Sables (shortbread cookies)

I’m backed up… busy… swamped. I almost didn’t make these, but I skipped last week and didn’t want to miss another Tuesdays with Dorie.

So, I opened the book and was very happy to see that I wouldn’t have to shop for anything. Butter, sugar, powdered sugar, salt, a few eggs and some flour. Easy enough. To decorate.. an egg yolk and some colored sugar. Even better!

Besides, I really needed a reason to show off my new milk glass plate.

Isn’t it purty??

I found it at a local booth type store, you know the kind. A bunch of different dealers pay for space and display their wares. You can find anything from antique furniture to Christmas ornaments and a mountain of stuff in between. Themes range from Victorian to The Fifties to Grandpa’s garage junk.

It’s so fun sifting through stores like this. It’s really hard to find the time though, so I was really happy when I found this little gem, as well as the other plate pictured here. I’m not done though. I’m still on the lookout for a milk glass cake platter. :)

Anyway, enough about my plates, and more about the cookies. They’re good, very good, melt in your mouth yummy.

I found them very easy to decorate. The dough gives you two logs, I cut each log into thirds and worked with one third at a time. I did different colors and also used Turbinado sugar and nonpareils BUT I had a problem with some of them getting too brown. :( So, I only photographed the starlets.

This is a lovely recipe and can be found on pages 131-133.

5 from 1 reviews
TWD: Sables (shortbread cookies)
Servings: 50 cookies
ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Soft Gingerbread Cookies with Chocolate Drizzles
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature, plus 1 large egg yolk, for brushing the logs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Decorating (coarse) sugar
  1. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 of the egg yolks, again beating until the mixture is homogeneous.
  2. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and the counter from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek -- if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. (If most of the flour is incorporated but you've still got some in the bottom of the bowl, use a rubber spatula to work the rest of the flour into the dough.) The dough will not clean the sides of the bowl, nor will it come together in a ball -- and it shouldn't. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you're aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy (rather than smooth) dough. Pinch it, and it will feel a little like Play-Doh.
  3. Scrape the dough out onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long: it's easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log. Wrap the logs well and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours, preferably longer. (The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
  4. GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  5. Remove a log of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Whisk the remaining egg yolk until it is smooth, and brush some of the yolk all over the sides of the dough -- this is the glue -- then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with decorating sugar.
  6. Trim the ends of the roll if they're ragged, and slice the log into ⅓-inch-thick cookies. (You can make these as thick as ½ inch or as thin as -- but no thinner than -- ¼ inch.) Place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between them.
  7. Bake one sheet at a time for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the midway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top; they may feel tender when you touch the top gently, and that's fine. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest a minute or two before carefully lifting them onto a rack with a wide metal spatula to cool to room temperature.
  8. Repeat with the remaining log of dough, making sure the baking sheets are cool before you bake the second batch.
ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Peanut Butter Apple Dip


  1. Romaine says

    Love the plates. I like to poke around in antique stores too.

    Also good to see how the cookies would look with different colors of sugar. Very festive.

  2. tastyeatsathome says

    I love the plates too! And these cookies do look pretty – without the added time to individually decorate each one!

  3. Katrina says

    Loves your plates. I also love your colored sugars on the very-round cookies! I can't for the life of me make a nice round log. I supposed I've made up for that with chocolate! ;)

  4. Tiffiny Felix says

    Don't you hate being so busy? I wish we all had more time to just play in the kitchen ;) The cookies are very cute…I love the different colos around the outside :)

  5. Pamela says

    I love the plates! The open work on that one plate is so pretty and a perfect place to show off your starlet cookies! I'm envious of your colored sugar collection! Nice job.

  6. Flourchild says

    Your milk plates are darling! Your cookies look so good and shiny with all that sugar! I enjoyed this recipe too and was happy to have all the ingredients on hand! I hope you find your milk glass cake platter!

  7. Megan says

    I love your plate. I tried to see the picture in the google group but it would pull up. It's beautiful!!! So are those cookies!

  8. myfamousrecipe says

    I was pressed for time this week, too; it was a huge relief to see an easy recipe for this week's TWD. Great rainbow colors on the sugar!

  9. Tia says

    Wow, the yellow sprinkles actually look really nice! I wouldn't have thought to use yellow, but they really add a nice color to the platter.

  10. Lauryn says

    Your cookies look amazing! Thats what I wanted mine to look like!! :( And I LOVE that plate! Its an early Holiday present to yourself!

  11. Fallon says

    I loved the sugar on the outside! I'm slowly putting together a setup of holiday baking and this is going on the list. I really like how simple and delicious these are!

  12. Megan says

    Yes – time is flying by this season, isn't it? I did colored sugar too – but only red. I think they look cool all dressed up like that!

  13. Nutmeg Nanny says

    Your plate is beautiful:) I love flea markets. I'm always finding some little type of gem. I also love all the colors on the cookies. It makes them very festive.

  14. Lillian says

    I skipped the egg yolk, and I didn't take the time to color sugar. But yours look so lovely that I think I might just have to make another batch (or five!).

  15. jillbert says

    They look so pretty with the colored sugar on the white plates!

    I'm NW of Milwaukee (about 40 minutes), so we're not quite neighbors, but also not that far away. Enjoy the snow if you can!

  16. Bungalow Barbara says

    Thank you for baking along with me this week!

    I love all your different colors of sugar. And the plates are fabulous — what a find!

  17. Jessica {The Novice Chef} says

    These are beautiful! I love all the fun colors! Out of all the TWD posts I saw today, your sables are the best!

  18. Ingrid says

    Luuuuuuuuv the platter. I want one but the cake stand.

    I liked the look of these cookies. They're so pretty and festive rimmed with colored sugar!

  19. margot says

    The plates are so pretty! The cookies look great too, I love all the colors. I was happy for an easy recipe this week.

  20. dharmagirl says

    such pretty cookies! i love the heavy sugar edges. and, i love your milk glass plate. my grandma found me a cake stand a few years ago and i love it:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>