This classic French cookie is said to hail from Caen, in the province of Normandy. The French word sable means "sand," and the cookies are so named because of their delicate, crumbly texture. Sablés can be variously flavored with additions such as almonds or lemon or orange zest. They can also be dipped in chocolate or two cookies may be sandwiched together with jam.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.