We don’t post too many desserts because the main chef in this house is a savory kind of guy. But every once in awhile a sweet treat intrigues him enough that he has to try it and so it was with sablé cookies. Sablé cookies are very famous in Brittany on the West Coast of France. They are very similar to shortbread, except they are made with egg yolks. They also have a characteristic sandy outside edge and are very rich in butter. He saw recipes for these in a most unlikely place, our local newspaper. What hooked him wasn’t the name Sablé but the fact that they were Chocolate Pepper Sablés, sweet and savory.
Once he made these – and they were a grand success, (see note written on the recipe) –
he began to search for more sablés and of course Martha Stewart had one listed on her recipe website. The following recipes were followed to the letter, no substitutions, we thought they were good as is. They may look a bit plain but the taste is far from ordinary.
Chocolate Pepper Sablé
1 1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp freshly grd black pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Tbls unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 C. finely chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets w/ parchment paper
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, pepper and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the dry mixture to the butter sugar blend, then mix just until the dough forms. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Roll the mixture into 36 walnut-sized balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them. Use a flat-bottomed glass to gently press and flatten the cookies. Dust glass with flour so it doesn’t stick.
Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until no longer wet looking. Cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store up to a week in an airtight container or freeze for later.
1 1/4 C. whole almonds
1 C. confectioners’ sugar
12 Tbls unsalted butter
3 Tbls finely grated orange zest (3 oranges)
1 large egg
1 Tbls freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
Place almonds and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal; set aside.
Place butter and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. On low, add almond mixture, beat until combined, 10-15 seconds. Add egg and orange juice; combine. Add flour, combine.
Place two 12 by 16 inch pieces of parchment paper on a clean work surface. Divide dough in half. Form a rough log with each half, place on parchment paper.
Fold parchment over dough; use a ruler to roll and press dough into a 1 1/2 inch diameter logs. Wrap. Chill for at least three hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Unwrap logs. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Place on sheets, one inch apart.
Bake until edges turn golden, about 15 minutes, rotating half way through.
Transfer to wire rack to cool. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Baked cookies store up to two weeks.
Tasty and good for barter. We traded some of our sables with a friend who brought over chocolate chipotle cookies last night. Now those were sweet and hot.