Dark Chocolate and Almond Sablés

Dark Chocolate and Almond Sablés

from Chocolate for Beginners, by Kate Shaffer

Pronounced sah-BLAY, sablés are simply a buttery shortbread cookie named for the town in France where they were created. The following method eliminates the need for rolling the dough. For sandwich cookies (fill with jam! sweet chestnut puree! ganache!), simply cut the dough thinner.

Difficulty Level Easy
Prep Time 45 minutes plus overnight chilling
Yield 28 cookies
Storage Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.


  • 1/3 cup roasted almonds
  • 7 ounces very soft unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1-2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Food processor
  • Medium bowl
  • 2 half sheet pans
  • Parchment paper

  1. Place the roasted almonds in the bowl of a food processor, and grind them until they resemble course sand. If there are some bigger chunks, don’t worry about it. Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, sea salt, vanilla extract, and egg yolk. Process until the ingredients are well-mixed and resemble a paste.
  2. Add the flour and cocoa powder to the creamed mixture. Process until the dough just comes together.
  3. Spill the dough out onto a clean counter top and roll into a 12”-long log. Wrap the log in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. When the dough is thoroughly chilled, heat the oven to 350°F. Line the half sheet pans with parchment paper. Place 1 cup of the granulated sugar in medium bowl.
  5. Remove the log from the refrigerator and unwrap. Slice the log into 1/2” discs, and place each disc in the bowl of sugar. Spoon sugar over the discs, and then place them on the half sheet pan about 1-1/2” apart.
  6. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating the cookies sheets halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies completely before serving.

Tip: You may have better luck getting the almonds to a fine enough consistency if you grind them in larger quantities. Try processing a cup or two at a time, being careful not to turn them into almond butter. Use 1/4 cup of ground almonds for the recipe, and then store the remainder in an airtight container in the freezer for future use.


  • Kate Shaffer

    Hi Patricia! I think you could use almond meal for the almonds, or just leave them out all together. Using a hand mixer will be hard, since the dough is quite stiff. I think you’ll have better luck going totally old school and just mixing it with a sturdy wooden spoon by hand. Let me know how it goes! -Kate

  • Patricia

    Would it be possible to substitute “almond meal” for grinding the almonds, and to use a mixer to create the dough? Hoping to make these while staying at a home with limited appliances…and thanks.

  • Kate Shaffer

    Hi there! Thank you for your comments, and I have amended the recipe as a few of you suggested. So sorry for the confusion. Linda, I’m not sure why your dough was so crumbly, but adding water was a good solution. Please let me know how they turned out! -Kate

  • Joanna Rigby-Jones

    These are the most delightful cookies! They were so easy to make and came out perfectly.

  • Abbe

    Q about the Sables recipe.
    Calls for 1 1/4 c gran sugar (divided)

    Then in instructions, “place 1 c of gran sugar in medium bowl”

    So does this mean to use 1/4 c gran sugar in the butter mixture.

    Many thanks for your help to clarify

    All my best and happy baking,
    Abbe Levin

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