You can't tell from the photos but I went sablé cookies crazy this weekend! I made at least 100 of these buttery yummies, enough to fill 2 large cookie jars! I love the taste of rich buttery cookies and sablés are one of my favorites. As always, with biscuits and cookies its always easier to make a big batch of dough at one go and freeze part of it if you don't wish to bake it all at once.
A french cookie originating from Normandy, sablés are crisp yet delicate and crumble nicely in your mouth. A french chef once told me I should never to refer to sablés as cookies... hehe.... anyhow, pair it with a good cup of coffee and you pretty much get my idea of a lovely afternoon tea.
These dainty bites come in all sorts of fancy designs, e.g. swirls and checkers. I was a little lazy with mine and went with four chocolate and vanilla quadrants placed alternate to each other.
Recipe below adapted from FCI's in the Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts (makes about 100 pieces):
For the vanilla dough
- 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 270g all-purpose flour, sifted
For the chocolate dough
- 270g all-purpose flour
- 14g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 30ml milk
For the finish
- flour for dusting
- egg wash (1 egg with pinch of salt, lightly beaten)
- granulated sugar for coating
1. For the vanilla dough, combine the butter, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low to combine, then raise the speed to medium and beat for about 4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
2. Add egg and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute or until well blended.
3. Add the flour and beat just to combine.
4. Scrape dough from mixer bowl, wrap it in plastic film and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until well chilled.
5. While the vanilla dough is being chilled, prepare the chocolate dough. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together. Set aside.
6. Combine the butter, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl with paddle attachment. Beat on low just to combine, then raise the speed to medium and beat for about 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
7. Add the egg and milk and beat for a minute or two, or until well blended.
8. Add the sifted ingredients from step 5 and beat just to combine.
9. Scrape the dough from the mixer bowl, wrap it in plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour or until well chilled.
10. When both doughs are chilled, lightly flour a clean, flat work surface.
11. Roll each dough separately into a rectangular block of about 1.2cm in thickness and 30-35cm in length.
12. Cut each rectangular block into 8 strips of approximately 1.2cm in width. Each strip should end up being approximately 1.2cm by 1.2cm by 30-35cm. Either keep the strip edges as rectangular as you can, or roll it gently to round the edges, depending on how u prefer your sablés to look.
13. Take one chocolate dough strip and lightly coat one of its long side with egg wash. Take one vanilla dough strip and press it gently against and down the side of the chocolate dough strip where the egg wash was applied, making sure the 2 strips are well attached to each other. Do the same with one more chocolate dough strip and one more vanilla dough strip until a log is formed made up of 4 dough strips attached to each other with egg wash - make sure the chocolate and vanilla strips are position alternate to each other.
14. Repeat the same with remaining strips, to end up with a total of 4 logs.
15. Wrap each of the dough logs in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. At this point the dough may also be frozen for up to 1 month.
16. Preheat the oven to 177 C.
17. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
18. Generously sprinkle a clean, flat work surface with granulated sugar.
19. Remove the dough log from the refrigerator, unwrap, leaving it sitting on the plastic film.
20. Using a pastry brush, coat the surface of the dough log with a thin layer of egg wash. Immediately roll it in the granulated sugar to generously coat the exterior.
21. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 6mm thick slices.
22. As they are cut, place the sablés on prepared baking sheets.
23. Bake sablés for about 10 minutes or just until they begin to brown around the edges.
24. Transfer to wire racks to cool.25. Store in airtight container.