French Butter Cookies, know as “Sables Breton” in France, get their flavor from vanilla and salted - yes, salted - butter. So, it’s important to use the highest quality butter and good vanilla in this recipe. It’s traditional to score the tops of these cookies with a cross-hatch pattern, but I like them plain. You choose how to top yours!
Don’t skip the chilling process or egg-washing the tops, and I promise you’ll be rewarded. These treats are simply fabulous. Fabulous defined as: my friends grab them as soon as they see them, because they know they'll be gone in a hot minute!
I use Pamela's Products All-Purpose Artisan Flour Blend & their grain-free baking powder when I make these (and virtually everything else. Not sponsored - that's what I actually use.) It has a little baking binder in the blend, and I find I don't need to add any more. Since they are butter cookies, I haven't tried a dairy-free version, so I can't tell you if coconut oil will work. (It sounds yummy though. I may try and update you!)
French Butter Cookies are one of my favorite treats to give as a gift. I actually wait until we're headed to a party or event to make them, because I love them so much, I'll eat a whole batch myself. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Gluten-Free French Butter Cookies
- ⅔ cup | 5.2 ounces | 150g best-quality salted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup 200 g sugar
- 1 ¾ cups 240 g gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (or a bit more)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, salt and vanilla; beat on high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Separate the egg yolks from the whites, and place the yolks in a medium sized bowl, reserving the whites for later.
- Whisk the egg yolks by hand with the sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg mixture to the butter and beat on low to combine. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then add to the butter mixture, and mix on low speed until flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- (If the dough is SUPER tacky/sticky or really soft, like it won't form a log or hold shape when wrapped in plastic wrap, add a little more flour. About 2 tablespoon at a time)
- Roll dough into three 1 ½-inch (about 4 cm) diameter logs. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175C) with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Slice the dough into ¼-inch (0.6 cm) rounds. Place cookies on baking sheet about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg white, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Continue with the rest of the dough. Allow baked cookies to cool on a wire rack, and enjoy.
photos by my friend Katie Roletto