recipe consists of butter, an egg yolk, sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla. Very simple, but super delicious! If you like these cookies, you may also want to try my chocolate sable cookies. Both are divine!

french sable cookies with vanilla bean

The Best Slice and Bake Cookies

Do you ever just wish you had a roll of cookie dough in the fridge that you could slice and bake any time? Sometimes, cookies take a while because the dough has to chill. Then you end up waiting at least 2-3 hours to make them (which can feel like forever when want a cookie!).

While these slice and bake cookies have to chill for an hour, you can easily slice and bake them all at once or one at a time.

These vanilla bean sablé cookies hold their shape beautifully too, they bake up quickly, and the sanding sugar on the outside is the cherry on top!

I was inspired by Dorie Greenspan‘s vanilla bean sablés and their sugar coating, and she was right. The sanding sugar adds the perfect texture to this cookie.

The sugar coating also makes this into a fun Christmas sable cookie that you could easily gift or share at a cookie swap. Who doesn’t love a glitzy cookie that tastes good?

french sable cookies

How to Make Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies

  1. Cream the butter and sugars.
  2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla bean paste and mix.
  3. Add flours and salt, and mix.
  4. Form dough into a log and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  5. Brush the dough with egg white and roll in coarse sanding sugar.
  6. Slice, bake, and enjoy!
French sable cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Freeze Sablé Cookie Dough?

Yes, once you form the dough into a log, wrap it two times with plastic wrap, and then put it in a freezer bag. The dough can be frozen for up to two months.

How Long Can You Refrigerate the Dough?

You can refrigerate the sable dough for up to a week, and then it’s best to freeze or use the remaining dough.

Wrap the dough well and put it into a freezer bag so that it stays as fresh as possible.

Can You Make Gluten Free Sablé Cookies?

Yes, you certainly can make these gluten free. However, I am not a gluten free baker, so I cannot recommend which specific flours to use.

Can You Use Dairy Substitutes for Sablé Cookies?

I would not recommend it. The butter and egg yolk are key to the flavor of this cookie, so it would not taste anywhere near the same if you replace those ingredients.


Vanilla Bean Sable Cookies

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies


Units Scale

For the Vanilla Bean Sable Cookies

  • 141 g unsalted butter, soft but cool still
  • 50 g granulated sugar (1/4 c)
  • 40 grams powdered sugar (1/4 c)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
  • 150 g all purpose flour (1 1/4 c)
  • 32 g cake flour (1/4 c) (This is my favorite cake flour)
  • 1 egg white
  • Sanding Sugar


To Make Sable Cookies

  1. Cream butter and both sugars in a stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Do not mix on a high speed. We want the ingredients creamed, not whipped.
  2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla bean paste, and mix until combined.
  3. Add fleur de sel and both flours, and mix until dough comes together. 
  4. Turn dough out onto a long piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 10 inch log. Wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Use a pastry brush to coat the sable cookie dough log with the egg white, then roll the dough in the sanding sugar until fully coated.
  6. Slice the cookies into 1/2 inch slice and place up to 15 on a parchment lined half sheet pan. 
  7. Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden brown.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack, cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy!

Keywords: vanilla bean sable cookies, sable cookie dough