At this point I must have half a dozen sable recipes scattered throughout TMH’s pages. I just can’t help myself. And, I have no intention of stopping.
When the Wall Street Journal published their mother recipe for sables in the Off Duty section just before the holidays I was on it like an otter on an oyster.
I had some leftover candied orange peel and ginger from my own holiday baking and decided to throw them in.
As a category, sables are a lesson in simplicity. Just four ingredients: butter, sugar, flour and salt. And this recipe my friends, is the closest I’ve come to the golden quadrangle.
Slightly sweet, crumbly and while delicious plain, just asking for fun and unique combinations.
If you decide to fancy-up your sables, you’ll need about 3/4 to 1 cup of goodies. Need some ideas? How about:
- Any kind of freeze dried fruit, chopped (Trader Joes is a great source)
- Citrus zest: lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange
- Herbs: fresh mint, rosemary, thyme, lavender (as a note–start with 1 TBS chopped and go from there). If you are going to herbs, a good way to further infuse flavor is to measure out your sugar and add it and your herbs to a ziplock bag. Let “steep” for at least an hour.
- Chocolate: any kind. Chop it up and add it in
- Teas: Chai, Earl Grey and fruity teas work well. Depending on how strong you want the flavor, start with a teaspoon and go from there
- Candied fruit
Master Sable Recipe
The Wall Street Journal
makes 24 cookies
note–this recipe doubles very well
- 11 TBS (1 stick plus 3 TBS) unsalted butter at room temp (use good quality here with high fat content like Plugra)
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 3/4 C all purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 C sanding sugar, turbanado or Demarara for rolling
- 1 C total mix-ins of choice
- Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and whipped, 2-3 minutes.
- Add sugar and continue beating until well incorporated. Add salt and beat to combine.
- Add flour and beat until almost all flour disappears into the dough. Finish by giving the dough a few good folds with a rubber spatula. The dough will be crumbly.
- Divide dough in half (I use the food scale here but eye balling works). Gently coax first half into a general log shape. Set the log on to parchment paper and roll it back and forth until you have an even log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 8ish inches long. Set aside and repeat with other log.
- Sprinkle the sanding/decorating sugar onto your parchment and gently roll each log until the surface is completely coated.
- Roll each log individually in either plastic wrap or parchment. As a note, I first roll the log in a sheet of parchment, then place in a paper-towel roll and THEN wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap. Rolls can now be frozen for up to two months. They can also be baked from frozen but I prefer to move them to the fridge a couple of hours before I want to bake, I think they cut more nicely.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds in the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment.
- Remove parchment/paper towel/plastic wrap from logs. Using a sharp knife, cut into 3/8 inch disks. Arrange cookies on baking sheets with about an inch in-between (the sables will not spread).
- Bake for 18-21 minutes rotating sheets halfway through and until sables are lightly toasted. Let stand for 1-2 minutes then slide the parchment off the pan and onto a heat-proof surface. Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from parchment.
- These freeze well.