Spiced Sables

January 31, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes ~20
Author Notes

When I attended the Piglet Party, I tasted Dorie Greenspan’s chocolate sables and fell in love. Chocolaty, crispy and not too sweet, they were absolutely addictive. (And they were shaped like pigs!) I’ve been wanting to make sables, and there are two recipes in The Essential New York Times Cookbook for them: one by Dorie Greenspan, and one by Pierre Herme. To make these, I adapted both recipes. Dorie’s instructions are impeccable, and I loved Pierre’s idea of using brown sugar with all the warm spices. The dough has to be refrigerated for a couple of hours at least, and I think it's best when refrigerated overnight—the flavors seem to meld together better. If possible, use fresh-ground spices, but one of the great things about cookies is that you can make them on the spur of the moment with what you have in the house—so if you have pre-ground allspice or cinnamon, etc., it’s OK to use that—just make sure the spices are really fresh.

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • generous pinch or two of fresh-ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices and set aside.
  2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter till it is smooth and creamy, occasionally scraping chunks off the beater to fully incorporate. Add sugars and beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and beat in egg yolk till well blended.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix on the lowest speed until the flour is just incorporated, mixing as little as possible. The dough will be crumbly. It's OK.
  4. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap onto your work surface, and scrape the dough onto it, using the plastic wrap to help you form a log that is about 1.5 inches in diameter and about 7 inches long. Wrap well and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  5. Center a rack in the oven and heat it to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the log into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place on the cookie sheet about 1.5 inches apart, and sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar, pressing it gently into the top of the cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, till lightly golden around the edges and on the bottom, but still pale on top. Let the cookies rest for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. You may need to make these in 2 batches because they do spread a bit; if so, wait till the cookie sheet cools completely before starting the second batch.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • dymnyno
  • Sagegreen
  • testkitchenette
  • Sundayinthekitchen
  • TheWimpyVegetarian

19 Reviews

Aimee W. January 21, 2017
I apologize, this comment belongs under Burnt Caramel Pudding. I made both of these the same nighat. I love cookies. THese were wonderful. Thank you for the recipe
drbabs January 22, 2017
Aimee W. January 21, 2017
I have never worked much with melting sugar, it all worked out fine. I had to add a half cup whole milk to get two cups. It was absolutely wonderful. Thank you, this will be made often.
dymnyno February 5, 2011
These look gorgeous. I have made Dorie's and Pierre Herme's chocolate cookie which Dorie calls the World Peace cookie!
drbabs February 5, 2011
Love that!
Sagegreen February 5, 2011
Just noticed you have pictures now! Wow, what a gorgeous stack. I could eat them all!
drbabs February 5, 2011
testkitchenette February 4, 2011
I love the restraint on the sugar and that they are slice and bake style. They would make a great base for a pie as well I think!
drbabs February 4, 2011
Interesting suggestion--what would you fill it with?
testkitchenette February 4, 2011
I think pumpkin, apple, or pear would go nicely. A coconut cheesecake or mango/banana cheesecake also comes to mind. Maybe even a chocolate tart with this as the bottom. Mixed with oatmeal, it would make a great crisp topping as well, crumbled on top of ice cream too. I make granola and baked oatmeals all the time and this is going to be my new flavor base. Thank you for the inspiration!
Sundayinthekitchen February 1, 2011
Yum -- I love that it's more spice than sugar-focused. Will definitely try this one.
drbabs February 1, 2011
The pepper gives it a nice kick.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 31, 2011
Ooooh, I'm saving this one for sure. I've made Herme's chocolate sable recipe maybe 50 times now, so I know I'm going to love your take on it!
drbabs February 1, 2011
Yours probably look prettier than mine!
TheWimpyVegetarian February 1, 2011
Don't count on that!
hardlikearmour January 31, 2011
Awesome addition to the sables! I bet these smell amazing baking.
drbabs February 1, 2011
All those spices...really warmed up the house.
dymnyno January 31, 2011
OH This is a keeper!
drbabs January 31, 2011
:) Thanks! I'll put pictures up tomorrow!