Some sweets deceive. These Almond Sablé Cookies among them. They require few ingredients.  Finely milled blanched almond flour and cultured butter prime among them. The almond flour adds to the sweetness and the cultured European-style butter gives the cookies their rich flavor.  The trick is finding the best quality ingredients. And baking the cookies low and slow to develop caramel notes.

You can bake these sandy-textured cookies plain.  (Sablé means “sandy” in French.) Or you can scatter the dough with sliced blanched or natural almonds before baking as I have done here.

Almond Sablé Cookies

Sablés are understated cookies.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun with them.  I used a rasp grater to deposit Callebaut Ruby Chocolate Couverture on top the cookies while there were still warm from the oven.  Then I crumbled freeze-dried raspberries on top.   Raspberries bring out the fruity notes in the naturally rose-colored chocolate and adds a touch more sweetness to the sablés.

Serve these barely-sweet cookies with café au lait, a cup of hot chocolate or champagne and cheese.

Kitchen Notebook

Almond Patisserie Course Guide

I’m sharing this recipe for Almond Sablé Cookies in honor of National Almond Day. Yes February 16 is a special day for almond lovers, almond growers, chefs, bakers and confectioners around the globe. The formula forms part of the Almond Patisserie Course Guide I developed for the Almond Board of California’s China bakery program.

Almond Sablé Cookies

Yield: Approximately 24, 3-inch round cookies

Almond Sablé Cookies

Sandy-textured Almond Sablé Cookies shine when the best quality ingredients are used. The dough for these cookies can be flavored with coffee powder, cocoa or citrus oils.


For the Dough:

5 ¼ ounces (150 grams) unsalted cultured butter, softened

½ cup (50 grams) blanched almond flour, sifted

½ cup (60 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

½ (20 grams) eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons ( 170 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted

½ teaspoon ( 3 grams) salt

Sliced natural almonds, as needed

Ruby Chocolate Couverture, grated, optional

Freeze-dried raspberries, crumbled, optional!

For the Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 teaspoons (10 milliliters) milk


  1. To prepare the dough, cream the butter, almond flour and powdered sugar on low speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle until smooth yet still cool. Scrape the bowl. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
  2. Add the flour and salt, mixing just until the dough comes together.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball. Wrap it in plastic then flatten it. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface ⅛- to ¼-inch thick. Score the surface the dough with a sharp knife in a crisscross pattern. Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds using a fluted cutter. Transfer the dough cut-outs onto parchment-lined baking sheets spacing the cut-outs 1 inch apart.
  5. To prepare the egg wash, beat together the egg and milk. Strain it through a sieve. Brush the dough cut-outs with the egg wash. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes. Brush the dough again with egg wash then sprinkle each cut-out generously with sliced blanched almonds, if using.
  6. Bake the cookies at 325°F until evenly golden for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the cookies, while still hot, with the Ruby Chocolate Couverture and some of the crumbled dried raspberries, if desired.