Cookies/ Dessert/ Fruit Desserts/ Holiday

Lemon Sable Cookies

April 18, 2016

Soft and crumbly butter cookies with a delicate lemon flavor.

Perfect Lemon Cookies

Today’s recipe comes from the beautiful bakery Miette in San Francisco. I’ve been in love with this place ever since the first time I set eyes on it. Their mini treats and cakes are flawless and look almost too pretty to eat.

Flavor and texture
I was pleasantly surprised by how perfectly tender these buttery cookies were as opposed to the tough butter cookies I’m used to. If your cookies turn out tough or too hard, you either over-mixed the dough or baked them a little too long.

The cookies have a great flavor and texture, so I wouldn’t change a thing in the recipe except for maybe trying to add a bit more lemon zest next time to slightly enhance the lemon flavor. There’s plenty of it already, but I just love lemon! They would be perfect to serve with tea or to give out as gifts.

Perfect Lemon Cookies

Rolling the dough
The original recipe says to roll the dough out into a ½-inch thick 6×4-inch rectangle, and then cut the dough into 1-inch squares. I use a different method that I find to be simpler and which doesn’t require rolling out the dough; that is, shaping the dough into a log, freezing it, then cutting it into rounds.

Freezing the dough can help you cut it into neat rounds, and also keeps the cookies from spreading during baking, so I highly recommend it. After shaping, you can freeze the dough for up to several weeks if you don’t want to bake it right away.

Perfect Lemon Cookies

4 from 2 votes
Perfect Lemon Cookies
Lemon Sable Cookies
YIELD: 30 cookies
Soft and crumbly butter cookies with a delicate lemon flavor.

  • 2/3 cup (130 g/4.5 oz) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups (280 g/10 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/227 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a small bowl, toss together sugar and lemon zest until well combined (you can use a mortar and pestle or rub using a fork).
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, butter, salt, and baking soda and beat on low speed until it resembles cornmeal, 3-4 minutes. Add lemon sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until just clumped together.
  3. If the dough is soft, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Otherwise, on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, work the dough until it comes together, then divide in half. Shape each half of dough into a log that is 1-1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze (my preference) for at least 30 minutes or until set. Dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
  5. Once the dough is cold enough, use a very sharp knife to slice the log into ½-inch thick rounds. They will look a bit thick, but they’ll spread during baking. If the dough is too crumbly and breaks, leave it for a few minutes to soften or just squeeze any broken bits back into each cookie.
  6. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, placing them 1-2 inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. When done, the cookies should still appear quite soft, not firm. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar one more time if you like. Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Serve cookies warm or at room temperature.
  8. Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, bringing to room temperature before serving. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Recipe is slightly adapted from Miette’s Book

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  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    April 18, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I have always wanted to go to Miette! Beautiful cookies and I can imagine they were so moorish and addictive X

    • Reply
      April 19, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Thanks, Thalia! Miette is beautiful, you’d love it!

  • Reply
    Keith @ How's it Lookin?
    April 18, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I gotta try these. Lemon flavoring is one of my favorites, thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    April 18, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Deliciosas para la merienda.Saludos desde Uruguay.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    I’m interested to try your version. Thanks for posting this. The Miette cookbook had so many inconsistencies within its recipes, I decided the bother fussing with adjustments, re-weights, etc. was not worth possible outcome. So, good for you for giving it a go. And I’m of the school that, though it may seem like enough, a bit more lemon zest is always a good thing!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Why the name ‘Sable’?

    • Reply
      Kelly Rae
      March 19, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      It means ‘sand’, and these types of cookies often have a sand-like consistency. They’re also named ‘Sandies’ in some American versions.

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