Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables

Pierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese SablesIt’s often the most simple of recipes that leave the greatest impression. Sure a three tiered layer cake, crisp coated crème brulee or decadent chocolate soufflé can be great – but it’s the most unpretentious of foods that I often find myself craving. And when these cravings kick in, it’s my great cookie love, the sable, I turn to.

This recipe has been slightly adapted from the Chocolate Desserts cookbook by Pierre Herme, written by Dorie Greenspan. Dubbed the ‘picasso of pastry’, Pierre Herme basically re-invented the classic sable whilst working at the infamous patisserie, Wittamer – known for its exquisite chocolate creations, decadent gateaux’s and bavarian creams. And it’s Herme’s recipe that I only ever trust to use.

Pierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese SablesPierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese Sables

Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables are utterly delicious. The dough is comprised of egg white, butter, flour, sugar and cocoa, which results in a light and crumbly shortbread texture – almost like sand, which the word Sable is derived from.

The texture is sensational and the rich chocolate flavour, highly addictive. Light as air to the core, the ultra-delicate Sable bursts into fine crumbs in a mouthful and brings the rich sensation of dark cocoa and the powerful velvet taste of butter to the palette. It’s hard to beat the purity and simplicity of these cookies, they are incredibly moorish.

Pierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese Sables

These Sables are the everyday dessert, perfect for afternoon snacks and evening treats and truly take me to a cookie filled heaven. You most likely would have all the ingredients on hand, so I urge you to whip up a batch and experience them yourself. It’s incredible that such a simple recipe can yield something so utterly delicious.

Pierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese SablesPierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese Sables

Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 25
  • 30g dutch processed cocoa, sifted
  • 260g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • sprinkle of fleur de sel
  • 250g white chocolate, melted
  • 250g dark chocolate, melted
  • chopped, flaked or slivered nuts or almond nougatine (see below for recipe link) for decoration
  1. For the Sables, preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) and line two baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sifted cocoa, sifted flour and salt.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl place the softened butter and beat until it is light in colour and creamy. Add the sifted icing sugar and mix until well combined and pale in colour. Add the egg whites and combine well.
  4. Add the cocoa and flour mixture to the butter. Mix until incorporated
  5. Fit a piping bag with a 1M nozzle and spoon the mixture inside. Pipe the mixture into 'W' shaped squiggles onto the baking sheets.
  6. Bake the Sables for 10 minutes, rotating trays half way through baking. The cookies will slightly harden upon standing and will be very delicate. Sprinkle with a little fleur de sel and leave to cool on baking sheets.
  7. To decorate, dip in melted chocolate then sprinkle with nuts or almond nougatine. Leave to dry on baking paper.
Sables will last for up to five days in an air tight container.

 *I used the recipe for Fanny Zannoti’s Spicy Almond Nougatine to coat a third of my Sables in – I lightly blitzed the nougatine in a food processor to get a rough and crunchy crumb.

Pierre Herme's Chocolate Viennese Sables


  • Reply Pierre Hermé’s Viennese Chocolate Sablés | What about second breakfast? May 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    […] Originally from Pierre Hermé via Butter and Brioche […]

  • Reply CarriesExpKtchn October 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Thalia these Sables are gorgeous! I love how simple they are to make as well. These are definitely going on my holiday baking list. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I love how these are made! I can’t wait to pipe cookies!

  • Reply Kelly - Life Made Sweeter October 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

    These are seriously the prettiest sables ever! I could totally see them in a bakery shop – just gorgeous!

  • Reply Nagi {REcipetin eats} October 23, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Holy moly. I almost fell off my chair when I saw these. I love the squiggly shape of these! Do you have a patisserie or something? Your stuff is seriously professional! And I can’t believe these only take 30 minutes! Even I can handle that!!

  • Reply Sharon @ what the fork food blog October 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Your pictures are GORGEOUS! These look too beautiful to eat!

  • Reply Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen October 22, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Sables are one of my favorite kinds of cookies and I have to agree with you that Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables are tops!

  • Reply Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook October 22, 2014 at 5:47 am

    You’re absolutely right, this makes great everyday dessert and I’ll definitely add to the afternoon tea menu! Your photos look as gorgeous as always 🙂

  • Reply Svitlana Flom October 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Thalia, Pierre Herme’s Sables, you took me right back to Paris! Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe, a must try! Yum!!!

  • Reply Monique October 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I used to eat very similar ones as a child in a French pastry shop.I must try these..and they are so pretty.

  • Reply Howie October 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    This takes only half an hour to make??? That’s incredible!
    They look absolutely amazing!

  • Reply Lilli @ Sugar and Cinnamon October 21, 2014 at 3:30 am

    I love chocolate sables! At Christmas time even with all the delicious puddings, custards and trifles my favourite dessert is always the cookie box 🙂 These look perfect!

  • Reply Olivia October 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    These cookies are so beautiful and elegant! Lovely job and photos, will definitely have to try this recipe out!

  • Reply Monika @ MY FOOD AND HAPPINESS October 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Oh my! These are little chocolate beauties! This is a great recipe for when you have guests and you need something simple but still impressive. I love the decorations as well!

  • Reply Trish - Mom On Timeout October 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    These cookies are just gorgeous! Totally belong in my Christmas cookie lineup 🙂 Pinned!

  • Reply Mara October 20, 2014 at 7:34 am

    They’re look amazing! I especially like that the decoration is perfectly adaptable to ones preferences. Great 🙂

  • Reply lynne @ cookandbemerry October 20, 2014 at 12:02 am

    I adore cookies dipped in melted chocolate and then in chopped nuts. These are a beautiful example. Love your photos.

  • Reply Sugar et al. October 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    These are so pretty and I can imagine how addictive they would be. Love those toppings too. I am so pinning this!

  • Reply Rachael | SPache the Spatula October 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Not only do these look delicious, but they look totally beautiful!!
    I especially want to try the ones with the nougatine—yum!

  • Reply Sippitysup October 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I’ve made one of your recipes before and it was wonderful. I am now feeling compelled to make this. Soon. GREG

  • Reply Claudia @Breakfast Drama Queen October 19, 2014 at 10:39 am

    These look fabulous! To be honest, I’ve never heard of a Sable before, but I’m immediately in love with them 🙂

  • Reply marla October 19, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Do these ever look amazing!!! Pinned to a few boards 🙂

  • Reply Tori@Gringalicious.com October 19, 2014 at 10:09 am

    These are so lovely! I love your your blog and all of your recipes. I can’t wait to try these. Pinned!

  • Reply Gourmet Getaways October 19, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Love the squiggles! All the toppings look great, too! I’m sure I can’t stop munching on these.

    Gourmet Getaways

  • Reply Mira October 18, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    These look gorgeous Thalia, I love them! They also look easy to make! Pinned as pictures are stunning! I really need to get Pierre Herme’s book.

  • Reply Christina @ Bake with christina October 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I honestly have NEVER heard of these before, but they look incredible!! I’d easily eat a whole plate! Pinned!

  • Reply Nicola October 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    These cookies are so cute and the perfect little treat. You’ve inspired me to do some baking

  • Reply Jean | Lemons & Anchovies October 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Pierre Herme’s recipes are some of my favorites (and that book, too). These chocolate sables look delightful and I bet they taste just as good!

  • Reply Marissa October 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    These are absolutely stunning, Thalia! I love how you’ve dressed them up, so simple and elegant. It’s those little details…lovely.

  • Reply David @ Spiced October 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I love long admired…no, drooled over…Pierre Herme’s work. I’ve never made sables at home, but they’ve been on my baking bucket list for a while now. I may have to give them a shot! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity October 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    These are beautiful! I’m going to try and veganize them. If they work out, I’ll let you know.

  • Reply Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen October 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Thalia – these are sssooo gorgeous that when I first hit your page, they literally took my breath away! So beautiful!!! And the photos are stunning! Question – what is icing sugar? I assume it’s different than regular granulated sugar. I need to know this, because I’m making them! You made them look so irresistible! Pinned, pinned, pinned!

  • Reply Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ October 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I love the way you have “embellished” these Sable. This is another great recipe, I’m bookmarking it… there are so many recipes from your blog that I want to try and I don’t know where to start from!

  • Reply Erin | The Law Student's Wife October 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I developed an unhealthy obsession with Pierre Herme’s shops when we lived in Paris this summer. I totally agree that sometimes the simplest desserts are the best, and these look like they would hit the spot with every single bite.

  • Reply Tania @My Kitchen stories October 18, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Wow I love sables they are amazing and simple but I never thought of making them like this.

  • Reply Sarah @ Savoring Spoon October 18, 2014 at 7:53 am

    These are beautiful! Wonderful work ~ you could sell them at a pastry shop!

  • Reply Crystal | Apples & Sparkle October 18, 2014 at 7:13 am

    These are so gorgeous! You have definitely schooled this girl on some exquisite desserts! The way you describe these beauties, I know I would love them. : )

  • Reply Shinee October 18, 2014 at 2:18 am

    I love chocolate, I love shortbread cookies. And it sounds like I will definitely love these Sables as well! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. It’s on my Christmas cookie list now.

  • Reply Kathleen Siegle October 18, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Love these Thalia! You’re so right about the simple desserts 🙂

  • Reply Kiran @ Kirantarun.com October 18, 2014 at 1:00 am

    LOVE sables from every other cookie. The buttery and crispness bites completes my afternoon tea 🙂

    Love the design on this sables, Thalia!

  • Reply Hotly Spiced October 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    How beautiful. What gorgeous cookies. And I love how you decorated them with a variety of toppings xx

  • Reply Nami | Just One Cookbook October 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    How beautiful! I love sables more than typical cookies (in the US). The crispy texture with a cup of tea… perfection. I especially love that you have three kinds of toppings – absolutely pretty!! Fell in love with the look of these sables…wish I can have some with my tea right now. <3

  • Reply Evi @ greenevi October 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Lovely pictures again 🙂

  • Reply Rachel @ Bakerita October 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    These are so beautiful, and sound so absolutely delicious!! Love how you decorated them. Pinned!

  • Reply Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com October 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    These are so gorgeous! I’ve tried a slightly different Hermes sable recipe and it was incredible–obviously I need to try this one too. For comparison purposes, of course! I also love that you piped them and dipped them–it gave these cookies the elegant look they deserve!

    • Reply thalia October 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth! xx

  • Reply marcie October 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    This sable recipe is one of my favorites, and can I just say that piping the dough into these decorative cookies was such an elegant, brilliant idea? These are so lovely!

  • Reply Heather Smoke (Curly Girl Kitchen) October 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I think my favorite thing about these is the way you piped them into those pretty squiggles! I’ve never had sables, but I love shortbread, and these look so tempting.

  • Reply Sarah | Broma Bakery October 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I loooove chocolate sables. They melt in your mouth and keep you coming back for more. Love the various toppings, too!

  • Reply Cakespy October 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I just love these!! Believe it or not I can’t say I have seen piped sables (where’s that accent when you need it on the keyboard!) before. These look wonderful. Almost like the fancy French version of piped butter cookies at an old school Italian bakery. <3

  • Reply Tina @ Just Putzing Around the Kitchen October 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a sable, but your gorgeous pictures + beautiful description of the cookies make me think I need to rectify that ASAP!

  • Reply jen @ Baked by an Introvert October 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Your recipes always look so pretty. I’ve never made sables before but you have convinced me; I need these cookies in my life. Pinning!

  • Reply Dini @ giramuks kitchen October 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I have wanted to buy Pierre Herme’s cook book for awhile now! This is certainly making me want to go to the book store today!
    They look incredibly decadent!

  • Reply Helen @ Scrummy Lane October 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Oops, I meant professional, not to mention ‘yummy’. Sorry! 🙂

  • Reply Helen @ Scrummy Lane October 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

    These look so professional, not to mention professional. You’re right that it’s hard to believe they’re so simple to make. I just need a bit of practice at my piping technique, I suspect!

  • Reply Chineka @ sAvor The Baking October 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    These Sables look like they came straight out of a picture book. This is a unique dessert I will make.

  • Reply Nora @ Savory Nothings October 17, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Thalia, they look GORGEOUS! I love sablés but they usually look a bit drab… Yours are fantastic!

  • Reply Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry October 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

    I really wished I lived near you so i can come over for tea and help you recipe taste test.

  • Reply Lucy Parissi October 17, 2014 at 7:19 am

    If your beautiful photos hadn’t already completely sold me on these cookies then your mouthwatering description would have me running to the kitchen. I think I will make these for Christmas and go a little spicy on the filling and green/red on the decorations.

    • Reply thalia October 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Thanks Lucy, that sounds like such a great idea xx

  • Reply Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong October 17, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Wow!! These cookies look amazing.. It kinda reminds me of the melting moment cookie.. You have definitely urged me to go into the kitchen and whip up these beauties. Pinned!

    • Reply thalia October 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Love it! Thanks Arpita x

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