In French these cookies are known as sablé, in German as Heidesand. Trying to find an English translation – shortbread is probably the most similar.

Sablé are very rich in butter but also very crunchy and crumbly cookies. They go well with a fragrant cup of tea such as an Earl Grey.

These sablé are flavoured with vanilla and fleur de sel – the salt complements the sweetness of the cookies very well and enhances the butter and vanilla flavours.


  • 125g butter
  • 125 sugar
  • 175g flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or 1tsp vanilla paste)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp fleur de sel

In a small pot or pan let the butter melt and brown slightly (keep an eye on it to not burn the butter). Once the butter is browned pour it into a bowl and let it cool down (put it in the fridge) for 15-20 minutes.

If the butter is no longer liquid after cooling it, you have to whisk it now to achieve a creamy texture – if it is still liquid you can skip this step.

Add the sugar, the vanilla, the milk and the salt to the butter and stir together. Add the flour and the baking powder and knead all ingredients together – if the dough is very sticky add a little bit more flour. You should be able to shape the dough into rolls.

Make two rolls of about 2,5cm diameter and wrap them with cling film. Put them into the fridge and let them cool for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan. Cut the rolls into 0,5cm thick slices and place them on a lined baking tray (the cookies will slightly increase in their diameter so don’t put them too close to each other).

Bake for 15 minutes – the cookies should only brown lightly. When you take the cookies out of the oven, they will still be slightly soft – don’t worry, when cooling done the cookies get a crunchy texture.

Once the cookies are cooled completely you can store them in a box for at least a week or two – in case they last this long…