Spicy Parmesan Sables
This month’s #baketogether challenge features a savory french cookie, the sable. My mouth started watering when I read the recipe Abby posted! It’s a classic, rich parmesan wafer and as usual we’ve been invited to make the recipe “our way.” I love this group! (btw, if you are interested in baking along all you have to do is visit the website of Abby Dodge and look for #baketogether, or find her on twitter @abbydodge or on Facebook. Come on! It’s really fun!)
I made my first batch of sables yesterday and baked them today -a couple friends are coming over before we go out to dinner and I thought the sables would be perfect with a glass of wine. For this “virgin” bake, I didn’t tweak Abby’s recipe very much – it looked pretty darn good to begin with, and I wanted to see what kind of texture I was dealing with. (FYI, it’s kind of grainy… and “sable” means “sand” in French. Well, that explains a lot!)
I did substitute rosemary for the thyme – I grow a lot of rosemary, and love it’s fragrance and flavor. I also added twice as much cayenne. My cayenne is more “flaky” than “powdery”, which is noticeable in the crackers. I have a favorite cayenne pepper that I grow every year in the garden expressly for drying – Joe’s Long Cayenne. It looks beautiful, dries consistently, and packs a nice punch. It’s easy to grow, and coincidentally I just started a few seedlings in the greenhouse this very week!
Below is a picture of my first batch. The sables are really delicious! They even brought the hubby out of his man-cave for a taste… that’s always an endorsement! I will be serving them plain tonight – they melt in your mouth – but I also topped just a few with a venison mixture for an “amuse-bouche.”
I am going to try to “bake outside the cookie jar” with this recipe in the coming week, but I have to say it’s going to be hard to beat the flavor of these little gems. I have no doubt that this will be a go-to recipe for me. Here is the original recipe for you:
Spicy Parmesan Sables Makes 29 sables.
- 1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon (or more to taste) ground cayenne pepper
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 7 slices, well chilled
- 2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons very cold water
- Kosher salt for sprinkling (optional)
To make the dough: 1. Put the flour, cheese, salt and cayenne in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are slightly larger than pea size, about 10 to 12 pulses depending on your machine. Drizzle the water evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form moist crumbs that are just beginning to clump together, about 8 or 9 more pulses depending on your machine.
2. Dump the moist crumbs onto the unfloured counter and gather into a pile. With the heel of you hand, push and gently smear the crumbs away from you until they start to come together in a cohesive dough. Two or three ‘smears’ should do the trick. Using a bench scraper, gather the dough together and turn it about 45 degrees and give it one or two more smears. Gather the dough together and shape the dough into a 7 1/4-inch long and 2 1/4 -inch wide rectangle using the bench scraper to make the sides nice and straight. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 hours, or up to 2 days.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/4-inch slices and arrange about 1 inch apart (they don’t spread much at all) on the prepared sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until nutty brown around the edges, 16 to 18 minutes. If you like, sprinkle the crackers with a little kosher salt just as the baking sheets come out of the oven. Serve slightly warm or room temperature. 4. The dough can be shaped and frozen for up to a month and then thawed for about an hour on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight. Likewise, tuck the baked and cooled sables in a heavy duty zip top bag and stash them in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature and warm them for a few minutes at 325°F to refresh the flavors.