Viennese Chocolate Sablés

Recipes from Pierre Hermé guarantee a success. Don’t they? :) These cookies are from his “Chocolate Desserts“. I’ll just quote Dori Greenspan in her precise description of them: “Soft and crumbly, buttery and chocolaty, these are the cookies of old-fashioned Austrian bakeries… easy to make… easy to pair with coffee, tea, or ice cream desserts”.
You won’t even need a mixer for making the dough – it’s mixed by hand.

Makes about 4 dozens


  • 1 ¾ cups plus 1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 sticks plus 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp lightly beaten egg whites (lightly beat 2 large egg whites, then measure out 3 tbsp)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)


Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized open star tip and keep it close at hand.

Whisk together the flour and cocoa. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a whisk until it is light and creamy – for the recipe to be successful, the butter must be very soft. Whisk in the sugar and salt, then stir in the egg whites. Don’t be concerned when the mixture separates; it will come together when you add the dry ingredients. Gradually add the flour-cocoa and blend only until incorporated – you don’t want to work the mixture too much once the flour is added, a light touch is what will give these cookies their characteristic crumbliness.

It’s easier to work with this dough in batches. Spoon about one-third of the dough into the pastry bag. Pipe the dough into W-shaped cookies, each about 2 inches long and 1 ¼ inches wide, 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes – no more – or until they are set but neither browned nor hard. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure that you don’t put the to-be-baked cookies on hot baking sheets. Before serving, you can dust the cookies with confectioners; sugar. The cookies will keep in a tightly covered tin at room temperature for almost a week. They can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month.