Sablés (Shortbread Cookies)
I have not made even a single cookie recipe for the ongoing blogging marathon, except if you consider the giant cookie cake as a cookie. There were no cookies even on the initial list. Cookies didn't even cross my mind and now when I'm thinking of it, I don't really know the reason why.
I think I associate cookies with Christmas and may be that's why I don't think of them during the rest of the year. But I know one thing for sure that my kids would some homemade cookies once in a while and I should be baking them more often.
So here's a cookie recipe I made from Dorie Greenspan's 'Baking: From my kitchen to yours'. Sablés are rich, tender shortbread cookies that are famous in France like the chocolate chip cookies are in the US.These cookies are both crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth tender, and they are perfect with a glass of milk, a bowl of ice cream or even with tea.
The dough for the sablés are coated with sparkly white decorating sugar. During the holidays they can be made festive by sprinkling with brilliant red sugar, green or some rainbow mix. I skipped the sugar part because I didn't have any sparkly sugar on hand. But that doesn't take away from the deliciousness of these cookies.
These cookies can be flavored to make different variations with the same base, like Lemon Sablés (with grated lemon zest). Pecan Sablés (adding pecan flour in place of some of the flour), Spice Sablés and even savory Parmesan Sablés (skipping sugars and adding parmesan cheese instead).
Sablés (Shortbread Cookies)
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, on medium speed until smooth and very creamy.
- Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy.
- Reduce the speed to low and beat in the egg yolks, again beating until the mixture is homogeneous.
- Turn off the mixture. Stir in the flour and mix on low speed until the flour disappears into the dough. If most of the flour is incorporated with a little bit left in the bottom, then use a rubber spatula to work the rest of the flour into the dough.
- The dough should be worked very little. The dough should be soft, moist and clumpy. It should feel like play-doh.
- Scrape the dough onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth 9" long smooth log. Wrap it in plastic well and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or even longer. The dough logs can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicon mats.
- Remove the logs from the fridge. Trim the ends of the roll if they're ragged, and slice the log into ⅓" thick cookies (these cookies can be made as thick as ½" or as thin as ¼").
- Place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving 1" space between them.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 17~20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. The cookies should be light brown on the bottom, lightly browned around the edges and pale on top; they may feel tender when touched, but that's fine. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 1~2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining log of dough.