Gingerbread Sablé

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Gingerbread Sablé, a Christmas twist on a traditional French butter biscuit.

gingerbread sable on wire rack with cutters

It’s that time of the year again to get out the Christmas cookie cutters and, this year, I’m having much fun with my newfound cookie stamps and baking molds. I love the old-fashioned Swiss-style Christmas cookies, and I thought it would be fun to replicate them using a favourite family recipe.

gingerbread sable with cookie stamp

When it’s time for a bit of fun in the kitchen with the children, we often resort to making cookies; the kids have hours of fun rolling out the dough and stamping out various shapes, and the cookies happen to be quite delicious to eat!

This recipe is based on one used by my husband’s great-aunt, who loves to make a big batch of sablé (French butter biscuits) whenever we visit her in France. Aside from the buttery goodness in this recipe, I love how the dough is extremely easy to work with. The children can roll it and re-roll it as many times as they like, yet the dough will remain soft and pliable, but still firm enough to cut out shapes.

gingerbread sable with cookie cutters

If I am baking with the children, I always double the recipe so they each have a bit of dough to play with while I get on with the real business of getting some cookies in the oven. Afterwards, I try to salvage whatever dough I can from the children (i.e. the bits which they have not tried to eat raw ?) to make some more cookies, although they usually surprise me with some of their own successfully cut-out shapes (dinosaurs are popular in our home, even at Christmas).

gingerbread sable on blue background

To make our usual cookie dough a bit more festive, I added some spices to give it a subtle hint of gingerbread. You could, of course, play with the ingredients to make it spicier, but we tend to receive a lot of traditional spicy gingerbread from friends and neighbours at this time of the year, and I wanted to make something a bit milder and child-friendly.

Our children absolutely love these cookies and devour a whole batch within the space of just a few days. So my recommendation is to hide a small plate of cookies somewhere for you to enjoy on your lonesome with a cup of tea. And don’t forget to save some for Santa too!

gingerbread sable on cooling rack

Gingerbread Sablé

gingerbread sable

5 from 2 reviews

Gingerbread Sablé, a Christmas twist on a traditional French butter biscuit.

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: Makes about 12 cookies

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the flat paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks.
  3. Measure the flour and spices into a bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the flour mixture at a time to the bowl and incorporate on slow speed.
  4. Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, add a bit of the cold water (you may not need all of it) and mix until everything comes together into a soft ball.
  5. Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll until the mixture is about 5mm thick.
  6. Place the rolled out dough in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  8. Cut out shapes from the dough and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  9. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, or until they are lightly golden.
  10. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Kitchen Notes

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
The dough keeps well in the fridge for several days.

STORAGE TIPS
The cookies also keep well in an airtight container.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Nutritional info per cookie
  • Calories: 225
  • Sugar: 4.3g
  • Sodium: 14.2mg
  • Fat: 12.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.7g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Protein: 3.8g
  • Cholesterol: 62.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

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23 comments on “Gingerbread Sablé

  1. Ann 20 December 2016

    Can’t wait to try the recipe. I adore the star and reindeer stamps in your photo. May I ask where they might be available?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 20 December 2016

      Thanks, Ann! I bought the cookie stamps from a store in Zurich called Tchibo. They also have an online-shop, but I think they only deliver to select countries in Europe. I’ve just checked their website and it looks like the cookie stamps are sold out, but you might find something else that catches your eye 🙂 Here is the link: https://www.tchibo.ch

      Reply
  2. Patrizia Desportes 20 December 2016

    Good morning Thanh, and thanks for the recipe???I’m already done with my annual Christmas cookie baking, but …???I’ll give this recipe a try very soon?
    Do you ever tried to use French salted butter and to replace the cold water with milk? Just my Tuesday morning thoughts??

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 21 December 2016

      Hi Patrizia,
      I hope you will enjoy this recipe! You’ve asked some very good questions … I do sometimes use salted butter for these cookies, in which case I would omit the salt from the recipe. This happens only when I have run out of unsalted butter (very rare, but it does sometimes occur!). However, as I sometimes worry about the salt in my childrens’ diet, I try to use unsalted butter instead when I’m baking. But I do love my salted butter, which I have on hand to spread on my bread at mealtimes 🙂

      I think you could certainly use milk in place of water. My husband’s great-aunt’s recipe uses water, so I do as I’m told 😉 I think her recipe is very close to a French shortcrust pastry (pâte brisée), and these recipes traditionally use water to bind the pastry. I’ll try this recipe with milk next time 🙂

      Reply
  3. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four 22 December 2016

    I absolutely adore sablés! They’re so buttery and perfect <3 Every time I visit Paris, I stop by La Grande Epicerie and pick up a box of those La Mere Poulard sablés..so yummy!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 26 December 2016

      Ooh we love those biscuits too!! And I totally love La Grande Épicerie ❤️ I always want to buy so much whenever we go there. For a while, whenever we travelled to Paris, we stayed at a hotel just around the corner from La Grand Épicerie (I also love shopping at Le Bon Marché 🙂 ), so we got to buy food there quite often. Makes me miss Paris just writing this!

      Reply
  4. Angela 23 December 2016

    These are beautiful Thanh! Such gorgeous cutters too! Have a very Merry Christmas! Xx

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 26 December 2016

      Thanks, Angela! Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and your family also! xx

      Reply
  5. […] the multiple batches of Gingerbread Sablé and Giant Chocolate Chip Sablé I have been baking over the past few months, a recipe which uses […]

    Reply
  6. Libby 11 October 2017

    Can you tell me where you got your canal house stamps from?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 11 October 2017

      Hi Libby,
      I purchased the cookie stamps and moulds used in these photos from the following store: https://www.tchibo.ch
      However, I think they only deliver to selected countries in Europe. The houses are made by pressing the dough into a silicon mould. I’m looking forward to giving it another try for Christmas this year 🙂

      Reply
  7. […] think these Reindeer Cookies will provide a nice alternative to the usual gingerbread cookies at Christmas, although I know I will be baking many batches of the latter […]

    Reply
  8. […] a lot of cookies in the lead up to Christmas, and whilst we tend to recreate old favourites like Gingerbread Sablé or Swiss Walnut Christmas Cookies for the sake of tradition, I always try to sneak in a few new […]

    Reply
  9. kate 11 December 2017

    Did I read correctly that the recipe only makes 12 cookies? I do not have a stamp and is the stamp that you use so large that there are only 12 cookies? Thanks-

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 13 December 2017

      Hi Kate,
      This recipe produces a small batch of cookies. If you are making cookies of this size, then yes, the recipe makes approximately 12 cookies. However, I usually double the recipe and make cookies of various shapes and sizes from the dough. The recipe is fairly easy to scale up or down 🙂

      Reply
  10. […] 3. Gingerbread Sable […]

    Reply
  11. […] traditions at this time of the year. Every Christmas, I love making my childrens’ favourite Gingerbread Sablé cookies, as well as many batches of Swiss Walnut Chrimas Cookies for the neighbours and Fruit Mince […]

    Reply
  12. […] can hold its shape with the chocolate bar on top. My go-to biscuit recipe is the one used for my Gingerbread Sablé but without the spices, but for something a bit different, I settled on the following biscuit […]

    Reply
  13. […] Gingerbread Sable from Eat Little Bird […]

    Reply
  14. Rose 14 March 2018

    Love this recipe! Our children don’t normally like the spiciness of traditional gingerbread cookies but they really enjoyed these ones!

    Reply
  15. […] that I love the kitchenware and bakeware sold by Tchibo, such as the cookie stamps used for my Gingerbread Sablé and the chocolate moulds used in my Petit Beurre Biscuits. They have locations in several countries […]

    Reply
  16. Julia 14 April 2018

    Oh my goodness this look absolutely amazing! It truly looks delicious!

    Reply
  17. […] I might have to indulge him. With all of the egg yolks which we used to make multiple batches of Gingerbread Sablé in the past few weeks, I have so many eggwhites stashed away in the freezer, just waiting to be […]

    Reply

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