Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies

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 sables 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 of 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!

vanilla bean sable cookie recipe

The Best Slice and Bake Cookies

Do you ever wish you had a roll of cookie dough in the fridge that you could slice and bake at any time? Sometimes, cookies take a while to make 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 you 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?

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 both 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!
vanilla bean sablee 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 to stay fresh.

Can You Make Vanilla Bean Sable Cookies Gluten-Free?

Yes, you certainly can make these gluten-free. However, I am not a gluten-free baker, so I cannot recommend which 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 replaced those ingredients.


Vanilla Bean Sable Cookies

close up of sable cookies in a wooden box

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Creaming
  • Cuisine: French


Units Scale

For the Vanilla Bean Sable Cookies

  • 141 g unsalted butter, room temp (65 F)
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 45 g powdered sugar
  • 25 g egg, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/2 tsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 165 g all purpose flour
  • 30 g cake flour (This is my favorite cake flour)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg white (for coating the dough after chilling)
  • 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 and vanilla bean paste, and mix until combined.
  3. Add fleur de sel, both flours, and cornstarch. Mix until dough comes together. 
  4. Turn the dough onto a long plastic wrap and shape it into an 8-inch log. Wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 335 degrees F. 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 1/4″ thick, and place 15 -18 slices on a parchment-lined half-sheet pan. 
  7. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden brown.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack, cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy!


This is a Baker Street Society recipe.


  1. Pingback: Pizzelle Christmas Cookies - Baker Street Society

  2. It took me 2 tries but then they came out just like the bakery I discovered them at. Not over mixing is definitely key. Wonderful recipe, thank you.

    • Elin, I’m so glad you loved this recipe! I would agree, mixing correctly is key. Thank you for your review!

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