Pierre Herme’s Sable a L’olive Noir

Very interesting recipe....a black olive shortbread. Savory, yes, but sweet as well.  A sophisticated cookie for an adult palate, with EVO as well as black olives in the mix. 
Adding a finely sieved, cooked egg yolk to the batter was something I'd never tried, so I looked into it and here's what I found out:
Hard boiled egg yolks are a tenderizer. Added to a batter or dough the cooked bits interrupt the gluten network. Not so much that it doesn’t function, but enough that it’s more tender than it would otherwise be. Ground nuts do the same job, but if you want a lighter, fluffier texture, cooked yolk is a better solution. In addition, cooked yolk adds a pleasing yellow hue. (not noticeable in this recipe) You can add it to biscuits and pastry crusts as well.

Whatever the means, the end results were intriguing and flavorful. This recipe doesn't make a large amount of cookies, but if you're having just a few people in for a cup of tea or a glass of wine, I got about 10-12 two inch squares with this recipe. I rolled the dough out between two pieces of wax paper and refrigerated it. I bet if you formed it into a roll, refrigerated, then sliced, you could eke out a few more, avoiding scrap waste.

Pierre Herme’s Sable a L’olive Noir  (Black Olive Shortbread Cookies)
From Shirley@Kokken

1 cooked egg yolk (see method below)
65g unsalted butter, room temperature
scant 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons EVO
1/8 cup corn flour (I used very fine cornmeal)
3/4 cup flour minus a tablespoon
1/8 cup black olives in oil, finely minced


Preheat oven to 340. Lightly beat an egg yolk and microwave it for 30 seconds until cooked. (Or use a hard boiled egg yolk) Press it through a sieve while still warm.
In a mixer, beat the egg yolk, the butter, the powdered sugar and fleur de sel until creamy.
Add both the flours and beat only until it just comes together. Fold in the black olives.
At this point you can either roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper (about 1/4 inch thick) or you can form it into a log. Refrigerate until firm. 
Cut with cookie cutter or slice the log with a knife and place the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.


  1. I've made a slightly sweet olive biscuit from Susan Loomis's On Rue Tatin before. Addictive! It was this recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Olive-Biscuits-5171

  2. Ooh, these would be perfect with a glass of wine. The flavors sound so good together. That is very interesting about the hard boiled egg yolks as a tenderizer. I had no idea.

  3. wow these look great he's the man "-)

  4. Oh I bet they are delicious! I love olives in svaoury crackers..

  5. Oh men, I so need to make these. They will be gone in a flash! Thanks! :) ela

  6. You know Barbara, one of my favorite things is a moroccan bread with honey, harissa, goat cheese and black olives. The combination of sweet, salty, hot and rich is too perfect. I would go for these in a snap. Love the hardboiled egg tip.

  7. These look and sound great! Tasty.



  8. perfect with a glass of wine after a long day! i can't wait to try them...

  9. I'm curious about these too! I love olives and shortbread...

  10. I am very sure these shortbread cookies are delicious!

  11. I love savory-sweet shortbreads! These would be so perfect for appetizer snacking.

  12. Very interesting combination. Remind me of rosemary flavored shortbread -- sweet and savory at the same time.

  13. Ohh Barbara me encantan las aceitunas excelente combinaciòn,abrazos.

  14. I think I would devour anything that included black olives. This appeals to me far more than any sweet cookie.

  15. I could use a sophisticated cookie right about now!

  16. Hi Barbara,

    These look like the perfect accompaniment with a glass of wine.
    Many thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Happy Sunday

  17. PH recipes aren't easy, they usually have all kinds of weird and wonderful ingredients that are impossible to source.
    This does look like a very sophisticated cookie indeed.
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* H

  18. These would be delicious on a cheese platter! I love those black olives in oil so much more than Kalamata olives. I must try these!

  19. Ohhh Barbara I love everything about this recipe.
    Can you imagine these with a nice spicy red dragon cheese?
    I need to print this one.

  20. Beautiful cookies. Blessings dear. Catherine xo



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