Ispahan Sablés, bruh

Dorie Greenspan posted a recipe for raspberry and rose sablés in her Times magazine column recently. They are absolute perfection and you should make them tout de suite.

But then you should also spend some time LOL’ing about the people who comment on New York Times recipes. This round many of the comments center around people being exasperated that they are not familiar with some of the ingredients. Whenever I don’t know about something, I definitely lash out at people who do. Of course!

Luckily, a hero arrives to say:

To other readers: clearly you go online to post a question here. Why not just google terms like “sanding sugar, ” ” dried raspberries,” “rose extract.” You can get an immediate answer!


Although props to the person who retorted: Because we crave human contact.

But seriously, these comments:

Why spend the money on fleur de sel if you’re going to blend it into the dough?

Huh? Why spend money on anything? Fuck capitalism!


It’s unfortunate that recipes like this have ingredients that are not easily found or available. Rose Extract?? Freeze dried raspberries?

“recipes like this”


I bought a 2-oz bottle of rose extract and used 1/2 teaspoon in making these cookies. Now, what will I do with the rest of it?

Let’s all work together to account for how he will use the remaining 11 1/2 teaspoons!


I’m a little disappointed, I thought Pierre Herme’s Ispahan was rose, raspberry and lychee but the recipe doesn’t include lychee. I was really curious to see how it incorporated that flavor element in the sable but I guess it can’t be done.

LOL, way to jump to a hopeless conclusion, reader.


Sadly, it was an incredible letdown. Unlike her French Vanilla Sables in “Cookies,” this recipe has no egg yolks, and less butter. They were so dry and crumbly it was impossible to make the logs tight, and the cookies didn’t look at all like hers. I’m wondering if this was a typo, because her classic sables have egg yolk, and a larger amount of butter.. I was really disappointed.

: (

Never change, dummies. Love you all.

Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan Sablés (recipe by Dorie Greenspan for the NYTimes)


  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure rose extract
  • a drop or two of red food coloring


  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure rose extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or other flake salt

To make the decorative sugar, place the three ingredients in a ziplock bag and toss until the sugar in evenly pink.

To make the sablés, crush the raspberries between two sheets of waxed paper or in a large ziplock bag until you have mostly powder with some smaller pieces. Don’t worry too much about perfection. Combine the raspberries and flour and in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for a minute or two until smooth and creamy (not fluffy). Add the sugar, rose extract, and salt, and beat for 2-3 minutes more. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low until dough starts to come together and clear the sides of the bowl. Give the dough a turn or two with a spatula to bring it together and then divide into 4 pieces and roll each into a 6-8-inch log.

Roll each log in the prepared sugar until evenly coated and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 3 days.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment. Unwrap the logs, and trim the ends if they are ragged. Slice each log into 1/2 slices and arrange at least 1 1/inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 18-21 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. The cookies are done when the they are firm along the edges and the bottoms are golden brown.

Notes: Please do not ask me if rose water can be used in place of the rose extract, see NYTimes comments. This is covered, ad nauseam. My dough logs were more like 6-inches long and cut into slices shy of 1/2-inch. You can do what you want. But watch timing if your size varies. Like Dorie, I used Star Kay White rose extract.

19 comments to “Ispahan Sablés, bruh”

  1. Cara C Stackpoole says:

    August 23rd, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Ooh! I thought the recipe looked great, too! (I only read it in print, so I was spared the comments.)

  2. Never read the comments; surprised someone didn’t make it all political! Regardless, I am a fan of the unusual, so these look and sound intriguing. Will be on the hunt for freeze dried raspberries. (I already have the rose extract . . .)

  3. Nishta Mehra says:

    August 23rd, 2017 at 10:50 am

    A colleague made these and brought them to work – they are incredible. So many reasons to fear for humanity, though…

  4. Dear, dear David, thank you for expressing my thoughts precisely. I read the NYT reader comments, and could not believe the level of discourse. Thanks for bringing Dorie’s recipe over to your blog, where informed readers can weigh in on the deliciousness of these sables.

  5. Anna! Who is David?! Are you on the wrong blog? ; )

  6. Those commenters are exactly why we’re where we are today, Tim. I recently got into a comment war with posters on Tasting Table about why we should stop using the term “ethnic” when referring to certain types of food. Phrases like “thought police” “PC overload” and “liberal bullshit” were used. ON AN ARTICLE ABOUT FOOD TERMINOLOGY. I have no time for anyone who wants to complain about ingredients or processes or whatever. Either make the cookies as is, substitute what you can’t find (at your own peril) or shut the hell up. As an aside, those cookies look delicious, dried raspberries and rose extract be damned! :)

  7. I read the comments and can only hope …. hope that it’s a bad data point and not a good sample representation of humans.

  8. David! Ha! xo

  9. Hi David. OMG these responses to the comments are cracking me the fuck up. I think the only thing better would be a video of you reading them aloud! Also my mind is blown that the ancient name for Isfahan is Ispahan and I couldn’t process anything else about this recipe because I’m still not over that.

  10. I made these cookies too – fabulous. Like all Dorie recipes I’ve tried, the instructions are meticulous and they came out exactly as described (though a tad less pink than I would have liked – perhaps because I used Whole Foods raspberries instead of TJs). Using a huge amount of restraint, I only baked up one long and have the rest in my freezer for cookie emergencies – just slice and go! As for the comments – I got a good laugh out of them, but everyone keeps asking me if they can use rose water instead. I’ve offered to share teaspoons of my Star Kay, but so far no one has taken me up on it. Black market perhaps?

  11. Shannon Murphy says:

    August 23rd, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I’m sure you’ve seen this–but in case not.

  12. “never change, dummies” 😂😂😂🏆

  13. You made me laugh out loud. I think the people making the comments should step away from Dorie’s recipes and go back to Pillsbury, or whatever is their comfort zone. — And, the cookies sound delicious. They are now on my “to bake” list.

  14. From now on, you shall be known as David!

  15. Now I must ask a question (please don’t beat me, I tried google and Amazon!). I do have rose extract but I do wonder if anyone has found a good, consistent source of non-sprayed dried rose petals from the US? Amazon truly took me down a rabbit hole of possibilities :-). If not the right forum for this question, please delete!

  16. Carol E. Hickman says:

    August 29th, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Best. Post. Ever. Even if I didn’t already want to round up these ingredients and make the cookies, I would do it now out of pure solidarity.

  17. I always read comment, and I cant stop… they make me laugh… but come on! you are online! google up ingredients or yet another recipe people!:)
    my most funny comment was in a white chocolate brownie: all the people were about how original it was… except one: can i make it with dark chocolate! No! you have tons of brownie recipe online, why do you need to change this almost unique recipe?

  18. Heather Struck says:

    September 7th, 2017 at 7:31 am

    @Darien — Kalustyan’s in New York. You can order from their website!

  19. Just made them on a lark. I did not have Rose Extract, so I substituted lemon extract. They were celestially sublime!

What do you think?