Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Sablé Experiment ...

I've always loved a butter cookie. From the scalloped Salerno numbers that I used to wear like ill-fitting rings to Girl Scout shortbread (they've changed; I don't like them anymore) to sablés, I've never strayed from my simple-cookie love.

But the other day, I was pondering flavored sablés and wondered what kind of extracts I might find at the store.

So I went to the store. I'm clever like that.

I was sure I didn't want any imitation flavors. I was sure I would limit myself to whatever pure extracts were on the shelf. But hazelnut. Oh, hazelnut. How could I not give you a try, even in your imitation form?

Extracts procured, my brain started thinking about combinations:

Coffee + chocolate = mocha sablé!

Chocolate + hazelnut = gianduia sablé!

Ooh!

But then my brain went too far:

Coffee + chocolate + hazelnut = mocha gianduia sablé!

Oh, Beth. Beth, Beth, Beth. Simple. The point of these cookies is that they're simple. You can't cram too many flavors into one cookie. Like three people walking down the sidewalk, someone's gonna have to lag behind.

I don't have to tell you that in a three-way battle of dark chocolate, coffee, and hazelnut, hazelnut hits the mat.

Still, the end result is delicious if not hazelnutty. Hazelnut will be drafted into another batch on another day, maybe to share billing with vanilla or maybe to have the whole marquee to itself.

A word to would-be sablé makers: Turbinado sugar is a lovely addition to vanilla sablés but on the dark-chocolate version, it just ends up looking blingy.

The first tray came out looking a little too much like Vegas. The second tray went into the oven with half the cookies sugared and half just slicked with egg-white wash.

Yep, the plain chocolate are the way to go. A hint of sheen but no sudden urge to listen to Tom Jones.

The recipe for vanilla-flavored sablés and the chocolate adaptation is here.

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