Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Almond sablés - delicious simplicity

Almond sablés / Sablés de amêndoa

I guess that the simplicity of certain things can be very surprising sometimes, and that is a good thing – while searching for a good cookie recipe, I bumped into Alice Medrich’s cookbook on cookies and since the woman can do no wrong I decided to bake one of her recipes. I had chocolate in mind, but I decided to give her almond sablés a go for I had a package of almond meal in the fridge.

As I read the recipe and saw that Alice’s suggestion of sandwiching the cookies with dulce de leche I thought of the dulce de leche left from making the churros cake and knew that was the right recipe to try.

I prepped the dough, formed it into cylinders and placed them in the fridge, always thinking of how simple those cookies would be. I baked them a day later and as the first batch cooled on the wire rack their simplicity became more visible – “yes, this is a plain cookie”, I thought, no chocolate, no spices, no dried fruit. But as I took the first bite I was in awe: they tasted so delicious I could not believe it! Yes, they were simple, but they were amazing, too. The nutty flavor from the almonds turned them into something extra special.

I sandwiched some of the cookies with dulce de leche and they were indeed delicious that way, but don’t worry about that: the cookies taste great on their own, too, and pair beautifully with a cup of coffee.

Almond sablés
slightly adapted from the wonderful Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup (100g) almond meal
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened, chopped in chunks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons Amaretto (optional)
270g all purpose flour

Place sugar, salt and almond meal in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed just to combine. Add the butter, vanilla extract and Amaretto and mix on medium speed until creamy. Add the flour and mix on low just until a dough begins to form. Finish stirring with a spatula.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours (the dough logs can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper - I like Beyond Gourmet a lot.
Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the freezer). Cut log into 6mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 12-14 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets.

Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. They can be sandwiched with dulce de leche, if desired.

Makes about 50 cookies


themattyd said...

An FYI: typo ...

' “yes, this is a plain cookie”, I though, '

And I know you meant "thought."

You can fix it without posting my comment :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Matthew, fixed! Thank you for pointing that out.

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