Brown butter and pistachio sable recipe

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Our brown butter and pistachio sable cookies take 10 minutes to bake and require five ingredients.

Brown butter and pistachio sable
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time10 mins plus chhilling
Cooking Time10 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories151 Kcal8%
Saturated Fat6 g30%
Fat11 g16%
Carbohydrates10 g4%

These brown butter and pistachio sable cookies have a rich flavour with a crumbly texture.

A sablé is a delicate French biscuit with similar ingredients to a classic shortbread. These cookies use brown butter for a rich indulgent flavour. They sound fancy but are very easy to make. Make a big batch of brown butter and keep it in the fridge for other bakes.


  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 160g plain flour
  • 100g shelled, unsalted pistachios, finely chopped




  1. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring until it gives off a nutty aroma and the top is covered in foam. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and chill until solid.
  2. Beat together the browned butter, icing sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the egg yolks and beat again until smooth. Sift in the flour and add half the pistachios. Mix and bring together to form a soft dough.
  3. Shape the dough into a 20 cm-long sausage, about 4cm in diameter, then wrap in cling film and roll along a work surface several times to create a tight, even sausage shape. Chill for 1-2 hrs, until firm.
  4. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 160C Fan/Gas 4. Remove the dough from the cling film and roll in the remaining chopped pistachios, pressing firming so they stick all around the outside. Slice into 1cm rounds and arrange on trays. Bake for 8-10 mins until very pale golden.

Top tips for making our brown butter and pistachio sable

For a variation, swap the pistachios for toasted hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts, or add 1tsp spice or some citrus zest.

What does brown butter mean?

Brown butter refers to butter that has been heated and the milk solids have toasted. It has a delicious nutty flavour and smell. When cooking it, it’s important to keep a close eye as it can quickly go from perfectly toasted to bitter and burnt.

When you reach the perfect colour, transfer the butter quickly to a bowl as the residual heat in the pan will continue cooking the mixture.

How to store brown butter and pistachio sable?

Once baked and cooled these cookies will keep in an airtight container for around three days.

Can you substitute brown butter for regular butter?

If you don’t have time to make the brown butter the recipe will still work with regular butter but the flavour will be different. Brown butter has a hazelnut-like flavour so consider adding some chopped hazelnuts along with the pistachios. 

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Jessica Ransom

"Once you've tasted brown butter and know how easy it is to make, I think you'll be adding it to all your bakes and cakes. Once it is cooled and solid in the fridge, you can use it in any recipe that calls for regular butter. t's an excellent addition to banana bread or blondies."

For this recipe, it’s best to use a few non-stick baking trays. Hand Wash them to keep the non-stick coating in good condition.

Stellar Non-Stick Swiss Roll Tin - View at Amazon 

Stellar Non-Stick Swiss Roll Tin - View at Amazon 

This baking tray is made from carbon steel which ensures even heat distribution and will give your cookies a perfectly flat base.

For something savoury consider baking Paul Hollywood's Gruyère biscuits. Our easy Cheddar cheese and chutney biscuits are also delicious. You might also like our easy chocolate chip cookies recipe.

Jess Meyer
Food Editor

Jess is the Group Food Editor at Future PLC, working across brands in the woman’s lifestyle group, including Woman and Home, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, and Hailing from the Antibodies, Jess has a background in media and video production, with many years of experience working on tv and commercial video projects. After relocating to the UK, Jess studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, graduating with a diploma in culinary arts before gaining a scholarship to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie (ENSP) in France, where she learned the fine art of French patisserie.

With contributions from