intensely-chocolate-sables Recipes

intensely chocolate sables

Although I would hardly say that having a kid has made me wiser — there have been just too many incidents like the one this morning, when not a single of the following clues piqued my concern: 3 year-old going into bathroom to bring his step-stool into another room; the sound of a cabinet opening, a fridge opening followed by a banging sound on the counter, until it was too late and a once-clean child in a once-clean kitchen was making “skwambled” eggs — I can’t help but have come to a few salient conclusions about children/life itself over the last few years that I find infinitely applicable. One, there are few things wrong that a good night’s sleep cannot fix. Two, sometimes you really just need to scream and yell and have a great big noisy fuss for a few minutes and get it all out — pounding your tiny, dimpled fists on the carpet is optional, but this is no time to hold back feeling all the feelings, you know? — so that you can resume being sweet and awesome for the remaining minutes of the day. Finally, there’s not a single person in this universe who does not need a cookie at 4 p.m. each day, like clockwork. Nobody. Not even you. Even in the month of Resolutions.

the balthazar chocolate sable, my obsession
grated chocolate

One of my great cookie loves, and the most ideal 4 p.m. mini-escapist treat, is the chocolate sable from Balthazar Bakery. I don’t get it often, because that would be dangerous. I usually indulge when I’ve mentally committed to walking either there or back or both (exercise!) or I’m having the kind of day that only a walk to SoHo would improve (justification!). If you’ve ever been to Balthazar, you’ve probably looked right past it to ogle the pain au chocolate or burnished plum tarts because it looks plain and dull, hardly competitive with its surroundings, and I think you’ve missed out because alone in its 1/4-inch thick fluted round is the intensity of all the chocolate in Paris. Okay, I exaggerate but still, that’s no excuse to miss it. It’s bittersweet, crisp and sandy; it absolutely aches with chocolate impact and it makes me very happy.

sift the dry ingredients (cocoa is lumpy!)

My attempts to recreate it at home have been less so. I felt like I’d tried everything in the world — buying the Balthazar cookbook, only to find the recipe absent (cruel!) and then increasing the cocoa-to-flour proportion in my go-to sable recipe more and more in hopes to get that deeply rooted chocolate flavor, and failing — when I one day stumbled on the chocolate sable recipe from Miette cookbook from the darling eponymous bakery in San Francisco. The ingredient list (cocoa, flour, sugar, butter, salt, leavener) was exactly like all the others, save one blessed addition: grated bittersweet chocolate. And it was in this that I unlocked the Spring Street magic that had thus far eluded me.

adding the grated chocolate
sadly, miette's sables never came together
baked the crumbles, now we sprinkle them on everything (uh-oh)

Well, mostly. The cookie was in fact an utter flop for me; the crumbs never came together into a dough. I spread the rubble on a tray and baked-and-tossed it until it was crisp and we’ve taken to spreading these cookie crumbles on ice cream which is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea if you had “not eat Oreo sundaes” anywhere in your January goals. Back to the drawing board, I made some tweaks — grinding the chocolate (less pesky than grating), an egg yolk to bind the mixture together, slightly less sugar to approximate the bitter-sweetness of the inspiring sable, less baking soda and Dutched cocoa, with it’s nutty, dark properties, really makes a difference here.

grinding instead of grating chocolate next time
"helping" (a loose definition of)
creamed butter, chocolate, sifted dry, little fingers
a better dough
someone left this in my workspace
making fluted round chocolate sables
some hearts too
baked and nubby

They may look a little thin and flimsy, but should not be underestimated. When they come out of the oven, your kitchen will smell like there’s a bubbling cauldron of melted chocolate on the stove and people who walk through your front door and inhale will have an absolutely startled reaction. “Mommy. WHAT YOU MAKE ME?” your kid will demand to know (“broccoli,” is probably not what you’ll reply, because you’re not a smart-ass like his elders). Days later, you will open the container they are stored in and be smacked in the face with the same chocolate intensity, if anything more potent with age. And I know you could bake them up and decorate them all pretty with sprinkles and pink baubles and box them up for any of your loves. But I think you should just make them for you, because those 4 p.m. hankerings will arrive all of the days this week and for the next hereafter, and you might as well be decadently prepared.

intensely chocolate sables
intensely chocolate sables
intensely chocolate sables

One year ago: Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Two years ago: Chocolate Peanut Spread (Peanutella)
Three years ago: Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions and Ricotta Muffins
Four years ago: Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake
Five years ago: Fried Chicken
Six years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Intensely Chocolate Sables
Inspired by Balthazar, adapted quite a bit from Miette

I prefer these cookies with Dutched cocoa power, which is darker and little nuttier, but if you only have natural cocoa, you can use it, although the cookies will puff just a bit more. [Update 1/29: Based on the comments I’m reading, I’m going to red card the use of natural or non-Dutched cocoa for now as the folks using this kind seem to be the ones having the most trouble with their cookies falling apart. So sorry for the trouble; it just seems most reliable to use this recipe with Dutched cocoa. Also, it is tastier.] Technically speaking, baking soda and Dutched cocoa powder don’t react, but I found that it imparted a slight raised texture and better crumb than skipping it or using baking powder, so I kept it there. Besides changing the type of cocoa powder and decreasing the baking soda, I also adjusted the recipe by adding an egg yolk (so it would come together), giving you the option to grind, instead of grating the chocolate (a step I find pesky because my warm hands make a mess of it) and then, because the Balthazar cookie I fell in love with is so bittersweet, giving you a suggested reduced sugar amount. If you’d like a bittersweet chocolate cookie, use the 1/2 cup amount. If you’d like a sweeter (although hardly overly sweet) chocolate cookie, use 2/3 cup. I always sprinkle these with coarse brown sugar, but I’m sure they could be prettied up with sprinkles or the like as well.

Makes 40 to 48 2-inch thin cookies, fewer if thicker

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutched cocoa powder (see Updated Note)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 2/3 cup (100 to 135 grams) granulated sugar (less for a more bittersweet cookie)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped until almost powdery in a food processor
Coarse sugar (turbinato/sugar in the raw or decorative) for sprinkling

Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking soda together onto a piece of waxed paper or into a bowl and set aside. (I almost always skimp on sifting wherever possible, but my cocoa is always lumpy, so this is unavoidable.)

Cream butter, sugar and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beating until combined, then scraping down sides. Add dry ingredients and grated chocolate together and mix until just combined.

Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it up and chill it in the fridge until just firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. No need to get it fully hard, or it will be harder to roll out. Dough can be refrigerated until needed, up to a two days, or frozen longer, but let it warm up and soften a bit before rolling it out for decreased frustration.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough gently — it will still be on the crumbly side, so only attempt to flatten it slightly with each roll — until it is 1/8-inch thick (for thin cookies, what I used), 1/4-inch thick (for thicker ones) or somewhere in-between (I suspect the Balthazar ones are rolled to 3/8-inch). Cut into desired shapes and space them an inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle decoratively with coarse sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (for thinner cookies) or 10 to 12 minutes (for thicker ones). Leave cookies on baking sheets out of the oven for a couple minutes before gently, carefully transferring them to cooling racks, as they’ll be fragile until they cool.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks of 4 p.m. rations.

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358 comments on intensely chocolate sables

  1. Trisha

    I am going to try these with King Arthur’s Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa. It should be amazing. The flavor is so dark I can’t use it in chocolate frosting, just chocolate cake.

  2. Kaitlin

    January recipes are the greatest. The list of “_____years ago” contains some of my favourite posts of yours. And now this? Yes!

    1. deb

      Karin — The World Peace Cookies are taller, and a bit puffier. They have larger chunks of chocolate but a lower proportion of cocoa to flour. They’re finished with sea salt. They have brown sugar and no egg yolk. And they’re slice-and-bake. But they otherwise have a bit in common, dough-wise.

  3. Rachel

    Hmm. “Great big noisy fuss”… were you a devotee of the Ramona books, like I was? Cookies and children’s literature on a snowy day… if I hadn’t already been a ginormous fan, that combo would have tipped the scales for sure. ;)

  4. Nicole

    I had a bit of trouble deciding who was making the big noisy fuss here -you or Jacob?? :) But I feel your pain – yesterday our kids went to school late, which in most houses means everyone sleeps in. In our house it just means the 11-year-old gets up and makes everyone pancakes with the newly-found spare time. The kitchen mess literally took my breath away – but the smiles of the siblings made it worth it. However, in case you were wondering, it is MUCH easier to clean up dishes and batter splotches right away than waiting until after work…

  5. Kris

    Am I the only one thinking of that Calvin and Hobbes comic, where his mom freaks out after seeing Calvin go past in his cape, carrying a ladder?

  6. Sarah B

    Hi Deb,

    Do you have advice on making sure the scalloped cookie edges stay scalloped? I find mine soften a lot in the baking process, even if I take them directly from fridge to oven.



    1. deb

      Sarah B — That will come down to the recipe. This holds cut shapes pretty well, although not as rigidly as these for me. But those don’t have any grated chocolate in them. Choices choices!

  7. “skwambled” eggs – Oh boy, we’ve all been there as parents. Or art projects. That involve crayons and markers with walls as the paper. Chocolate is needed on those days!

    These cookies look beautiful, perfect, and like they’d hit the spot on any day!

  8. Oh my god… I literally JUST put ‘make brownies’ on my weekend to-do list, since I haven’t baked for my coworkers in far too long, but now I think they’ll have to get a much more grown-up chocolate hit instead! These look like more effort and mess than my usual one-bowl recipes, but boy do they look worth it.

  9. James

    Hey Deb, where did you get your flour canister? I’ve been searching for the perfect canisters for my kitchen, to no avail! Thanks for all that you do, you are an inspiration! Also, I made your whole lemon bars on Monday with a Meyer lemon from a friend’s backyard. Omg.

    1. deb

      Brian — I got eye-rolls too. They’re just jealous that we’re so sweet. :)

      Alison — Whoops, right before baking. Will add.

      James — is great for those clamp-top canning jars. Forgot which size I bought, just get the biggest.

  10. Deanna

    These look so good! I have a bunch of friends who are performing in a show tomorrow and I was just thinking about treats to bring them backstage. These would be perfect! Impressive, but so much less work than making and decorating sugar cookies. Would these work as a filled cookie or would that be too rich? I discovered by a happy accident that your butterscotch recipe in a mixer on high with the whisk attachment eventually makes a delightful frosting and I’ve been dreaming of smooshing it between cookies.

  11. Emily

    Hi Deb-

    Do you think these would work as the cookie for icebox cupcakes? I want to try those for our superbowl party, but my impulse is to always fiddle with recipes. So far I’m “adapting” the cupcakes to have red and gold sprinkles on top

    1. deb

      Emily — They’d work but they’re almost too good to hide. I use this recipe more often.

      Deanna — Ditto. You can sandwich them (though they’re on the fragile side) but there’s no need to. Let them shine!

      Kristi — From What’s Cooking America: “Sable cookies are a classic French cookie originating in Normandy. Sable is French for “sand,” which refer to the sandy texture of these delicate shortbread-like cookies.” More here.

      Skwambled Eggs — I should clarify that I wasn’t annoyed, just cracking up. I am obviously too charmed by my own kid.

  12. Yes, eggs. My 10 year old wanted to make himself a fried egg yesterday for breakfast, which he has been taught to do. I go into the kitchen and he’s sopping up egg with my good towels, saying “I had an accident when I tried to flip the egg”. Yes, I can see that. It’s amazing all the places egg whites can get to in the kitchen. The cookies look delicious, by the way.

  13. Sarah

    Just wait for the Mothers Day breakfast in bed concoctions. Lovely, sweet children who insist on watching you eat cereal mixed with syrup and dollops of sour cream ’cause we got confused and thought it was whipped topping’ and a side of coffee complete with a cup of grounds. Mmm delicious my darlings.

  14. You’re the devil, now these are all I will be able to think about for the rest of the day. You’d think I’d know better than to read food blogs on my break at work, but nope!

  15. AMN

    This looks like too much work for me but I still very much enjoyed your post :). Nothing makes my 4 year old happier than cracking eggs for me. I always hold my breath and need to remove shells and wipe the floor and wipe the kid but his sense of pride over it is priceless.

  16. Heather

    These look amazing! I was in the middle of making (your) roasted chicken with olives and grapes last night for dinner and delighted with the ease and progress of the project, when it occurred to me that my children were being unusually quiet. I found my daughters (2 and 4) in the bathroom having a naked tea party, and the water overrunning from the sink. Sigh….the children were dried, the chicken a little burnt, but dinner was still delicious. I will have to make these for dessert this weekend!

  17. g

    I’m lazy about baking – I prefer cakes to cookies, and mix-by-hand to beat-with-electric-mixer – but these are tempting! If I make these with coconut oil instead of butter, can I get away with mixing the dough by hand?

  18. Laurel

    Last year, I made used the Miette recipe to try to make these cookies. It was a disaster (they wouldn’t stay together), but I blamed myself and/or the quirks of a dorm oven. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who had a problem, and even more glad to now have a Smitten Kitchen Approved version of the recipe to try again!

  19. Julia Marie

    What would you suggest in place of the egg? Was just diagnosed with egg allergies and can’t use it, but not sure it would work in it.

  20. CS

    These look like the your brownie roll-out cookies, or least that’s how ours turned out. And ours did not have much flavour either… My teen daughter made them and I was not present so maybe an ingredient was left out…

  21. Bhama

    Deb, you have to tell me where you found those huge air tight jars for flour. I am totally looking for those. thanks. yummm, can’t wait to make these. I don’t know if it’s your pictures or your baking that is better :)

  22. Allison

    My oh my these look divine. Deb, you know what separates you from the rest of the food bloggers? All of your posted recipes are legit. As in, delicious and perfect! Can’t wait to try these. I adore your cookbook.

  23. Pibil

    @ Julia Marie – perhaps a flax/water mixture of 1:3, or soy flour/water of 1:1 (Tablespoons, that is). Vegan cooking has many options, but am a bit unsure personally what would be best to keep the integrity of the texture and flavor profile.

    I’m curious if Onyx cocoa powder would have a place in this recipe or if it’s one of those food items that has a bit too much hype to it?

  24. Marcia

    My eldest once sat in a supermarket cart systematically taking eggs out of a carton ,dropping them over the side, and saying “uh oh, egg juice.” ..To this day we all call raw eggs ” egg juice” As in..make sure my skwambled eggs are cooked without any egg juice . I will definitely make these cookies and mail some to my now grown, guys, and use the extra egg juice for something with meringue. thanks

  25. Is it just me, or does snow actually increase a person’s hunger for chocolate? And who would that person be, ahem? Anyway, I have some questions. ! What is Balthazar? Also: do you have any suggestions for making authentic Nutella hot chocolate (i.e., not with a cup of milk and a tablespoon of off-brand paste…)? Have you tried? Should we all?

  26. Bunny

    Wow! I was really trying for like 2 months now [plus ALL MY LIFE] to find a good, chocolatey cookie that’s not soft at all and not chewy or cakey or whatever most chocolate cookies are. The best I have come up with are Alice Medrich’s “Extra Bittersweet” Chocolate Wafers from her chewy gooey crispy crunchy book- it’s just like the wafers you have on the blog, just with some ground unsweetened chocolate blended with the dough, and they are absolutely delicious. These seem like an amazing, more delicate [in texture] choice!
    BTW, how thick did you roll your cookies? 1/4 inch?

    1. deb

      Bunny — I don’t have that book (but know I’m missing out) but they sound very, very close. I rolled mine 1/8-inch because I remember the cookies being thin, but when I looked back at the photo (2nd photo) I’d take from my last “recon mission” (ha) on the originals, they look thicker. Maybe 3/8-inch would be more appropriate for them.

  27. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    These cookies are on my weekend to to-do list. Can’t wait until 4 p.m. Saturday!

    And I also wanted to say that your photos for this post are particularly stunning. I’m always impressed by your shots, but these are especially gorgeous.

  28. Kristin

    I just want to say that this is a beautiful post, and it soothed some rough spots in my winter spirit. Everyone DOES need a cookie (or, like me lately, a cup of cocoa) at 4:00 and if more people recognized this need in themselves, (and satisfied it!), the world would be a little bit more marvelous. Thank you. Oh, and I’m definitely making the cookies.

  29. Susan

    I was sitting here indulging a Walker’s Shortbread and coffee when I came here this morning. (cookies work in the a-m as well) I’m happy to see these as I love sandy textured, short cookies but have never found a chocolate one that also had the right chocolate hit and tender crumbliness (is that a word?)’ve influenced my chocolate preference for bittersweet chocolate to the point that my homemade beaten fudge and other chocolate treats taste too sweet to me anymore. This has really pist my family off because, as you know, if the cook doesn’t like the product, it usually doesn’t get made..or at least not often enough to satify others. You’ve owed me this ;)

  30. Marci

    In the first photo of the post, I thought that the wooden board peeking through the leaning cookies was actually peanut butter filling……oh, the possibilities….:)

  31. Suzanne

    Totally off subject, and I’m probably the 100th person to pass this on, but if you’ve considered being gluten free or adapting recipes to that life style, this is a must see:

  32. Cat

    Wildly (WILDLY) unsolicited parenting advice:

    Let him make the skwambled eggs! Let him make a mess, let him serve them raw and wriggling, let him burn himself on the stove – (he’ll only do it once) – but he’ll be making skwambled eggs till he’s 99.

    I may be influenced by some decidedly “unwestern” parenting principles up here in northern ontario – but man am I a believer.

    Yours as ever,


  33. Kay

    Oh Lordy, okaaay. You’ve convinced me I need to make these. I adore that sandy texture in a cookie and intense chocolate? What could be better?

  34. Rachel

    WOW! I just made these, and holy SH!T they are good!!

    I used a mini food chopper/processor for the chocolate and ended up with about half of it powdery, the other half little split pea size chunks, which I thought might be a problem, but they turned out great!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  35. Tracey

    I have to make these immediately! Thank you. Deb, I am wondering how these would hold up to mailing? I am planning to send a package to my daughter’s friend who is a soldier serving in Afghanistan. Would you recommend these or another of your recipes?

  36. Dana

    Hi Deb, I love your blog and I’m really looking forward to the book signing and cookie swap in Brooklyn in a couple of weeks!

    I was excited to see that you have the Miette cookbook because the women at Miette bakery are absolutely nothing short of AMAZING! I was literally in there for an hour and a half when I was visiting San Francisco. I left their shop thoroughly satisfied (thanks to an enormous free gingerbread Guinness cupcake, heavily laden with goodies to bring home, and a full list of places I “must visit and eat!”

    Their lemon shortbread cookies were astounding in a way that I am constantly searching for instead of the seemingly ubiquitous “bare-hint-o-lemon” or “maybe-a-lemon-was-in-the-room-while-you-were-baking-this” cookie.

    Lets face it how many times have you gone to take a bite of a lemon shortbread, and made THAT face not because they were lemony tart in the good way but because if that is what a lemon tastes like well it is the cowardly lemon of the bunch.

    If the recipe is in the cookbook I would definitely suggest trying it. I’m no stranger to the 4:00 chocolate craving, but I’m a little too familiar with the cookie for breakfast monster as well, and somehow having it be a citrus cookie puts it right up there with half a grapefruit, don’t you think?

  37. K

    And you posted these on the 2nd anniversary of the peanutella recipe! Wouldn’t peanutella spread on one of these…..yes. Yes it would.

  38. Lisa Marie

    We never had ‘skwambled eggs’ in our house. However, once my daughter, who was a pre-teen at the time, poured an entire box of powdered sugar into a rapidly spinning Kitchen-Aid mixer. Needless to say, we ended up with white powder everywhere. It’s one of my favorite memories of her coming of age.

    These cookies look fabulous. Is Hershey’s cocoa considered Dutch processed? Or, do I need to find a specialty brand?

  39. Joanne

    OK – my 25 year old story about a 3 year old cooking. My mother and i were engrossed in some complicated dinner, and the toddler (where was his father?) kept interrupting, we gave him some carrots, he climbed in a cupboard, next thing we heard a tinkling sound and he was standing over a pot of carrots PEEING. We screamed I think, and asked what he though he was doing, and he said -making carrot soup. Of course.

  40. ATG

    I never go for the plain sable, but these sound similar to Dorie’s WPC, which I’ve been meaning to make in order to assess the hype. What brand of chocolate do you usually use when baking? What did you use here? I like to buy the good stuff where it counts. Do you think it always counts?

  41. charissa

    thanks for another great recipe, deb!
    this isn’t really related to it, but i found your blog when i was a second year ob/gyn resident on my oncology rotation. i read your archives every day and your humor and delicious-looking food helped me make it through a really difficult and sad two months. all my friends know about your blog b/c i refer to it regularly. i’ve never been disappointed by a single recipe of yours that i have tried. thanks for helping brighten my residency training and the last four years in general! our women’s health office is a tastier place b/c of you!

  42. Gina Giuffre

    I know you hear this all the time but it still needs to be said–your writing and your photos are perfection. I borrowed your cookbook from the library (always a good idea to check them out before committing), and after procrastinating about returning it (well past the due date because ‘I just need to read this again, or look at that one more time’), I knew it had passed ‘the test’, and I ordered it so it can become a welcome companion to my kitchen. So many wonderful recipes, as well as anecdotes. Thanks for all you do to brighten our lives:-)

  43. Ariel

    @Lisa Marie – regular Hershey’s is not dutched, but Hershey’s Special Dark is

    I think I may need to make these tomorrow :-)

  44. I make chocolate sables as a Christmas to give to friends, it’s hot in Australia for Christmas so I roll them into logs and refrigerate or freeze them to bake off later. They are a fantastic biscuit made with a dark bitter chocolate.

  45. Karen

    I just finished making them with my 2 boys (ages 4 and 1). This alone proves how easy they are to throw together and how forgiving the recipe is.
    They are AMAZING!
    I have already consumed 2 while doing dinner dishes and telling the children that they need to wait for them to “cool”.

  46. Heather

    I made these today with a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar and chia seeds in soymilk to replace the egg. They were amazing! Overcooked is better than undercooked.

  47. Rhonda

    I was craving an expresso chocolate chip cookie, a memory from Christmas. So if I exchange expresso for the egg yolk maybe start with one tablespoon? Or bourbon. Or I can troll the chocolate aisle for the dark chocolate with the coffee nibs. I have room in the freezer for cookie dough times three or four. And then ready for Valentine’s day.

  48. DK

    Hey Deb, one small query. Wud cutting out the egg yolk make a difference. I see that you already use a leavening, so will me adding say 2 tbsp cream/milk to replace the liquid help? I so would love to try this one out

  49. Isabelle

    This is so funny! A recipe just like that circled in the French, then Italian and then German blog world the past couple months. Its based on a recipe from Pierre Hermé, includes even more grated chocolate and has been my favorite chocolate cookie ever since I discovered it. Here’s the list of ingredients, if you want to give it a try:
    11/2 cup flour
    1/4 cup cacao powder
    1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
    2/3 cups butter (150g)
    1/2 cup sugar (raw cane sugar)
    1/3 to 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
    3-5g fleur de sel (or fine sea salt)
    one vanilla bean pod
    150g finely grated, good chocolate (Valrhona)

    So it really is almost the same, but doesn’t ask for the egg and the dough holds well together by itself. Roll it in a log, cool for 2-3h and cut it (width of a pinky finger) and bake at 355°F.

  50. Aha! I assume that the grocery store Pecan Sandies, which were a guilty pleasure favorite of my mom when I was little, would also be considered a sable. Your chocolate ones look much tastier though… the pecan sandies were always too dry for my taste unless dunked in an enormous glass of milk. Though I imagine that would be a divine pairing with these, also!

  51. Lynette

    Greetings from Kazakhstan, Deb! So glad to see all conversions (including butter) in your recipe. Amazing how much more approachable the recipe is when all the conversion work is done for me. Thank you – and now on to Saturday morning baking (without my conversion charts) with the girls (ages 7 and 5 – it does get easier and less messy)!

  52. julia

    barbara lynch’s favorite chocolate cookies, as listed in Stir, meet and master all of these requisites, sans egg. they age particularly well.

  53. Christine

    Ok, chocolate=yum, but today … today you distracted me from chocolate. Dang, have you just sat back and read yourself lately? That was a FINE piece of writing (imho)! Congrats!

  54. Karen

    Hi! These sound wonderful. I almost never have enough counter space to roll out anything (however do you manage?). Since this dough gets chilled, do you suppose one could slice and bake them? I would have to forgo the lovely scalloped edges, but I don’t think I have a cookie cutter like that anyway.

    And thanks for sharing!

  55. OMG, these look delicious! I love chocolate cookies and these may be a great variation from the ones I’m used to make! And they also make for a nice and yummy favor for guests!
    I bet they’d be great with almonds or pistachios :)
    Thanks for this amazing recipe, Deb!

    Have a great weekend!
    xo, Elisa

  56. Chris

    Had an early dismissal from school due to freezing rain, but moments before my afternoon duty (in that freezing rain) I received a tweet of this recipe. It sustained me through the 30 minutes of duty, the ride home and the walk up my driveway….they are absolutely perfect. Thank you. THANK YOU!

  57. This week has been so cold and dark and depressing in Michigan that I wonder how we got through it. Today, I will make these little chocolate delights. Everything will seem better, I know it already! Sending you warm wishes.

  58. Lisa

    Your posts always make me smile. So, for that, thank you. Also, I agree, who doesn’t need a cookie at 4pm? I’m adding this recipe to my list! :)

  59. lorenza

    I traveled to the link that you provided for Dorie Greenspan’s article on sables. In her master recipe she calls for light brown sugar. Thought that would be nice in your chocolate sables. Did you try that?

  60. Carly A

    There was a similar recipe from Dorie Greenspan in this month’s Better Homes & Gardens (January), except it had smoked paprika in it to give it a smoky dark chocolatey-ness. I was looking forward to trying that, and now I have a backup plan in case they’re weird. Not that Dorie Greenspan has ever let me down :) Thanks for the recipe!

  61. Christine

    Deb, I love you. These will be at my 40th birthday gathering (wonderful excuse to bake with abandon all week) on Friday. These remind me of Dorie Greenspan’s sables. Thank you for providing such inspiration and laughter.

  62. Heidi

    We are making these today! We are in need of a serious chocolate fix and my 5 year old just said, “Two things I love, chocolate AND salt!” Love your new cookbook, we were going to make the brownie roll out cookies but I think we’ll make these first instead! Or maybe both…;)

  63. Sarahb1313

    All good intentions vaporize at exactly 4pm. You could set your clock by it. When I start lusting for the cardboard at work, it’s 4 pm.

    Today at 4, as the newly dusted snow glistens in the dusk, and the temperature strains to climb into the 20’s, I know what I will be doing!


  64. Kim W

    making these today if at all humanly possible…… of my favorite’s of Balthazar’s as well………these and their chocolate bread make me happy happy happy……thank you for sharing

  65. Nan

    I, too, bought the Balthazar cookbook hoping for that recipe! I was so bummed to find it missing, but was pacified by the polenta recipe, have you tried that? Amazing! I’m making these for the old-ladies in the neighborhood for Valentine’s Day, they will make the perfect gift, thanks so much!

  66. Deb, just tried to make these. I’ve followed the recipe exactly and have done every step but the dough just isn’t coming together after being in the fridge. It’s still at the sand stage and won’t even hold together if I try and squish it into a ball. Did I miss something here? Some sort of liquid or something? I know I put the egg yolk in because I have the leftover white in front of me. Cheers!

  67. Vanessa B.

    Oh my goodness! I am making these for my book club next weekend! We are having an afternoon tea theme, and I think these will be perfect! Of course, I’ll need to make a practice batch, or two, or three…..

  68. Liz

    I am very sorry to say this recipe didn’t work for me. When I took the dough out of the fridge, it collapsed into a pile of crumbs. It doesn’t look nearly as moist as your pictures. I’m wondering if I should add two yolks instead of one? I was able to form 1/2 inch balls and bake those. While they don’t look very appealing, they are a small bite of chocolate heaven.

  69. Chris J

    Mmm. Really simple cookies. Cookies are somewhat my own personal baking bane. Tarts, cakes, pies…no problem, but cookies. Cool. I will try it (big fan btw)

  70. Jennie

    Like the comments I above, I made these and the dough simply would not hold together at all- even after refrigeration, it was completely sandy and broke into tiny bits at any attempt at rolling. I followed the recipe exactly (and weighed my ingredients). How long did you mix the dough? The only think I can think of is that I didn’t mix it long enough . . .

  71. gail

    This looks amazing. I have tried to email this recipe several times, but keep getting the message “Image verification failed.” I’m hoping this will soon be fixed so I can email it to myself…. thank you.

  72. Jen

    These worked perfectly for me. For those who are going to use their food processor to grind the chocolate, may I suggest using the FP to sift the dry ingredients as well – a few pulses did the job, and one fewer dish to wash! (Also I accidentally used 4oz./113g of 60% chocolate with no ill effects.)

  73. jenifer

    I also had the problem of the dough not coming together. Measured and followed recipe exactly. Had to really work the dough to make it form a sheet to cut out.
    Made it thicker rather than thinner. The cookies tured out okay, but nothing special. Wonder if adding some instant espresso powder could jazz them up …

  74. elizlk

    Similar to Liz (134) and Gemma (132) mine didn’t come together … I used 2/3 cup sugar and bittersweet chocolate … did you assume dry ingred measures were sifted (I would assume you would have said so, but)?

  75. Jennifer Cox

    I hope you don’t mind but your rules at the beginning of this post resonated for me today. I pinned them and gave you credit!

    Thank you for a yummy cookie recipe!

  76. cheryl s.

    Did your chocolate sables come out tasting exactly like the Balthazar sables?
    Wouldn’t the brand of cocoa ultimately account for any difference in taste between their cookie and the cookie of another? Which brand of cocoa did you use in your cookie?

  77. elizlk

    I did recover the dough – added a TBS or so of water, mixed it up some more & worked it the way I would pie dough that isn’t coming together.

  78. carrie

    saw the pics, had the ingredients, so off I went to bake. all dry ingredients, save sugar, measured via weight, came out perfectly and divine! used valrhona cocoa, scharffenberger 65% (easy to powder in my little braun food processor, the hand held type with the special processor attachment- plus I chilled the bar of chocolate in the freezer for 15 min.) and costco sea salt. rolled to 1/4″, baked for 10 min. this recipe is a KEEPER!

  79. Thanks for this Chocolate Sables recipe. Coincidentally, I was searching through my cookbooks just now for any chocolate cookie (severe cravings) and when I found yours in my inbox, well the search is over. I will try this one. Is there a reason why the chocolate must be grated well as you indicate here? That’s ok, I will do it just the same, probably using the processor. Thanks again, I hope mine turn out as divine as yours look, SK !

  80. Karen

    I too tried the Miette recipe with the same, highly disappointing, result. Looking forward to trying your recipe, Deb – they’re always reliably fabu! Thanks, always, for sharing!

  81. Christine

    I JUST made these. Like, just. Right now I am munching on one, still slightly warm from the oven, and had to rush over here to leave what I think is my first comment ever to say that THESE COOKIES ARE MY NEW FAVORITES. Better than chocolate chip. And so much better than Snickerdoodle. That’s right, I said it.

    I also will add that these things were a monster to roll out– so sandy and crumbly– and a monster to transfer from the baking sheet to the cooling rack– the gingerbread men lost their heads in the transfer, which is a pet peeve of mine– but I take back every mean thought because these cookies are so worth it.

    Since this is my first comment, I’ll also add: Thank you, Deb, for having such reliably good recipes. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have found a food blog I can trust. Your mushroom bourguignon is a staple dinner around here, by the way. And your cocoa brownies have changed our lives. Ok, I’ll stop now, but yes, thanks.

  82. Jen

    Darn! These turned into a complete mess for me. I should have bought Dutch chocolate but I was trying to use what I already have. It seems they expanded too much, leading them to be completely crumbly almost instantly upon contact. It’s a sad day in my house…

  83. Krista

    WOW! Intensely chocolate is right!! Made these on a procrastination break today and they are amazing. This recipe is a keeper for me.

  84. You shared the Brownies Roll-out Cookies recipe in USA Weekend last week, but did not give the sugar content in the ingredients info? You gave the 70 calories plus carbs, protein etc…..

  85. Kristin

    So, just wondering what kind of butter you bake with.
    Do you use one with a higher butterfat percentage?
    And would using a lower percentage butter (most supermarket brands) make a difference in the texture? Thanks!

  86. Chris J

    Ok–hmm. Not a failure, but not quite a success, as I have no real measure for these. First time out of the fridge—-big ol pile of crumbs and solid bits, so it was like rolling sand…managed to pull together perhaps a dozen out of the center mass and they cooked adequately, I suppose, and were nice and chocolatey and crispy…but, well…meh.

    Second batch I added an egg to give it some more cohesion, and they all fluffed a bit as one might expect, and held their shape, but frankly, too much work for too little reward. Not my kind of cookie, though I’m challenged enough to at least get them right so I can say I got it down–then proceed to ignore these kinds of cookies in the future,

    Thanks, though.

  87. Chris J

    Oh, and another thing–with the extra egg added in, the dough was more cohesive. I used a piece of floured wax paper to assist in the rollout which helped measurably, and with a pastry scraper delivering a scintilla of flour beneath, they didn’t really stick to the board.

    2nd batch was a little fluffier and more cookie like, rather than little crispy critters. They may indeed harden some eventually, I suppose.

  88. Esther

    Made these exactly as instructed and they came out perfect (perhaps those struggling to roll it out, should give it a little more time after taking it out of the fridge?). They are deliciously chocolatey. I’d made these for tonight, but will probably need to make another batch as I’ve already eaten so many myself …

  89. Donna

    I want to make these now !
    I have everything except fine sea salt, any opinions on what I should use and how much in place of the sea salt ?

  90. Couldn’t wait and made these at 10 pm last night. I’m not much of a baker (though you’re converting me) and I, like Jemma, had a hard time with my dough. It was super crumbly and I almost gave up. I’m so glad I didn’t! I persevered by very gently scooping up the crumbs and, in an almost meditative state, rolling them out with care. I used to work in clay, and the texture I went for in the dough was like rolled out clay; dense, thin, and flexible. I think letting the dough warm up a little helped tons! So I ended up with almost wafer-thin cookies that I’m not sure I really want to share with anyone:)

  91. gowoon

    Ah, the companion to Dorie Greenspan’s Punitons cookeis! I shall bake these as soon as possible. Thank you Deb for yet another great recipe!

  92. Deb, please help!

    I just made these and they were, I hate to say, a disaster. Dough looked (and tasted!) delicious enough, but when I glanced in the oven after only five minutes they had a spread out a lot (I have a cookie cutter much like yours and the ridges were all but gone) and were bubbling and melting. A few minutes later (at about minute 7) I smelled burning. When I took them out of the oven, left them for a few minutes, and then tried to scrape one off the cookie sheet, it crumbled to bits (rather like what you wrote about at the beginning of the post, but post-baking, not pre-)!

    I realize that asking you to shine a light across the internet and tell me which of many steps or ingredients might have gone wrong in my kitchen is like asking you to tell the future, but I still have half the dough in the fridge, ready to be tweaked. Is there anything I can do to save these, or should I just resort to eating the dough raw (not a terrible prospect)?

  93. We have been trying to make these all weekend and we’re coming up a complete failure. The mixture is too crumbly and it won’t stick together. One egg yolk just isn’t doing anything. We tried adding another egg yolk, but it’s just too crumbly to turn into cookies. We’re scratching our heads how your pictures show the layout moist. We’ve followed the recipe step for step and are totally discouraged.

    I’m semi-relieved to read others having the same problem, so it isn’t just me.

  94. Lily

    Made these on Friday and they came out great! Followed the recipe and didn’t have problems with the dough not sticking together, luckily. They are SO GOOD. I am definitely going to make these again!

  95. Alice L

    So kind of you too share.. I too have been tempted to have a tantrum lately, thanks to people who misrepresent themselves on the interwebz. Aargh! I think cookies help, tho.

  96. Mmm… I know these cookies at Balthazar but I’ve never tried them… next time I will get one with my Stumptown coffee and then make these to compare. I love cookies that have so much flavor that you don’t have to eat 8 to feel satisfied. Thanks Deb, I always love to see what you are cooking. By the way, got your cookbook for Christmas and love it!!!

  97. I loved the idea of these cookies, and decided to make them for my boyfriend, whose new year’s resolution was that there should always been cookies in our house. (I don’t understand how this is HIS resolution, as it depends on me or the grocery to supply said cookies.) I showed him the chocolate sables and said, “How ’bout these?” He said they looked try and I said, “No, they’re kind of shortbread-y! Shortbread is crisp and buttery and you love that.” So I went ahead… and they were dry! That cookie-monster-boyfriend of mine was right! Well, not the finished product, but the dough was SO dry I couldn’t wield it at all. I had to add a few drops of water just to get it to behave itself.

    Would be nice to get a little asterik at the end of the recipe in how to get the dough to be a bit easier to handle. Thanks for the recipe, however.

  98. Angi

    YUM. I just made these and I will be making them again. I wasn’t sure about them, but I wanted to give them a try because they sounded so delish. I just inhaled two 1/4″ ones and I want more but I need to save room for dinner. Thanks for working out that recipe until you got it just right.

  99. Sara

    Yum! Will bust these out to share with co-workers so I don’t eat them all myself! Also: just made the pistachio crusted lamb chops from your cookbook. omfg! AMAZING. (Also allowed me to browse in fantastic local Indian grocer) will continue to work my way through the book – chicken with rosemary, olives and grapes next!

  100. monica

    Just to add another data point, the dough came out too dry for me as well. BUT! I did as elizik recommended above and added 1 tablespoon water, and all was well. I also formed the dough into a log, refrigerated for about an hour, and did slice-and-bake (tile counters suck for rolling out dough). Worked great, although no pretty scalloped edges or heart shapes. :) But my husband doesn’t care what shape things are, as long as they’re chocolate! Delish!

  101. Brittany W.

    Deb, I read this post before going to San Francisco on Saturday, so I made a special stop at Miette. It was so cute! and in a really nice part of town, too. I had a hazelnut macaroon and my husband ate a brownie that he described as “really freakin’ good”.

  102. Jen

    Made this today and LOVED it! Rolled into a log and sliced. Noticed it starting to get warm as I was cutting it so I placed in freezer a bit. The sprinkle of turbinado sugar really adds a little something extra to the cookies. I did a blind taste test with my husband and he liked the turbinado one best.

  103. Miriam

    I haven’t made these yet, but they look fantastic! Thank you for all of the recipes – I am in graduate school, and cooking helps me get through each semester. I fully support the idea of 4pm cookies!

  104. claire

    Just made these as part of a not so lazy Sunday, perfect balance of chocolate and sweetness. Cannot think of a better way to end my weekend. Thank you for this recipe!

  105. Danielle

    Finally! Another chocolate recipe… was waiting for it. I made these today and love them – intensely rich is an understatement! The dough was not the texture I expected, and, after reading some of the comments, I started to freak while rolling. It took a while for me to get through it (tip: don’t attempt the rolling part with a 2 year old on the loose in the kitchen) but they came out great. Mine were about 1/4″ thick because I was thinking any thinner would have caused them to crumble. Milk is a must with these… balances the intensity a tad. I used normal cocoa powder but will try the dutch variety next time. Thank you for yet another yummy chocolate fix um recipe. Keep em coming please. :-)

  106. Suzanne

    Deb, I think it’s time for a chocolate cookie/ wafer/ oreo-knock-off intervention. I just followed the trail through your site to read your different chocolate cookie/ wafer type recipes… my goodness, girl! I think I know what your favorite cookie is! ;)

  107. Jennifer

    Hi Deb-
    I am a long time follower of your blog and user of your recipes. Love both. Love your cookbook, too. I made this recipe, and didn’t have trouble with the dough. What I am having trouble with, is that the cookie is not holding its shape properly. I used a round cookie cutter, and the edges spread and looked a little ragged. So, I tried rolling the dough into a log, chilling it really well, then slicing the log into cookies thicker than the ones I used a cookie cutter to shape. The cookies still spread at the edges and got jagged. While they were still warm, I took the cookie cutter to them, and gave them all uniform, clean edges. But, I am lucky enough to live close to Miette, and their sable edges are perfectly smooth … as are yours. I wonder what I am doing wrong? Can you help with this?

  108. Adriana

    I was so excited to see you post as I am a huge Balthazar devotee. I live near Balthazar’s in Englewood, (just over the GWB), where they bake everything and have a small wholesale boutique open to the public. They have a huge window where you can see massive mountains of butter and see the bakers at work. Needless to say, their hot baguettes just out of the ovens are made in heaven, and pretty much so is everything else. I once asked about what butter they use, and was told it is specially made for them by Vermont Creamery, but is not the same as the Vermont Creamery butter we can buy. So perhaps the secret lies not so much in the ratio/quantity of ingredients, but the quality. Would love to be able recreate their crispy oatmeal raisin cookies too!

  109. Erica

    I have been a chocolate addict for 40 years. I was out and about in Soho regularly throughout the holiday season (I work nearby in Tribeca) and prided myself on not making any detours to Balthazar or any other bakery. Even bought some workout clothes on sale at the Soho Lululemon after Christmas. I’ve been able to resist holiday cakes/cookies, streudels, croissants, etc. Now here you go with these doggone cookies. Thanks a lot Deb, thanks a lot (sarcasm intended).

    1. deb

      Those having trouble with the dough coming together — Tell me everything. Did you grate or grind the chocolate? If ground, was it powdery or rubbly? Was the dough cold? I found it best to roll it out (as I mentioned) with only a slightly chilled dough. Oh, and what kind of cocoa did you use? I want to help! I feel terrible when things don’t work out for people, especially because I’m a little obsessive with the recipe testing. (My hunch: this dough really doesn’t roll well cold, as I tried to warn, but clearly should have louder and that it really works better with Dutched cocoa. But tell me what you used and I can trace it backwards from there. One I hear a few responses, I’ll try again and if I find what you’re finding, might drop the flour by a tablespoon or so or add another yolk.)

      Abby — It just looks like banana bread, right? Or is it something different in crumb?

      Erica — Not sorry! :)

      Adriana — Oh my goodness. Thank you for reminding me that we need to take a detour there one day when we’re in New Jersey. As for the butter, it’s totally possible that they prefer a certain level of butterfat or the like in their baking that Vermont doesn’t usually sell, but it shouldn’t make a huge, huge difference (in a cookie where the flavor is much more from chocolate). I can ask around, though. I like to be very nosy when I’m at bakeries, anyway.

      Jennifer — So, my first question would be about which kind of cocoa you used. Dutched will hold its shape better than Natural cocoa here, because natural cocoa will have a stronger reaction with the baking soda. As for Miette, I am not sure anyone outside the bakery knows how they get their cookies so darling. I really hated to call out their recipe by name (as I know I’d adore the bakery if I ever got there and prefer to just not mention things I’ve found disappointing in cookbooks) but I found so many references to the cookie recipe on the web where it had just been cut-and-pasted from the book and it didn’t work for almost anyone (I found dozens of references to the same flop I had in comments throughout), it felt unfair and I wanted people who were having the same problems I did with the recipe to know another trick to a) save what they made (the baked rubble topping) b) make it work next time.

      Rochelle — USA Weekend published that recipe and came up with the calories, not this site. (I don’t do calorie counts here.) The question should go to their web editor or in the comments on that article.

      cheryl s. — I use Valrhona cocoa most often, which is definitely the darkest and richest, but found that even a less expensive Dutched cocoa (Droste) worked well here. Dutch cocoa is ideal for the cookie to come out the way mine did, and the way it tastes at Balthazar, but I also think that a huge part of it — the real missing piece — is the grated chocolate. That, for me, was what sealed the deal.

      angela — The brownie-rolls out are more tender and plush, a bit sweeter and less intensely chocolaty, closer to a brownie than a bubbling cauldron of ganache. ;)

  110. Thanks for the recipe – these were really delicious! I confess to eating….8 in a sitting :-) However, the dough was really, really crumbly for me like others. I ended up trying to roll it, gathering up the crumbs into a pile and rolling a second time to get it all to come together. Fussy but yum.

  111. Kris

    I made these and they are amazing! I had a some trouble with the dough crumbling, but was able to eventually get the pictured results. I used natural cocoa, food processed the chocolate to somewhere between powdery and slightly granular, and used the extra sugar. I’m wondering what I can do next time to make the dough easier to work with. Was the chocolate not powdery enough? Did I use the wrong cocoa? Do I need a second egg yoke if using extra sugar? Should I use the whole egg next time?

  112. Deb, as I mentioned I eventually managed to work with the dough but it was a challenge (worth it – delicious.) In answer to your questions, I ground the bittersweet chocolate to look like what you showed – a crumbly consistency. I used dutch cocoa. But I think the key ultimately was as you mentioned — letting the dough warm up a bit before rolling it out.

  113. Ladotyk

    I really appreciate that you took the time to explain your method of trial and error and the thought process behind your experimentation; it makes me appreciate the recipe even more. Thank you! I can’t wait to try this one.

  114. Elizabeth

    Deb, I just made these and they are fantastically chocolatey! Intensely chocolate perfection but mine sank in the middle as they cooled and turned out not-so-pretty. Very delicious but the droopy centers aren’t cute. Any idea why or how to fix?

  115. Andrea

    Made these yesterday and they are a new favorite! Just wondering if the problems with the dough coming together could relate to the softness of the butter. After reading the article about Dorie Greenspan/sables and having acquired the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, I noted the use of the term pommade. Keller mentions using a torch to the bowl of the mixer to help soften the butter to the point that when creamed with the sugar it becomes almost like mayonnaise. I tried the technique with these and had great results.

  116. i’m happy to know i’m not the only one who occasionally needs to pound my fists in frustration and an all-out emotional meltdown! followed by 4:00 cookies. :)

  117. sara

    hi deb. we made these this weekend and had problems too. we couldn’t find dutched cocoa so used the hershey’s special dark which claims to be half ‘natural’ and half ‘dutched’. we ground the chocolate. we chilled the dough for about 2 hours and then let it rest out of the refrigerator for about 45 min. it was soft when we touched it but it was a struggle to get it to come together well/stay together when we used cookie cutters. and we got about half the number of cookies. that said, my 3 year old would have been happy to have just eaten the whole batch raw! they were super tasty but super difficult from the rolling/cutting out/transferring to the pan angle.

  118. Perry

    I made these and they came out delicious. I had difficulty rolling it out, but I didn’t wait very long to roll them out. My friend and I just hand rolled them into balls, then rolled those balls flat. I think my big problem was not waiting long enough after chilling because if we rolled them for longer between our hands they were a lot easier to work with. I guess my biggest question is, if you have to wait for it to warm up after chilling it….why chill it in the first place?? In case you want more information, I ground my chocolate until it was granular. I couldn’t seem to get it to become powdery without becoming a solid mass in the corners of my food processor. It was about the size of turbinado sugar. I used valrhona 70% chocolate feves, and I used valrhona dutched cocoa which is my favorite!

  119. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at some sables, and while I’m always more of a vanilla than chocolate person (boring, I know), I know that my mom would adore these! :)

    And Deb, in response to your and Abby’s comments, I recently tried that banana bar recipe and LOVED it! It is similar to banana bread in taste – but it’s definitely denser and more moist. I actually prefer it over banana bread!

    I’ll update when I put up my blog post about it later this week! I don’t think you’d regret giving it a try.

  120. I made these cookies yesterday. Thank goodness you posted the recipe – I had been craving a super chocolate cookie, and these fit the bill perfectly.

    I had a very crumbly dough. I used Scharffen Berger chocolate and ground it with my zester, so it was powdery. I used Ghiradelli cocoa. I mixed the entire thing by hand. I chilled it for 30 min and then let it sit on the counter for about 20. It rolled out but was definitely fussy – it kept cracking and I’d push it back together. It was a labor of love, that’s for certain. I thought about adding a bit of water but never did, and ended up desisting with the roller and just piecing it together with my hands.

    Yum. Now I know, though, to expect a high maintenance dough – but it was worth it and I’ll make them again. I’m going to try a different cocoa and see if it changes things up, and I’d thought about topping them with a tiny bit of vanilla sea salt – I love chocolate mixed with salt.

  121. monica

    Okay! Full disclosure, Per your request, Deb:

    – I used salted butter (I know, I know) and omitted the salt.

    – The only chocolate I had on hand was unsweetened Baker’s chocolate. I ground it in the FoPro, and ended up with a mix of dust and smaller-than-pea-sized chunks. (Like half-a-Tic-Tac-sized? It looked like your photo.)

    – Since my chocolate was unsweetened, I went for the 2/3 cup of sugar.

    – The Saco brand cocoa I used is a mix (no idea what proportions) of regular and Dutched cocoa.

    As noted above, I added 1 tablespoon of water to make the dough come together, shaped it into a log, wrapped it in parchment, fridged it for about an hour, then sliced and baked. The larger chocolate chunks did catch on the knife a little, but not badly. Finished cookies were delicious! The texture was a little more cookie-ey than shortbread-ey, but nobody complained. :)

  122. Dana

    I made these not once, but twice this weekend. Once for a party and once for a friend who recently had a baby. I’m feeling a bit bereft because there are none left in the house. First time I made it without a stand mixer because my baby was sleeping and it was too noisy, and it was quite crumbly. The second time I used the stand mixer and it was much easier.

  123. Mic

    Would you please describe the proper texture of the baked and cooled cookies.

    Should they be crisp so they snap when broken. Or should they still be soft inside.

    Thank you.

  124. Liz S.

    Oh my goodness, I have to try these!!!!
    Deb, one of the variations that might cause some of the dough recipes not to come together is the humidity. Bay area (SF, Oakland) tends to be pretty damp year round, whereas our winter-heated east coast home kitchens tend to be bone dry – I’ve found that this can make a huge difference in dough texture, from bread to cookies. Also the ambient temperature in the kitchen when working with “stuff that melts” (butter, chocolate) makes somewhat of a difference in texture. I also grind my chocolate when making my tiramisu, and I have to pretty much avoid making it in the summertime as I wind up with chocolate goo instead of ground chocolate.

  125. Meryl

    Made these last night for my chocolate-loving husband who is a bit under the weather, but only had on hand half the amount of bittersweet chocolate that your recipe called for. They were still delicious and very chocolatey and they definitely perfumed the house, although I imagine if I had the proper amount of chocolate they would have been even better! They were the perfect sidekick to a warm beverage :)

  126. JC

    Deb, I’m on the hunt for a Banoffee Cupcake Redux for a friend’s upcoming birthday. So far not so much luck. Any recommendations? Thanks!

  127. Arlene

    Do you measure the flour and cocoa and then sift, or sift and then measure? Always confusing to me, especially when using a scale. I can’t wait to make these, and hopefully that will be today!

    1. deb

      Arlene — My presumption, and the rule I use when writing a recipe is that if something says “1/3 cup sifted cocoa” it would be sifted before measuring, and “1/3 cup cocoa, sifted” it would be sifted after measuring. In this case, it’s none of the above, just sifted in the directions with other ingredients. If your cocoa is very lumpy, you might still need to sift it for measuring, but not worry about keeping it aerated/loose so the 1/3 cup doesn’t end up too light.

      Mic — They are crisp all the way through but not hard. They have a loose, crisp crumb.

  128. My goodness do these look divine. I love chocolate anything. I think I’m putting these on the “oh yes, make as soon as you have sugar in the house” list.

  129. Morgan

    I made these for a co-workers baby shower and they were delightful! I used the generic hershey’s cocoa, but bought the raw sugar which was totally worth it! Warning, though, the dough was INCREDIBLY crumb-y. Thankfully, my friend is super patient and was able to wrangle it into submission. Most excellent!

  130. lizzzzz

    Ho Hum., or so I thought till I started to read, you sure captured my attention. Your beautiful concise writing made a believer of me. I’m on my way to the grocery store to buy some GOOD cocoa.
    I bought your new cookbook for my daughter who lives in Ireland as she has become known far and wide for baking your Irish car bomb cupcakes. Well, my 11 year old Grandson took it and has proceeded to make your Ruguleah which were excellent- You have 3 generations of followers in our family!!!! Keep those recipes coming… When will Jacob post his first recipe!!!!

  131. Andria B.

    I tried this with non-Dutch cocoa. The dough was very crumby. I added another egg yolk and 1/4 Cup more butter and a handful of flour. It made the dough easier to roll out but a little bit sticky – which resulted in me needing to flour my surface continuously. The cooking time stayed the same. I think I should’ve gone with a a little less additional butter. Or better yet, use some real Dutch cocoa. They are still very delicious.

  132. Rachel

    so these worked beautifully for me with a bitter choc cadbury bar and straight up hershey’s cocoa. world peace starts here y’all.

  133. Ariel

    I made these with non-dutched cocoa and they came out wonderfully. I ground my chocolate in the food processor, my dough wasn’t crazy cold when I rolled it out, I easily got it to 1/8″, and ended up with a little over 50 cookies. I brought them to a baby shower where I ended up sleeping over (just because mom-to-be can’t drink, doesn’t mean her friends can’t?) and myself and the other drunkies ate them again for breakfast :-)

  134. Okay, I put the blog post up! (This is a response to Abby and Deb about the banana bars!) They are insanely addicting, and they’re definitely worth at least giving a try – because they are different from banana bread! You get the same sweet, familiar taste of the bananas. But the bars are moister and denser than banana bread. You can definitely tell that these are bars not bread or cake. I love the crumb that this recipe makes!

  135. Liz C.

    I am still desperately trying to grasp to “soup and salad” but these may derail me. Maybe a weekend treat? Also, my husband has a birthday coming up, so probably going to have to make that chocolate peanut butter cake again. =)

  136. Estelle

    I made these today (according to the new instructions re: Dutch cocoa and egg yolk) and although the dough was still quite friable it did roll out. The consistency became easier to roll on the second and third rolls and I managed to get some thinner biscuits. They taste absolutely lush (as did the raw dough according to my boys!) and no doubt will be made again. Thanks Deb!

  137. Samantha

    I was delighted to see this yesterday, I had just spent a frustrating evening beating the Miette recipe for these cookies into submission over the weekend and it is reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who has had trouble with it. I did actually get them to work out in the end but it was challenging. I’m curious about the coco issue though. Meg Ray of Miette is adamant that natural coco is part of the key to the success of her cookies and that dutched coco actually less flavorful. Can you shed any light?

    1. deb

      Samantha — Oh, I totally disagree but it can be a matter of taste. Dutched cocoa is darker and almost nuttier; all of the acidity has been removed. I was attempting to emulate the Balthazar sables, and I feel almost positive from tasting them and admiring their very dark color that they use Dutched cocoa.

  138. Robyn in the Northwoods

    OK. No, I totally loved these chocolate sables. I’ve never made them nor eaten them in my life. Where have I been??? I did not chill the dough at all, which worked great! I rolled mine 1/4″ thick. I cannot believe the lovely texture of these. I have always loved shortbread; these are my new favorite. I love them so much, I will make them for Valentines day goodie bags for work, about 30 people. Thanks, what a treat :O)


  139. Adam

    These are delicious. I made them using Valrhona cocoa powder and had no issues with rolling them out. However, the recipe made nowhere near 40 cookies – I ended up with 19 cookies of roughly the same size and thickness as your’s after using up all the scraps.

  140. I’m collecting new chocolate recipes so I had to stop and dream about this intensely chocolate one. I can’t wait to try it and further my chocolate happiness. ;)

  141. NRG

    Hi Deb, great recipe!

    I wish to compliment you on the use of grams. This makes duplicating and multiplying recipes so much better.

    Would you be so kind as to tell us the gram portion of salt this is used. Vanilla would be good too. We are making this for a super bowl party and need tons!

    Thanks for all the awesome food!

  142. Cynthia

    Thanks for the great recipe! I almost followed the recipe to the letter, but not quite. I always have to tinker. I added 1/2t of espresso powder and bumped the chopped up chocolate to 120g. (Thanks for the weight measurements, I always use weight measures for baking) I used Callebaut 55% chocolate and Valhrona cocoa powder. Beautiful dough. Had no issues with rolling It out. As a matter of course I use King Arthur Unbleached AP flour as it has a slightly higher protein content than other flours and it was fine here. I ended up leaving 1/2 the batch plain and made sandwich cookies out of the other 1/2 using a caramel buttercream. To die for! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  143. Dewi

    I just made this and it is smelling heavenly chocolaty in my house! And it is soo good! I made your brownie roll out and loved it too! I didn’t have too much problem on rolling the dough for this one except the last bit of it which crumbly due to drying but the anticipation on failing kind of make me a little nervous lol. This is my first time on using the valrhona dutch cocoa and also I used the valrhona dark baking chocolate. Deb, can I ask you what kind of flour do you use? I meant what brand? I use all purpose king arthur, and unsalted butter. I love your cook book! My 26 years old daughter loved it too. It is funny. I found your website after I bought your cook book and here I am writing to you. lol. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Marie — Makes 40 to 48 2-inch thin cookies, fewer if thicker.

      Dewi — I usually use King Arthur for all-purpose, but I’m not overly beholden to it.

      NRG — I don’t like listing grams of things under 5 grams because I feel that a one gram variance will have too big of an impact. Sea salt can range from 4 to 6 grams per teaspoon so 1/4 teaspoon would be … tiny and best eyeballed. For liquids, I use ml. 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.

  144. lmen

    this was great. slightly modified: i used bittersweet chocolate and the lower of the two sugar amounts, and was able to make the dough into a long roll when i wrapped it in cellophane and refrigerated it. i left it in the frig for a couple of days, and then was able to slice it into the small rounds, as opposed to rolling it out. i dredged each in sugar before placing on parchment as i was concerned it would not be sweet enough and found that to be a great solution. i’m not much for rolling out anything other than pie dough, and sometimes i lack the talent to even do that well!! thanks again. we will be superbowl feasting on them!

  145. Deb

    Glad I made these for Super Bowl. I ended up using 2 yolks to get a less crumbly texture. After rolling the first batch, I took the scraps and just rolled them into very small balls, placed them on the cookie sheet and flattened them with the bottom of a glass. Then I ground on some Trader Joes sugar and chocolate! My new favorite chocolate cookie.

  146. These should be called “insanely chocolate sables”… I didn’t have any dark, semi-, or bittersweet chocolate in block form, so I used Belgian milk chocolate (33%) and the lesser amount of sugar. They baked up kind of soft and are still a bit on the sweet side but they are SO GOOD! Alsio, they worked well as slice and bake, in case anyone is wondering. (I seem to only have Christmas themed cookie cutters…) Thanks for the great recipe!

  147. Marie

    mmmmm these are delicious! I put 2/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup of sugar and they are almost too sweet so next time i’ll put 1/2 a cup. it’s yielded 15 heart shape cookies!

  148. Jenny

    I just made these and they are amazing. It looked as though my dough wasn’t coming together in my mixer at first, so I just added a scant tsp of water and a minute later, the dough was perfect. Came out of the bowl cleanly. I used Valrhona cocoa and Valrhona dark chocolate. The smell in the house right now is fantastic! What a wonderful treat!

  149. Heather

    These are wonderful. Just the dough alone. I made one batch and brunt one round. They burn fast! I made another batch and added orange essence and tangerine rind. Yumm!!!

  150. Bunny

    So, I’ve just finished baking these. I used Cacao Barry cocoa [belgian cocoa, which i think is the french branch of Callebaut] and ground the chocolate [chocolate chips, 60%-cocoa-solids] and used 1 COLD egg yolk. everything else i did pretty much the same. The dough came together perfectly. it did not make a conventional dough while in the mixer, but a somewhat cohesive rubblage, but I had a feeling it would roll out well. So i rolled it straight away, without chilling it in the fridge, and it was very well behaved. I only freezed it a tiny bit in between cutting the shapes and actually lifting them from the rolled mass and placing them in the lined baking pan. It came out PERFECT! very easy and very tasty.
    One question though: can you please describe a test for doneness? I rolled mine into 1/6 inch thickness, and made 3 batches: the first one was baked 11 minutes, the second 10 and the third 8. I think the first ones kinda overcooked [they smelled like it, though after they were well chilled they didn’t taste like that]. I noticed they puffed during baking- should I remove them from the oven after they deflate or while they are still kinda puffy?


    1. deb

      Bunny — I think mine were very slightly post-puffy when I removed them, but like you, I go by smell a lot with chocolate stuff that’s this thin. As soon as I smell the chocolate toasting, I just want them out of the oven.

  151. liz

    Made these over the weekend. Delicious. Had to use natural cocoa, live in the sticks and couldn’t find any dutch processed at my three local stores so followed Dagoba’s suggestion, as I used their cocoa, of 1/8 tsp baking soda per 3 Tbls cocoa to substitute natural for dutch processed. Results: I added a little extra liquid, another 1 tsp of vanilla to help the dough come together in the mixer and while it was a struggle to roll out, it still wanted to crack, the cookies baked up beautifully. Even the cracked cookies stayed together after baking. Thank you.

  152. (record scratch) Wait, what? These have been up here for almost 10 days and I haven’t even seen them? Hogwash! And promptly added to my weekend baking lineup. As a long-time lurker, I never thought I’d see the day I miss an awesome, chocolatey dessert recipe on Smitten Kitchen.

    Also, “Great Noisy Fuss?” Who among us is not a Ramona Quimby fan? I had the whole collection in paperback growing up. Good times.

  153. Franziska

    Sable perfection! Thanks for the recipe (I do own the Miette book but was wary of trying the recipe for the lack of egg). My biscuits came out wonderful. I used Dutch cocoa and the food processor to chop up the chocolate. The dough came together without problems!
    Can’t wait until your book is finally published on this side of the pond at the end of the month!

  154. Judy in South Africa

    Well yumm yumm – I forgot the vanilla and the sugar on top – was rushing as usual – but they were chocolate perfection – wonderful with an ice-cold glass of milk. Finished in 2 days – so more to be made!!! Thanks for a great recipe for the collection.
    From 35 degree hot and sunny South Africa….

  155. Hi Deb!
    I made these last week in a desperate attempt to create GF chocolate wafer cookies for part of the decoration on my son’s birthday cake. I subbed a store-bought GF flour blend (with xantham gum in it) 1:1 for the flour and left all else the same (used the higher sugar amount). They were AMAZING! We are making them again tomorrow! My Celiac son and I thank you!

  156. Cynthia

    Just made another batch of these. It’s my new go to recipe for social functions. This time I tempered just a small amount of the same chocolate that I put in the cookies and used a #3 tip to pipe on a lattice pattern. As there were to be several children at the function I thought I would go over the top on the cookies. But guess what? They were fantastic. Even the adults didn’t think they were too sweet. Oh no, my mind is racing again…..Next time white chocolate stripes! Or maybe white chocolate infused with orange zest? Or maybe peppermint? Or let’s go really off the grid, chili powder? So little time so many variations to try….

  157. Although its hard for me to bake, because i am not good in baking. But your reecipie attracts me alot and for sure i will try it as soon as i can make. One thing about the recipie which i like the most is that, that you share the photos of every step of the recipie which you took during the recipie, Love the idea which you have given to me. Thankyou for a very good recipie.

  158. Binnie

    Dear Deb,
    Now that I finally have the Dutched Cocoa Powder in hand, (I had to buy a pound of it online and most places were sold out of it – can you guess why?), is it OK to use it in other recipes asking for cocoa or should I just share it with my friends and only use it in recipes that specifically call for it? Thank you! PS: I gave 3 of your books as Chanukah presents (one was for me!)

    1. deb

      Binnie — It will depend on the recipe. In many, it won’t matter what you use, in that case, I always prefer Dutched. In some, one or the other will be best. I hope you love the cocoa. It’s ruined me for others.

  159. These sound heavenly. I will have to find Dutched Cocoa Powder. I’ve never heard of it. Will have to see if I can find some when I’m in Hershey over the weekend. (They should sell it, right?)

    Thanks for this great recipe. I can’t wait to make it!

    1. deb

      Stacey — Look at a regular grocery store for a brand like Droste or any other European brands. (European brands make Dutched cocoa; American brands almost always make natural cocoa.) Enjoy Hershey!

  160. Jane

    My daughter just declared these “the best cookie I have ever eaten,” and I am telling you, that girl has enjoyed many, many cookies in her 9 years.

  161. Joanne

    Wow bazillion comments here so I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this already or not?? I too have been trying to perfect the chocolate cookie! It’s been a gradual learning experience. And I too have the Miette cookbook! I had never heard of dutch processed chocolate (until i bought Martha Stewart’s cookbook) and this has helped but just recently after taking a culinary arts class (or two or 20) I also found out about black cocoa. This is a doubled dutched cocoa and is a necessity for making cookies & cakes similar to Oreo. King Arthur flour supplies this and I think it can be found on Amazon. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  162. Joanne

    Oh and I’ve also learned a few new things from the TV show Americas Test Kitchen. They experiment on a lot of different recipes and explain the results and reasons why sorts of things happen. Recently a show explained a bit on thin crunchy “fairy gingerbread” and they used crunched/processed rice crispies for some of the flour

  163. Oh my gosh! Thank you for articulating all of that! I totally agree. Laughed. and then shared it with my husband. I love the way you write. And I am a cookie fiend. I always need a cookie at the end of the day. I am about to make your salted white chocolate oat cookies for afterschool hang out with the moms on the playground.

  164. Heather

    Mine crumbled pretty badly when I rolled them thinly, but not so badly when I rolled them thicker. I ground the chocolate in the food processor and used Hershey’s extra dark cocoa powder because that was what was in the house and after being in several stores that didn’t have the Dutched kind we couldn’t wait to try these any longer. The dough didn’t look like it was going to hold together at all at first–I thought I must have missed some liquid ingredient or measured something incorrectly– but processing it a few seconds took care of that. Complicated shapes didn’t hold up well at all but simple hearts and circles were fine, even with scalloped edges. They are DELICIOUS! It seems to me that this might make a great crust for something like a chocolate chip cheesecake….

  165. Lisa

    I made these according to directions with Dutch process cocoa, ground up chocolate somewhere between powdery and rubble and 2/3 cup sugar. The dough would not come together so I tried the extra egg yolk. Nope. I threw in 2 more tablespoons of butter and that fixed it. Perhaps they don’t have quite the sable texture I was going for but they are good.

  166. Brandi

    These cookies turned out great! I made them today using black cocoa from KAF, my husband really enjoyed them with a cup of tea this afternoon. Thanks for the recipe.

  167. Emma

    I just made these tonight, with the lower amount of sugar (1/2 c) and…natural cocoa, against your updated note. Partly out of laziness and partly because I thought it might help hold the dough together better, I used a whole egg instead of just a yolk. The dough came together just fine! Also out of laziness, I shaped them into a rectangular log to slice and bake (a la The Wednesday Chef) and…oh man these are good cookies. Mine have the tiniest bit more chew than an ideal sable should have (probably thanks to the egg white, although I never had the Balthazar inspiration cookie) but they are crisp and light but oh so intensely chocolatey! Super tasty!

  168. Anna

    Just made these as well! I couldn’t bear to wait long enough to get to the market, so I used the unsweetened chocolate I had in the cupboard, and regular cocoa powder. They turned out swimmingly! Thank you, as always Deb! Everything I try from you is a winner!

  169. nzle

    Made these for a dinner party as ice cream sandwiches along with homemade persimmon sorbet. (I ended up adding two egg yolks to bind the dough because my eggs were medium instead of large.) None of the 48 cookies made it to the end of the night!

  170. Allegra

    These are the best chocolate cookies – maybe the best cookies – I’ve ever had! Thank you! I wanted to comment on the crumbly dough issue: For me, it helped to slightly knead the dough (manually) before refrigerating. I followed the rest of the recipe to the letter.

  171. Kristin S

    After reading other comments, I made these with a whole egg and dutch process cocoa and they were still an unqualified, sandy disaster – I didn’t even bake them. I had a parallel experience with the World Peace Cookies, so I’m not sure why I even tried. I have a sneaking suspicion that the culprit may be undercreamed butter and sugar as I don’t have a mixer of any kind … did anyone else run into this issue?

  172. Kim Irene

    Made these last night per the detailed instructions and pictures and they turned out great. I did “work” the dough edges a bit while rolling out and I will roll them thicker next time. BUT, I’m not sure I like the cookie better than the dough. Thank you AND looking forward to seeing you in Louisville (LEW AH VUL) March 27th.

  173. An update to my previous comment. They turned out great despite the troubles I had. The extra egg yolk and belatedly added 2 T of butter still turned out a nice, sandy textured cookie. They’re pretty and delicious although I have to say I think I like the dough the best! I’m glad I persevered because I just can’t admit defeat or throw out uncooperative cookie dough.

  174. I thought I would chip in with a UK-baker perspective (I know you have a lot of fans over here). I have just finished baking, and these are wonderful – melt-in-your-mouth tender with a lovely long chocolate flavour.

    I used: Green & Black’s cocoa powder, a mixture of Green and Black’s 72% and Valrhona 68% chocolate, plain flour, unsalted 83% butter (Yeo Valley), and the one egg yolk. I ground the chocolate pretty fine in the processor, then, as another commenter suggested, added the flour, cocoa and baking soda to the processor as well, and mixed everything together. This allowed me to take the chocolate a bit finer still, while making sure it didn’t turn to paste.

    When mixing the chocolate and cocoa in, I pulsed very carefully (after reading Dorie Greenspan’s advice on sables) and didn’t think it would ever stick together, but a little patience and it did. I rolled the dough in a log and refrigerated it overnight. When it came to bake, I sliced half from the log, after rolling in coarse demerara sugar, and rolled the other half out – both methods worked fine for me once the chill had come off the dough a little.
    Some photos here:
    *And* they are much nicer than the ‘chocolate diamonds’ I bought from Balthazar Bakery here in London this week :)

  175. Susie M

    Dough will be on the crumbly side was an understatement!! But with a little patience, pushing into a square, patting down, and rolling gently they turned out great. Even the ones with little cracks stayed together when baked. Used Dutched and small grater holes. My yield was around 24 at 1/4″ thick with a 2 1/2″ cutter (counted after some quality assurance checks).

    1. deb

      Shawn — Do you have a Silpat? That would work as well. If you don’t have anything to make the baking pan nonstick, you can lightly butter it but it comes with its own risks, such as it might make the cookies spread more than you want.

  176. Sarah

    I eyed up this recipe with longing and a sense that it would be one requiring too many ingredients that you just can’t get here in the UK! To my huge delight, after a bit of internet searching I discovered that my regular brand of cocoa powder is actually Dutched (it’s the same one Louise mentions above – if only she’d posted sooner she’d have saved me the search)… bingo! Made them and they smell amazing. Struggled a little bit to get them off the tray without crumbling. But, I think that was my fault for a) rolling them too thin and b) being a bit too eager to take them off before they’d cooled down a touch! Yummy all the same. Thanks for this recipe, it’s a keeper.

  177. My goodness, these look good and seem easy to make. Does anyone always feel the need to have chocolate? This is my first time reading an article from Smitten Kitchen and It was totally informative and easy to read!! I know this doesn’t have anything to do with baking or cooking, but you could use something to read when you’re eating the food! An ongoing suspense story is in the process! Thanks Smitten Kitchen! :)

  178. Sharilyn Unthank

    Please tell me my eyes do not deceive! Local library indicates you will be here in Louisville KY speaking about book and all. I ordered the maximum number of tickets! Calendar is marked! Will bring friends! So excited!

  179. Jillian N.

    I made these and instead of grating the chocolate, I melted it and mixed it in with the butter, sugar and egg yolk before adding the dry ingredients. The results were delicious and the dough was not the least bit crumbly or problematic while rolling and cutting them out.

  180. I tried to make that recipe just after you published it, before you realized that we should just avoid natural cocoa powder and use Dutched cocoa instead, and guess what I had in my kitchen? yes, natural cocoa powder. The dough was a mess, so crumbly (but very tasty). I ended adding few drops of cold water to make it hold together and, against all odds, ended with very good chocolat sablés.
    Few days ago, I decided to give it another try, this time with Dutched cocoa. I did not change a single thing in the recipe. Again, the dough was very crumbly but definitely less messy and the cookies were just a hit. Amazing flavor and texture. I sprinkled half of them with fleur de sel instead of turbinato sugar and the contrast was absolutely amazing.
    Anyway, in the meantime I researched about the Miette recipe and from what I have read, it seems that it is very much inspired by a recipe from famous French baker Pierre Hermé (I just love him, every time I’m in Paris I have to stop by his bakery). I’m planning to make that recipe sometime during the week, you know… in the name of science. Thanks for sharing Deb, it has become a favorite at home.

  181. Jen

    I just wanted to chime in that I really wanted to make these cookies, but couldn’t find Dutched cocoa anywhere. So I thought “I’ll just try adding a tiny bit more butter and hope its enough” I add 2 extra Tbsp of butter from the beginning and the dough came together easy peasy. Might even have been too moist so I’m not sure I needed to add the extra butter. I used Ghirardelli natural cocoa powder. The cookies were delicious! Thanks L:)

  182. catChicago

    I hated to see them go…I made a batch of these one week ago- and just finished the last of them with my coffee this morning. I shared with my loves and my co-workers and received rave reviews. I held back almost a dozen in a ziplock in the freezer to enjoy over the weekend. They were delicious and fresh tasting as the day they were made. I followed the recipe exactly-no edits or modifications were needed. The dough did take some time to come together with a hand mixer. Not panicking is always helpful in the kitchen no matter how tempted you are. Thanks Deb!

  183. J-Anonymous

    I accidentally made this with bread flour the first time (don’t ask). It didn’t come together so I added another half an egg yolk which worked. I made a 2nd batch using AP flour following the instructions exactly. In the end they both turned out great. The one with the bread flour held it’s shape a bit more but was still crunchy. Go figure!

  184. hillary

    followed recipe precisely (as i always do when baking), as well as checking back with your photos to make sure everything looked the way it should. used dutched chocolate. dough never came together. wrapped it up anyway and chilled, but had to discard. i know some people had success with this recipe, but i feel that there is something missing. any thoughts about what to add — water, another egg yolk?

  185. David

    I’ve made these twice now, following the recipe exactly and both times the dough came together just fine. I worked it into a thick round log about 2″ in diameter and refrigerated it overnight in plastic wrap before slicing the log into 1/4″ thick rounds instead than rolling it out. Nothing wasted that way! They are just delicious and, yes, the house smells amazing for at least a day after baking them up.

  186. Sarah U

    Deb, I failed you on this one. I don’t know what happened, but I had that dough in and out of the fridge umpteen times, added who knows how much butter, mixed it over and over to get it to come together… I can’t believe they turned out. I mean they are outrageously delicious despite all my failings. My husband is literally standing over them right now waiting for them to cool so he can pop another one in his mouth! Another new favorite! Thanks!

  187. Mary Kate

    I made these last night with Penzey’s High Fat Natural Cocoa and had no trouble at all getting the dough to come together. I think using the stand mixer is pretty key though. I can see how if you were just using a spatula to mix in the chocolate and flour mixture that it might take more effort to get the dough to come together.
    I also rolled these into a log so they were slice and bake instead of cutouts. They came out great!
    (Also, my husband told me after he ate several that I had made these before. He thought they were Dorie’s World Peace cookies. Which I think is a great compliment.)

  188. deanna

    Delicious! Thank you Deb, this recipe is a keeper! I followed the recipe exactly using Penzey’s Dutched Cocoa, Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips, a local organic butter with a high percentage of cream, and 1/2 cup baker’s sugar. I used the food processor to grind the chocolate to a slightly finer texture than your picture above. The final batter was very dry and only came somewhat (never fully) together when I added another 4 oz of butter using a hand mixer. Next time the plan is to use either stand mixer or food processor. I *think* I may have incorrectly measured the chocolate and possibly added too much; next time I will weigh it out rather than eyeball. After deciding to just go with it, I piled the loose batter onto cling wrap working it to form a nice, tight compact disc and refrigerated it for 36 hours before bringing it back to room temperature for rolling and baking. After refrigerating, the batter was better to work with but still too dry to roll out thinly so I, lacking in patience, went with a 3/4 inch thick dough. Using a shot glass, with the talented help of a 3 year old assistant pastry chef, we formed cute little chunky cookies and baked for 12 minutes at 350. The cookies baked up beautifully and were well formed with a nice texture: crisp on the outside and dense and soft on the inside. They were a bit sweet for my taste which I attributed to the semi-sweet chocolate. Next time I will use a higher quality bittersweet chocolate (weighed) and may cut the sugar to 1/3 cup. Love the suggestion to roll the dough for slice and bake instead of cut outs. (Note: I live in San Jose, CA and made the dough on a very dry/low humidity day. This may have contributed to my very dry initial dough.)

  189. I’ve had this on my “things to try” pinterest board since you put them up, and now that I feel the serious need for a 4pm treat, these will fit the bill perfectly! They look wonderfully chocolately!! Thanks for the recipe!

  190. Ro

    Hi Deb – just wanted to thank you for yet again another yummy cookie recipe! Hubby loved loved loved them with his tea this evening. I went with the ½ cup sugar/demerra sprinkle option and they turned out beautifully: none too sweet yet delicate with the coveted shortbread layers. I followed the recipe with your update above and the batter came together really well. Hope some of these tips might be useful to your readers:

    1. Made sure butter was at room temperature and creamed with the sugar until fluffy (the butter actually went from yellow to light yellow);
    2. Made sure the egg was also at room temperature;
    3. Finely chopped the chocolate and processed it with the sifted flour/cocoa/baking soda mixture in the food processor (no lost fingers from grating, no sticking, no clumping and the entire mixture turned into a nice powder);
    4. The batter held together after mixing but I did put it in the fridge while I was lining my pans and looking for my rolling pin;
    5. I rolled the batter in halves; I took the first half of the dough from the fridge and rolled it in between two sheets of parchment paper (no sticky mess, no extra flour);
    6. I dipped my cutter in cocoa powder (to prevent sticking);
    7. I saved the scraps from the 1st & 2nd rollings for a 3rd (even 4th) rolling and was concerned the scraps would become overworked and turn the later generation sables into rock hard discs. But au contraire! The last batches were just as delicate and layered as the first two!

    Thanks again for another winner. Love you Deb!

  191. MP

    Just wanted to drop a note to say I tried these cookies and they disappeared overnight, literally. Your blog is brilliant and now I’m slavishly addicted to your recipes.

  192. Lynnette Strobel

    Deb – You can’t believe the street credit I earned by delivering these cookies to a dinner party of total strangers. The women in the room had been lusting over the recipe for days and recognized them immediately from your blog. I can’t thank you enough for helping me break the ice!

    Just a suggestion – the second time I made them I I turned them into better-than-girl-scout-thin-mint-cookies by sandwiching a haviland thin mint (similar to an after eight mint, only round) between two just baked cookies. They were divine.

    And another suggestion – won’t you consider a book stop in New Haven? It’s so fun here – we could set you up at the Yale Book Store and you could try New Haven Pizza! Think about it. Please.

  193. Nila

    Natural or not-Dutched cocoa powder gave me excellent results. My co-workers and I are happy busy bees with these treats around. No problems here! (Oh and I added a bit of mint extract to half the batch – if I had the patience to cover them in chocolate, I’d have the best homemade ‘thin mints’!)

  194. Jacqueline

    I’m relieved to hear that someone who knows what they’re doing also had trouble with the Miette recipe. I love their sables, but my attempt at home turned out delicious-but-not-really-sable-like. I just made brownies but will save this for another day, maybe when the toddler isn’t looking.

  195. JessicAK

    Just finished making these .. tons of fun .. especially since they look nothing like any of the cookies in my normal repertoire .. so now I have a new addition to my regulars.

    I changed the recipe slightly: replaced a tiny bit (1/8 cup?) of white flour with buckwheat flour and added about the same (perhaps a bit less) of ground nuts I had in the fridge (I think they were walnuts). Because of these additions the dough was too crumbly, so I added a bit more egg yolk (plus, my eggs were quite small).

    The dough ended out rolling quite nicely with not too much cracking which is often a problem for me with such doughs. I am so happy with how these turned out.

    I used a scalloped edge cookie cutter since your cookies look so pretty .. I had to buy a set and I could only find square cutters .. but they look very, very nice.

    Fun project for a very snowy / blizzardy Sunday in Anchorage, Alaska!

    Next up? Skiing!

    Oh .. I did not use any fancy chocolate .. just Hershey’s cocoa and a Swiss bittersweet chocolate bar. Yet the cookies are still so good .. and I did not have to sift anything .. which I too abhor! I don’t even own a sifter any more!

  196. CathyAnn

    WOW! Love, love, love these. The name is appropriate as they ARE intensely chocolate. I was thinking the less sweet version (less sugare) may make a great frust for cheescake. Any suggestions on how to adapt it? Would I precook it as a crust? Bake it along with the cheesecake filling? Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions!

  197. I made these last weekend and, probably unwisely, made a chocolate icing filling and sandwiched them together as if they were bourbon biscuits! And wow – were they delicious! Thank you for the recipe :)

  198. ExpatEricOnTwoWheels

    Oh dear… These are trying to cool on the countertop now, but I’m having a very hard time letting them. Followed to the letter by weight, with lower sugar and 60% chocolate, but they were done baking at only 8 minutes, and that’s at 1/4″ thick. I too found the dough needed just a couple of minutes out of the fridge to soften slightly to roll (also between sheets of parchment).

    Sorry meditation circle that I made these for, but I have some left over cream cheese frosting in the fridge that is desperately insisting that I schmear some on the rest of these. Oh my arteries!

    Oh, and thanks for sorting out this recipe too!

  199. ExpatEricOnTwoWheels

    PS CathyAnn, Great idea! I’d definitely pre-bake this as a crust, perhaps go for a lower temp for longer, say 325 for 15 – 20 minutes.

  200. Mei

    After 325 comments I’m not sure if you want more clichéd gushing but here it goes : been a big fan of your blog for years and have never been one who leaves comments. But this calls for an exception because of all the fabulous stuff I’ve made from this blog, this has got to be the BEST ONE EVER! It’s even better (and easier) than the world peace cookies! Thank you!

  201. Tamara

    The chocolate sable biscuits are well worth making. My kids absolutely adore them! All I here from my 2 & 4 year old is “more, more, more!”

    I do reduce the sugar (but I do in all the recipes I make) and being in the UK I use the Organic Green & Black’s Cocoa powder. I also love 80% dark chocolate too…I almost always make double the recipe…baking half and keeping the other half rolled in a log in the fridge for later consumption (although it never really lasts long enough in the fridge till we devour it all…mwah ha ha ha).

  202. Meredith

    At the risk of sounding ridiculous, these make AMAZING ice cream sandwich cookies. I realize they don’t need ice cream to make them even more delicious, but after I made them, I knew I had to do something to stop my hand from dipping into the cookie jar six times a day, so I made them into ice cream sandwiches b/c out of sight, out of mind. The cookies stay soft in the freezer and provide an amazing balance to vanilla ice cream. I know this recipe is a little more sophisticated than typical ice cream sandwich cookies, but maybe it’s like wine – don’t cook with one you wouldn’t drink on its own, so don’t make ice cream sandwiches with cookies you wouldn’t love on their own?

  203. Anna

    Seconding Jillian N.’s comment (#295) that melting the chocolate is the way to go if you don’t have a food processor and it’s too hot to grate. I added mine in at the very end, and it got the dough to a perfect almost underbaked-brownie consistency. Half an hour in the fridge made it very workable (if still a little sticky) and they didn’t spread in the oven at all.

    I also rolled my cookies very thick (I’d estimate 5/8ths-inch) and only baked them for 10-11 minutes because I like softer cookies, but they still retained an almost shortbread-like crumb and that perfect chocolate intensity. I sprinkled them with salted caramel sugar and they were the absolutely ideal cookie in just about every way. Glass of milk DEFINITELY necessary.

  204. Naomi

    In the 8 years that I’ve known my husband, he has dreamily reminisced about the “chocolate sablés” cookies that his Jewish-Egyptian grandmother used to make. A sandwich of two soft chocolate sables with ganache filling AND ganache spread on the top cookie. We recently discovered a version of the cookie at a local middle eastern bakery, but he says it doesn’t compare to the homemade version. I was going to try to recreate his childhood memory with the Miette recipe, but I think I’d prefer to learn from your mistakes instead! What is the texture of your sable, and do you think it would work with a simple ganache filling?

  205. Tucker

    I made these. The dough is a little flaky for me, making it difficult to roll the dough out. The second time I did it, (last night) it went better. I read through the comments and I think I will try rolling the dough in parts between two pieces of parchment paper next time. JT

  206. Katherine

    These are good. Great chocolate flavour. Did make a batch missing cocoa out when I’d just moved house and couldn’t find the cocoa and, oddly enough, not as chocolatey so don’t do what I did and leave it out.
    They also hold their shape well when baked (they did get some fridge-resting time post rolling out) so make a much tastier alternative to sugar cookies. They will puff a bit, but not much.

  207. Jason

    Lazy baker question… Rolling dough and getting out the cookie cutters is great and all, but at this time of year, sometimes I just want to grab a log of dough from the freezer and slice off a few cookies and bake them. Any thoughts on using this recipe and other rolled dough cookies (e.g. Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies or Toasted Coconut Shortbread) as slice-and-bake?

  208. Hi- I missed this when it first came out, but caught it as the “one year ago ” recipe reference. Irresistible! A question: after you cut your cookies, do you press the scraps together, re-roll and cut again? Thanks for such deliciousness.

  209. Laura

    Deb, I have had my eyes on these since last January, and finally got around to making them this Valentine’s day. They were so amazing, I want to write a love poem about them! They were wonderfully easy to make and so happy with the final product. Thank you so much for such a delightful recipe!

  210. Anna

    Like Laura, I tried to make these for the first time for Valentine’s Day, but I failed miserably, because, as with so many of the other commenters’ experiences, the dough consistency was a complete disaster. I am really disappointed (but relieved I had also made some vanilla ones with another recipe), as I was forced to throw most of the chocolate dough away. But the few cookies I did manage to cut out of the dough I was able to flatten sufficiently were so lovely that I might even consider risking another failed attempt…So was just wondering if you had any additional specific tips for avoiding this problem (besides using Dutch cocoa, which I did).

  211. Margaret

    I just made these with a variation – have two Mexican themed events. I have had a hard time for many years (in Nashville????) finding dutched cocoa, so used regular (organic Trader Joes) and Plugra butter (it was in the freezer). I added in 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (not sure how much it ended up being – probably the higher amount) and several grinds of black pepper. They were great. The pepper mutes during cooking, so I might try more later.

    I tried these as a refrigerator cookie – was trying to avoid rolling it out (and didn’t have cute cookie cutters) – made a long roll, then chilled it, sliced thinly, although decided my slices were a little too thick and variable in thickness, and rolled each one out quickly to a uniform thickness. Mine didn’t get puffy at all. The slightly irregular edges are kind of nice (although the scalloped edges are really lovely).

  212. Pallavi

    I just made these right now since I decided to spend the whole day looking at your website during office (;))

    They’re great, however, mine have turned out to be pretty soft and crumbly. I’m hoping they’ll harden up a bit once they cool down completely but something tells me they wont. Do you know what I may have done wrong? :(

  213. Cara

    So I’m plotting out my Christmas cookie plan for the season and these are on the list. Last year I made these (chocolate pistachio sables!):

    They were amazing, with a really light crumbly texture, but obviously one cannot get complacent when on the hunt for cookie perfection. Your version has an egg yolk and the Bon Appetit version has an egg white – any idea what the impact of white vs. yolk is on the final product? Thanks so much!

    1. deb

      Cara — It’s hard for me to say without having made them. Usually, egg whites add a little muscle/glue and egg yolks some tenderness. Sables traditionally use yolks — they’re supposed to be “sandy” in texture. I think you’re just going to have to bake both, send me a couple of each, and I can offer more help. :)

  214. Hey Deb! First off, I LOVE your blog and have made a ton of stuff from it, thank you for the awesomeness! Just wondering, can I make these cookies ahead of time and freeze them for a few days? Would the flavour and texture be affected?

  215. susu

    I made this dough yesterday, but used it as a tart crust. Wow. It. Was. Awesome.

    Used the 1/2 c sugar option. Since the dough is so brittle it’s a little tricky to get it in the tart pan, but between what hung together and what I patched, it ended up looking good, actually even neat. 375 oven for 7 mins with foil/pie weights, another 8- 10 without foil and pie weights. (I double checked what Julia says about using pâte sablée for tart crusts p 633). Careful not to let it burn.

    It didn’t puff away from the pan like some crusts. The taste and intensity were just awesome, and perfect for a light and airy filling. It was an exceptional tart crust!

  216. Greg

    Deb, I flagged this to make when you first posted it and finally got around to it, albeit two years later. The reason for my delay is that La Boulange (San Francisco) made these and they were easy enough to get. It was my go to chocolate fix. The nerve — they stopped making them, so I turned to your recipe. The taste and texture is nearly identical, so lucky me.

    I made one change: I rolled it into a log and did a slice and bake of the chilled dough for faster production. No rolling, no ruffled edges, but it worked out fine with no crumbling.

  217. Jackie

    I was a little apprehensive after reading the comments but OMG made these today along with the Jacked Up Banana Bread (haven’t sliced that yet!) and I can tell you the cookies are AMAZING! Honestly you rock. Xoxo

  218. nk

    Thank you for this recipe! Although I couldn’t get hold of Dutch processed cocoa powder, it worked out well for me. I prefer this recipe to Hermé’s world peace cookies that are too sandy for my taste. Which are your favourites?

  219. Marianne

    Hi Deb! First comment on your site. I made these now and they turned out yummy. I was wondering, though – shortbread is defined as 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour by weight, and this recipe doesn’t have those proportions. So how does it get that shortbread-y texture?

  220. deb

    Marianne — Glad you enjoyed them. I’m not a baking science expert so I cannot answer. But, I know when you throw bar chocolate in the mix, the same rules do not apply because it acts a little bit like a fat, a little bit like a sugar, etc.

  221. Nicole

    I made six batches of these, along with another cookie recipe, as Christmas gifts for extended family and my husband’s coworkers. I personally loved them and have received rave reviews from everyone who’s eaten them thus far. I’ve had two requests for the recipe and am happily passing them along to your site! Thanks so much for making me (once again) seem like a kitchen goddess!

  222. Amy

    Hey Deb~ what do you think about sandwiching these with a thin marshmallow cut out (same size as cookie cutter)? I’m thinking Valentine’s Day gifts-? Thanks!

  223. Elizabeth

    I used plain old Hershey cocoa powder and a 70% Lindt chocolate bar I had lying around for this cookie. I also used some leftover vanilla sugar to sprinkle on the top. I think a coarser, decorative sugar like what is called for in the recipe would have been better, but I didn’t have that so…next time! These cookies turned out really well. They have a really rich chocolate flavor, but are delicate at the same time. I also appreciate the fact that they aren’t too sweet (I used the smaller amount of sugar). I will make these again.

  224. Susan

    I love you people! After reading the recipe, revisions, and 356 comments, I came up with the following: #107 Isabelle’s ingredients (plus an egg yolk), #312 Ro’s instructions about grinding the chocolate with the flour in the food processor. I then rolled it out in a gallon plastic bag a la espresso shortbread recipe, and cut it into shapes after refrigerating. To be honest, I probably over-did it in the mixer to get the dough to come together, but the final product was still spectacular. I will never make anybody swoon with my looks, but I can make them swoon with my cookies!

  225. Deirdre

    Once baked and cooled, how strong and stable are these? I’m looking to make hexagonal chocolate cookies to form the wings of a Tie fighter for a Force Awakens party. There will be a chocolate dipped marshmallow with a mini smartie on it between two cookies, which will be standing on their edges. Do you think these ones would be strong enough to cope?