It’s time for another reader request topic: French baking recipes! Oh, I just love this subject. French baking sounds fancy, but in reality, is very simple. What makes it special is using the proper techniques combined with high-quality ingredients.
The recipe I have chosen to share is perhaps the simplest cookie of all. It is humble in shape and color, but absolutely divine in flavor and is a fancy version of the dearly loved boxed Nilla Wafer. Today, we are talking about French Butter Cookies!
Butter cookies, also known as sablés, are traditionally French, and there are many ways to make them. This cookie, featured in Bake from Scratch and originally from Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog, falls along the lines of shortbread with extra butter and egg yolks, making for a rich, crisp bite. A final dusting of sanding sugar dresses them up and adds a pleasant crunch.
For these cookies to be the best they can be, my recommendation is to use high-quality butter. The taste is truly unparalleled. The reason I chose this cookie is because it is loved by children and adults equally. It’s buttery and vanilla-forward flavor profile is a hit with kids, and adults (myself included) love them for their nostalgic quality.
There is nothing greater than a freezer full of this cookie dough. To freeze, simply place the 2-inch rounds you will cut in step 3 and place them in a freezer-safe bag for storing until just the right time! When company comes, you’ll have a sweet and delicious treat ready in moments.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) fine sea salt
- 3 large egg yolks (56 grams)
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
- 2½ cups plus 1 tablespoon (321 grams) all-purpose flour
- Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and salt at medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, beating until dough starts to form a ball. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough. Using a metal spatula, gently place 12 cookies on each prepared pan. (Any dough scraps can be rewrapped and refrigerated while cookies are baking.) Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar.
- Bake, one batch at a time, until edges begin to brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool completely on pans. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.