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Calamansi Sables

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I had to go into the kitchen to bake these Calamansi Sables to get my mind off the horrific news. The television networks were in a frenzy. We were riveted to the news coverage of Boston. From my living room, I stayed tuned to the events unfold and watched incredulously just like the rest of the country, how a major city remained under lock down.

I felt for the citizens of Boston. My heart went out to the victims’ families. There were lives and limbs lost, futures permanently altered. The events of the last few days had varying textures of emotions ~ from intense courage, suspense-filled terror stricken moments to immense joy then sadness.  Like a well knitted patchwork of squares, Boston’s story gave us many lessons to look at.


The chatter on social media simultaneous with all TV networks’ broadcast made me edgy. The high strung voices of the newscasters made me nervous. And when I listened to the helicopters hover on television, I felt as though they were right above my house, too. I went to the kitchen. I baked. It’s a coping mechanism. I cook to get my mind off worry. Eventually I find a neighbor who gladly welcomes the cookies or dish I cooked for no reason. These sables flavored with ‘calamansi’, the Filipino lime were a result of the Boston lock down. I had to calm myself by baking these.

Sables, in French are pronounced ‘sah-blays’. They are like delightful shortbread rounds, covered in a coating of sugar. The sandy texture with a buttery-citrus flavor was a sheer delight. I attempted a bite, and the glorious crumbs scattered on the table. I did not mind the minor mess. The calamansi sables were a treat with a warm cup of tea. I sipped some and bit into the thick, powdery round cookie. I knew then life was going to be okay because these sables were simply sublime.



Calamansi Sables

Calamansi Sables are the French shortbread-like treats. I baked these and added the piercing sweet citrus flavors of calamansi, the Filipino lime. I have baked with calamansi before and had delightful results. The calamansi’s sweet tanginess is similar to the Meyer lemon. So if you have no access to calamansi, use lemons instead and you’ll have a bunch of unforgettable pastry rounds for tea time or dessert. This Sables recipe was adapted from “The Cookiepedia” by Stacy Adimando (Quirk Books). This recipe made 2 dozen cookies.
Prep Time1 day
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting Time1 hour
Total Time1 day 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert, Merienda, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino, French
Keyword: Filipino Calamansi Sables Cookies
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 820kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • Large Cookie or Baking Sheets


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons calamansi juice fresh or frozen concentrate; or substitute with Meyer Lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2, egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coarse sugar or use sanding sugar; for coating cookies
  • 1 or 2 egg whites for brushing on cookies


  • Beat the butter or margarine till smooth in texture in a large bowl, using a stand or hand mixer.
  • Add the sugar, salt, calamansi juice, lemon (or calamansi) zest and mix well for a minute.
  • Add the egg yolks and mix well for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the flour and continue beating till dough looks moist.
  • Divide the dough portion into half. Shape the dough into a long log, about 8-inches. Wrap the logs in parchment or wax paper, then in foil. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
  • The next day, when getting ready to bake, prepare the cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or greasing them.
  • Take out the dough from the refrigerator. Brush egg white all over the outside of the dough. Sprinkle sugar all over the log. Roll the log around so the sugar sticks to the dough.
  • Use a sharp knife and slice the log into ¼ inch thick round pieces. Place the cut up dough on cookie sheets about 1-inch apart.
  • Bake in a preheated oven of 350 F degrees, for 12 to 15 minutes. The sables or cookies should be slightly browned around the edges.
    Cool cookies on baking rack. Store in air-tight containers when they have cooled down.
  • Cook’s Comments:
    Calamansi is the Filipino lime. They are small, round, with a dark green rough skin and with yellowish-orange citrus sections inside. It has a piercing sweet citrus scent that enhances baking or cooking. In the USA, it grows in warmer states. Here in the east coast, you can buy them at Asian markets or Chinatown. If not in season, I often use the frozen unsweetened calamansi concentrate, found in Asian groceries (packaged in round canisters, look in the freezer section). If not available, use the Meyer lemons for this recipe. If you’re in the Philippines, the calamansi grows abundantly in backyards or can be purchased in markets and groceries.
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Serving: 1g | Calories: 820kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 220mg | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 1550IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3.2mg

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]



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  1. Beautiful cookies. I have never seen calamansi – will have to look for them. You’re story was mine & that of many others. Cooking/ baking is the such a great way to meditate your troubles away.

    1. Thanks, Laura. Calamansi is such a delightful ingredient for baking and cooking – I hope you get to try it someday. Thanks for the kind words and the RT, just saw it now. So nice of you to share the same sentiments 🙂

  2. I’d love to try calamansi sables! So calamansi is similar to Meyer lemons? That sounds so good! I wonder if I can use calamansi for Meyer lemon recipes… 😀 I need these cookies right now before our afternoon activities. YUM!

    1. Yes, Nami – that’s what I learned from other chefs — the Filipino calamansi has flavors closest to the Meyer lemons. Do try it and let me know how your sables turn out. Thanks for the nice blog visit 🙂

    1. Thanks, Raymund. I feel the same – I miss the calamansi. They’re so pricey in Chinatown here in the east. Pity I can’t grow them, too cold here. Glad you came by ~ thanks for the kind comments 🙂

  3. YUM. I have never had calamansi, although I would love to try it because I am a citrus fiend. And I love shortbread type cookies. So I know these were fantastic!

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