It’s crumbly and delicious, it’s….

May 24, 2015

…. my new obsession in the kitchen. I’ve been getting back into baking biscuits – the 36 Hour Chocolate Chip cookies are certainly a favourite but recently I’ve been on a ‘sable run’. 

A bit of explanation is required: a Sable is a French shortbread biscuit. They can be made plain (buttery and crumbly) but are also delightful with a wide variety of flavours. I’ve been experimenting with two flavours that have vastly different preparation methods: Parmesan sables and Olive sables.

The base recipe and Parmesan variation is available here at the New York Times with a great story that explains the obsession with them. 

There’s nothing surprising in how to make these little guys - cream the butter then add the sugars (normal and icing) then eggs, salt and flour. For the Parmesan variant omit the sugars and replace with parmesan. Roll into a log shape and chill, then slice, sprinkle with salt flakes and bake in a medium oven. They need to cool on the tray to firm up before eating. 

They are delicious – delightfully savoury and melt in the mouth. The recipe is easy enough to follow although note they are using US cup measurements – our conversions to Australian are:
2 sticks of butter (US) = 225g
2 cups of flour (US) = 250g
½ cup sugar (US) = 1/3rd cup plus 2tbsp
¼ cup of icing sugar = 3 tablespoons.

The Olive Sables (or Sablé aux Olives Noires if you are feeling fancy) had completely different directions (and thankfully they are in metric and can be found here): hard boiled egg yolk is blended up in the food processor with butter, oil, icing sugar, sea salt, flour, cornflour, and chopped olives (the recipe calls for cornstarch but that’s cornflour in Australia). Then follow the same process of rolling into a log, chilling and then baking in an oven at around 180c (350F). These have an intriguing savoury /sweet taste, and are just lovely. I experimented with using some of the flavoured oil we made recently – that added a beautiful herb flavour as well.

Parmesan Sables on the left (stamped with a cookie press), the Olive Sables mix being formed into a log, and underneath the finished Olive Sables.

You can store the log in the freezer and slice off cookies to bake as you need them – although I noticed my parmesan variety was a drier mix so you need the roll to defrost a little before cutting or they will break up. They still bake well if they break up, just a little more 'free form'. 

There are many more variations out on the web, so time for some more kitchen experimentation…. 


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