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French Shortbread: Sablés Bretons

Disclaimer: I was invited to an event at Épicerie Brimbelle in order to learn more about their products and was provided with a small sampler. I was not compensated financially for this feature, and all recipes, wording and opinions are entirely my own.


With the holiday season fast (too fast!!) approaching, our holiday baking plans are becoming more and more concrete. If you’re organized enough that your freezer is already stocked with your holiday baking, I’m pretty sure you should treat yourself to a golden star sticker. But, if you’re like me and you’ve barely started, I’ve got your back. In order to collect some of the best holiday cookies recipes, I’ve collaborated with some other Canadian Food Bloggers to wrap up some of our best holiday baking. Be sure to check out all the other amazing recipes we’ve got involved by checking out the hashtag #CdnFoodCreatives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


For my recipe, I made sablés bretons, a french shortbread cookie from Brittany (Bretagne) in France. The lightly-handled dough, addition of egg yolks and baked-until-golden methods make them unique and absolutely incredible. I brushed them in a chocolate and salted caramel sauce, and a sprinkling of sea salt for a finishing touch, which is wonderful but certainly not necessary. The cookies themselves are buttery and decadent enough to stand alone! They’re perfectly crisp and have natural layers inside somewhat like a croissant. A very elegant addition to your holiday sweets table!


The inspiration for these cookies came from a recent visit to Épicerie Brimbelle, a small French shop located just outside of Jean Talon Market in Montreal. They invited a few bloggers to their shop to celebrate their first birthday, and show us some of the wonderful products they’ve brought over from France. What I loved about this shop, aside from the wonderful products that gives my french boyfriend Ben a twinge of homesickness, are the lovely stories that go along with many of the products. Estelle, one of the owners, seems to have a entire collection of stories! Here, stories and food are truly meant to go together.


I have a 10% discount available for you to use at Épicerie Brimbelle from now until December 24th, 2016 – simply mention Cocoa Bean The Vegetable when you’re there! You can get some of the key ingredients I’ve used in this recipe, like caramel beurre salé or some fine sea salt, or purchase some other delicious treats like calissons or macarons.

Go ahead, treat yourself to a little slice of France 🙂


Recipe adapted from Ricardo Cuisine and David Lebovitz

Sablés Bretons
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  • 150 g (2/3 cup) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 210 g (1 and ¾ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 oz (about 2 tbsp) prepared caramel beurre salé
  • 2 oz (about 4 tbsp) dark baking chocolate, melted
  • flaked sea salt for garnish


  1. Using a stand mixer or hand-beater, beat the butter and salt until light and fluffy in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until well mixed and light in colour, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the butter mixture, beating as you go until fully incorporated.
  3. Mix together the flour and baking powder, then add it to the batter in 2 tbsp increments just until combined and there are no more flour streaks (do not over-mix).
  4. Form into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for at least one hour, or up to five days.
  5. Adjust the oven racks to the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to about ½-cm (¼-inch) thick. Cut out each cookie with a 3-inch cookie cutter, reusing scraps.
  7. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, and bake for about 13 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the sheets halfway through. Let cool completely.
  8. Mix together the melted chocolate and caramel, and using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of the sauce over the cookies. Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt, and set aside to set.
  9. Keep them in an airtight container on the counter for 3 or 4 days.


Don’t miss out on some of these other amazing holiday creations:

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