This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Dec 21, 2016

Espresso Chocolate Sablés

These Espresso Chocolate Sablés are filled with the rich flavor of coffee and chocolate, and have a wonderful crumbly texture. 

Espresso Chocolate Sablés

Sablés you ask?  A sablé is the French shortbread! It's just fancier because of the name... and maybe a little more grown up.

These cookies are made with a "coffee extract" made with 1 1/2 tablespoons of instant espresso mixed with just 1 tablespoon of boiling water. The combination of the espresso flavor in the dough, and the chopped bittersweet chocolate is lovely, and not overly sweet.

These Espresso Chocolate Sablés are a lovely little crumbly nibble and definitely the perfect cookie for grown ups. They are perfect with coffee, but if you'd rather have a glass of milk, I totally get it.

Espresso chocolate shortbread

To get this cute disk-y shape, I baked these in my no-longer-a-single-use mini cheesecake pan! Purchase justified! To those of you who bought the pan after seeing these mini cheesecakes, I now have another recipe for you (including my friend Sally from Bewitching Kitchen check out her blog). If you don't have the pan, you can bake them in a regular sized muffin pan.

If you use the dark cheesecake pan, you will have to reduce the baking time considerably, as I learned by burning the first batch! I later discovered that there is a mini cheesecake pan made by Chicago Metalic that is light colored. One may or may not have jumped into my Amazon shopping cart.

Espresso Chocolate Sablés stacked

This month, the Fantastical Food Fight is all about shortbread. Shortbread is pretty much my all time favorite cookie. Flour, sugar, butter, and salt. No leavening, no eggs, nothing to rise and collapse, and that wonderful crumbly, sandy texture. Add some of your favorite flavorings and add-ins, dip them in chocolate, or top them with some sparkly sugar. They will always be reliable and tasty. There are 21 shortbread cookie recipes (including four sablés) on this blog. That's how much I love them.

Espresso Chocolate Sablés Cookies

Espresso Chocolate Sablés Cookies
Yield: 36 cookies
Author: Karen Kerr
These Espresso Chocolate Sablés are filled with the rich flavor of coffee and chocolate, and have a wonderful crumbly texture.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) unsalted room temperature butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cups (80 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon (pinch) of cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (272 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 4 ounces (113) grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Mix the espresso into the boiling water and set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugar, salt, and cinnamon on medium for about 3 minutes until smooth and blended. Add the vanilla and espresso mixture and mix on low.
  3. Add all of the flour and mix on low at first to not spray your counter with flour (I usually mix with the paddle by hand for a minute so that I don't have flour everywhere). Mix on low until the flour is just incorporated. Add the chocolate and mix until evenly distributed. Give the dough a few squeezes with your hands to be sure it is fully mixed.
  4. Divide the dough in half and press and roll (with a rolling pin) each half into a 1/4 inch thick disk between two pieces of parchment paper. Place the disks on a quarter sheet pan or large plate and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to two days. It can also be frozen up to two months.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter or spray a muffin tin (or mini cheesecake pan) with spray oil. Cut the dough with a 2 inch circle cookie cutter and place the rounds of dough into the muffin or cheesecake tins. Gather up the scraps, re-roll, chill, and recut the dough while baking the first pans.
  6. Bake the cookies on the center rack for 18 minutes for a light colored pan, and about 14 minutes for a dark colored pan, until they have a slight color and are slightly firm to the touch. Since I had only one pan, I baked my cookies in three shifts, keeping the rest of the dough in the refrigerator.
  7. Place the tins on a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the pan and let cool completely on the rack. If you are using the cheesecake pan with the removable bottoms, you can remove them in 5 minutes by pushing them up with your finger. Be sure to cool the pan completely before adding more dough.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
Protein (grams)
Sodium (milligrams)
Cholesterol (grams)
cookies, shortbread
American, French
Did you make this recipe?
Tag on instagram and hashtag it #karenskitchenstories
Created using The Recipes Generator

Shortbread chocolate chip cookies

This recipe has been slightly adapted from my new favorite obsession and must have cookbook, Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. You need to get this book, as well as all of her other books, all of which I own. Did someone say obsession? 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Very nice of you to show me other uses for the pan, that you twisted my arm so furiously to "force" me to buy it. ;-)

    hey, I love this one! did you know sables are on my list of stuff to make for about 8 years and 3 months? Too many tempting things to cook, so little time!

    thanks for linking to my blog, gave me a nice smile first thing in the morning...

    1. There are lots of sables in the book!! I also made another one with the pan that I'll be posting soon and they are so cute!!

  2. Perfect cookie Karen, wish I had one with my coffee right now before I have to start this busy day.

    1. Thanks Wendy. It would give you an extra energy boost!

  3. Mmmm these look terrific! I would like to have them with my big cup of coffee right now.

  4. These look delicious, anything with chocolate is right up my alley!

  5. These are beautiful! And I love the "coffee extract" tip - I'd normally skip over a recipe calling for it because I don't want to buy it for just one recipe. Merry Christmas, Karen!

    1. Thanks Lauren! So much easier! Merry Christmas to you too.

  6. Espresso and chocolate?!? You are speaking my language!!!

  7. Brilliant, Karen! A friend gave me one of these pans several years ago. Now I know exactly how to use it!

    1. Thanks Judy! This recipe is perfect for justifying this pan!! =)

  8. Just used my muffin tin, so mine looked a bit shorter than yours, but these are yummy!

  9. I’m absolutely obsessed with sables. My mother always made sand tarts, so I started there. Then, I found the now-famous Parmesan-thyme-cracked black pepper crackers of a certain cooking show. From there, I started making variants. Even my French friend loves them. I go see her a couple of times a year. When I ask if she wants me to to take her anything from the US, she asks me to make the savory shortbread for her.

    1. Thanks! I also have some amazing savory shortbreads here!

  10. Can you use 1-1 gluten free flour?

    1. I would think so, but I haven't tried it.

  11. My dough looks like sand. I double checked to make sure I did everything right. How do I make it come together?

    1. If it won't come together by squeezing, there might be too much flour. Did you use a scale?

  12. The dough is too dry. It does hold a shape when squeezed but it’s not capable of rolling out. Experienced baker here so I’m certain my flour measurements are correct.,Something is off in this recipe. .

    1. I'm sorry it didn't work for you! I've double checked the recipe and this is what I did so I'm not sure exactly what to advise. There is a Facebook group called Bake and Tell where folks bake Dorie Greenspan recipes. That might be a good place to see if anyone else has had experience with this recipe.

  13. I have those cheesecake pans, can’t wait to make these! Best advice when using dark colored pans (glass too) is to decrease target oven temp by 25F. I have been gradually replacing my dark bakeware with light, but for the 20 years I used dark pans doing that made a big difference in my baked goods. Baking times in general should be guidelines only as all ovens are different.

  14. Can i use granulated sugar instead of powdered??

    1. I haven't tried it but it would probably work as long as you bake the cookies in a mini muffin or cheesecake pan.


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.