I love cookies. I guess that’s apparent if you read the blog, but I am a constant “treat” eater. I don’t think there is a day that goes by where I don’t have a little something to satisfy my sweet tooth. (Is this a bad thing? No….).
My mom has taught me the importance of making sure our freezer is packed with cookies/brownies/treats as a sort of back-up. Say I was going to lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, I can easily put together a little box of goodies to bring along. Or if we have last minute company, dessert is handled. The freezer was running low recently, so we took to baking to refill.
I had never heard of a sable before, but my mom who loves France couldn’t stop talking about how great these French butter cookies are. Sable means “sand” in French and the cookies have a sand-like texture (aka they are fine and crumbly). They tasted like a mix between shortbread and a cookie. They are so delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning (like I said, I love cookies anytime of the day). A tip for making these is that you have to be really careful with not over-handling your dough. I finished off mixing in the flour by hand to ensure that I didn’t over-mix. By not over-mixing, you get a perfect extremely fine crumb (the mark of a great cookie).
Makes 36 cookies
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter (the best you can find, preferably high-fat like Plugra), softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted.
- crystal or dazzle sugar (like this)
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smoothed and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy; about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 egg yolks, beating until well blended.
- Turn off the mixer and pour in the flour. Fold in flour by hand until just combined. The flour should just disappear into the dough and the dough should look uniformly moist. (The dough will not come together in a ball- and it shouldn’t. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you’re aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy dough.)
- Scarpe the dough onto a wooden chopping board or other work surface. Gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in wax or parchment paper and chill them for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a backing sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- To decorate the edges of the sables, whisk the remaining egg yolk until smooth. Place 1 log of chilled dough on a piece of wax paper and brush it with the yolk (the glue), then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with coarse sugar. Trim the ends of the roll if they are ragged and slice the log into 1/3 inch cookies.
- Place the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between the cookies, and bake for 17-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest for 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a rack. Repeat with the remaining log of dough.
Recipe adapted from The Essential New York Times CookbookEven the bee likes theses sables!