Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sable Cookies

French desserts are something I really enjoy. There is a certain special quality that comes from that country, which is why I feel that is truly the homeland of desserts.

These cookie recipes, while simple to make, result in something tasty and memorable. Pierre Herme does have a lot of talent when it comes to any dessert, especially cookies.

The first cookie recipe below is one that uses rose extract and dried raspberries. I was unable to find raspberries, so I used strawberries. One serving of these cookies will prove to you that smell does support flavor. Just a bite will bring you straight back to all the times that you sniffed at a fragrant rose. The taste of floral is prominent and the strawberry is subtle. Special and unique, these are perfect for weddings, baby showers and other occasions.

The other cookie recipe is an adaptation of a snicker doodle in the form of a sable. With cinnamon on the outside and inside, this buttery cookie is for those that enjoy shortbread. If you are looking for a light flavored cookie instead of a  super chocolate chunk cookie-this is a great choice.

The first recipe makes about 1 1/2 dz. The cinnamon recipe states 2 dz, but I came up with  over 3 dz. The height or slice suggestion is 3/8 to 1/2 inch.

Pierre Herme Ispahan Sables
adapted from Dorie Greenspan

1/4 tsp rose extract (I used Star Kay White Brand)
1/4 cup sanding sugar
pink/red food coloring

11 tbs butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries
1/2 tsp rose extract
1/2 tsp flake salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Start by creating the topping. Fill a small bowl with rose extract and sanding sugar and whisk together. Add a drop of coloring and whisk until all sugar crystals are pink. Add more coloring if necessary. Set aside.

For the cookies, place the raspberries in a zip lock bag and crush until it becomes a powder. It may not all be a powder, but as long and the pieces are very fine. Fill a bowl with the flour and mix in the salt and the powder until evenly distributed. Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until glossy and smooth. This should take about 3 minutes, depending on how soft your butter is. Stop at intervals and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rose extract and beat for another 2 minutes. Then incorporate the sugar and salt into the mixture, blending until fluffy. Remove bowl from stand mixer. Using a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the batter, forming a dough. The dough should be soft and be able to be clumped together.

Divide the dough into 4 equal amounts. Roll each in a 6-8 inch log. Once the logs are formed, pour the topping into a flat pan and roll each log in the sugar mixture. Wrap each log with plastic wrap and place side by side on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 3 days.

To bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Pull out one log, uncover and place on cutting board. Cut into 3/8-1/2 inch wide slices. Place each slice on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Then bake for 9 minutes and rotate. Bake for an additional 9-11 minutes or until firm and golden on bottom. Remove and place pan over rack. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to finish cooling. Repeat the process with the remaining logs.

Snickerdoodle Sables
adapted from Bake From Scratch

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup or 2 sticks butter
2 large egg yolks (divided)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups flour

Using a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

Next, fill a bowl of a stand mixer with the butter. Beat until smooth and glossy, stopping on occasion to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This should take about 3 minutes to acheive the correct consistency. Add powdered sugar, salt and only 1/3 a cup of the cinnamon mixture to the butter. Mix together on medium speed until thoroughly blended. Then add 1 egg yolk and the vanilla. Beat again until all is incorporated into the batter.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour, using a wooden spoon. Once mixed, it will be crumbly. Knead the dough until it clumps together and no dry streaks remain. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a log, measuring about 7 inches long. Cover in plastic wrap and chill each log for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Once chilling time is complete, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Also, whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl.

Remove one log and uncover. Place log on cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush each slice with egg yolk and dip in the remaining cinnamon sugar. Place each round on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake in oven about 9 minutes, then rotate. Bake for an additional 9-11 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let cookies cool in pan on rack 5 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack to completely cool.

Tips and Notes:
1. I rolled out the cookie dough between wax paper and cut with 2" inch cutter. The dough was chilled after rolling out. For the rose cookies it was an hour. For the cinnamon cookies, it was 1 1/2 hours. As you cut and bake, do not let the dough sit out while the cookies are baking. Re-form the dough into a rolled out disk and refrigerate between batches.

2. Since the rose cookies were formed as cut outs instead of a log, I sprinkled the sugar blend on top before baking.
                            **2 YEARS AGO: Bourbon Cherry Bars**