If there’s one French Holiday cookie recipe to have in your repertoire, this is the one. These Butter sablés from the Alsace region, known as “butterbredele”, are the most common cut-out cookies made and enjoyed over the Holidays in France. They are buttery, subtly flavored with lemon zest and satisfyingly crisp yet sandy.
They are also simple to make – which make them a great baking project for the whole family. They are perfect for gifting, hanging on trees or just to be devoured on the spot.
- Make sure you use unsalted room temperature butter.
- These Butter Sablés are flavored with lemon zest, which is optional. As another option, you can also use orange zest or ½ tsp of freshly grated cinnamon.
- Do not overmix the dough, stop when the ingredients are just combined. The less you mix the dough, the more delicate in texture the sablés will be. On the opposite, the more you mix, the tougher the sablés will be.
- These Butter Sablés shouldn’t bake too golden in color, they must remain rather pale with a slight yellow hue from the egg wash. In comparison, they are much paler than the Breton Salted Butter Sablés.
- I used a star-shaped cooking cutter here, but any shape works. You can use a toothpick or a straw to poke out holes at the top of each cookie if you wish to hang them on a Christmas tree.
I hope you’ll love this Butter Sablés from Alsace (Butterbredele) recipe as much as I do! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
You may also like:
- Cocoa Almond Thumbprint Cookies from Alsace (Linzele)
- Spiced Cookies with Candied Citrus Peels and Almonds (Leckerli)
- Raspberry Jam Swiss Roll
- Almond Chocolate Twice-Baked Cookies from Provence (Croquants)
- Raspberry Jam-Filled Sablé Sandwiches (Lunettes de Romans)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (125g) sugar
½ lemon zest
1/2 cup (125g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks
2 cup (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
For the egg wash:
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp (15ml) milk
Make sure you read the cooking notes before you start.
Step 1 - In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub with your fingers so the zest releases its oils and the sugar becomes somewhat moist and lumpy. Add the soft butter and mix with a whisk until fluffy in texture. Add the egg yolks and mix until combined. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon, add the flour and salt, and mix until it all comes together into a rough ball. Wrap with plastic film and chill for at least 2 hours.
Pre-heat your oven to 350F (180C) with a rack in the middle. Prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Step 2 - Take the chilled dough out of the fridge, unwrap and transfer onto a floured working surface. Roll the dough until it is ½-inch thick (1.27cm) and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Optional: you can use a toothpick or a straw to poke out holes at the top of each cookie if you wish to hang them on a Christmas tree.
Transfer the sablés onto the paper-lined baking sheets. If the dough is a little sticky, you may need a spatula to delicately unpeel the sablés from the working surface.
Step 3 - In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush the top of the sablés with this egg wash.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges of the sables turn lightly golden.
Transfer the sablés immediately to a cooling rack.
These Butter Sablés from Alsace (Butterbredele) can keep for up to 3 months stored in a metal tin box on your counter, or up to 6 months in an airtight container in your freezer. If you hang them on your Christmas tree, they will keep for up to 2 weeks.
Did you make this recipe?