Sables are tender, rich shortbread cookies popular in France. Dorie Greenspan provides a master recipe in her book Baking From My Home to Yours that makes the basic buttery sable. It's a wonderful base to add other flavors to. Be creative, have fun.
makes about 50 cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
Beat butter until smooth and very creamy. Add d the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and silky, not fluffy and airy. Add in the egg yolks and beat until homogenous.
Turn off the mixer and pour in the flour. Pulse the mixture until the flour is moist and incorporated into the dough. Work the dough as little as possible. You're looking for a soft, moist, clumpy (rather than smooth) dough. It should feel like play-doh when you pinch it. Scrap the dough onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the logs for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the chilled dough logs into 1/3-inch thick cookies. Place the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet with an inch of space between each. Bake for 17-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. The cookies should be light brown on the bottom, light golden on the edges, and pale on top. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest before moving them to a rack to cool to room temperature.
- For decorative purposes, you can brush the logs with egg yolk (before cutting) and roll them in clear or colored decorating sugar
- Play around with the flavors - I used lemon zest and crushed rose petals (rub the lemon zest with the sugar before beating with the butter)