I am completely swamped finishing my next cookbook, but don’t want to be absent this month or any month. So this January, I am going to share with you a delicious recipe for Hazelnut Chocolate Sable Cookies from “ Chocolates Desserts by Pierre Hermé”, written with Dorie Greenspan. I prepared these a few days ago, on a cold weather, when I was itching to bake, and they provided me with the perfect tender and crumbly shortbread I needed that day.
Hope you’ll enjoy the recipe!
Hazelnut Chocolate Sable
Adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
Makes About 150 Cookies
For the Butter Dough:
1 ¼ stick (142g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (75g) confectioner sugar, sifted
¼ cup (50g) finely ground almond power
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 ¾ (254g) all-purpose flour
For the Chocolate Dough:
2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 sticks + 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup (100g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (140g) hazelnuts, lightly toasted and skinned *
Equipment: Two baking sheets and two sheets of parchment paper
Prepare the Butter Dough:
- Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar, almond powder, salt, vanilla, and eggs and, still working on low speed, beat to blend the ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough may look curdled, that’s all right. With the machine on low, add the flour in three or four additions and mix only until he mixture comes together to form a soft, moist, dough— a matter of seconds. Don’t over do it.
- Gather into a ball and divide it into two pieces. Gently press each disk into a disk and wrap in plastic. Allow the dough to trest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Prepare the Chocolate Dough:
- In a medium bowl sift flour and cocoa powder. Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and smooth. Add the sugar, followed by the salt and continue to beat, scraping the bowl as needed, for about 3 minutes, or until the dough is light, pale, and creamy. Add 1 of the eggs and beat to incorporate. At this point the mixture should be light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the sifted dry ingredients, and mix just until they disappear into the dough—take care not to overwork the dough. Stir in the toasted hazelnuts.
- Scrape the dough onto a smooth surface (marble is ideal) and shape into a 6X7-inch (15 X 18-cm) rectangle that’s 1-inch (2.5cm) high. Chill while you work on the Butter dough.
Assemble the Cookie:
- Beat the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon cold water and keep this egg wash nearby.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, roll each disk of dough into a rectangle that’s a scant ¼ inch (7mm) thick (the thickness is important here) and slightly larger than 6X7 (15X18cm). Put one piece of the rolled-out dough on the sheet of parchment paper and brush the surface with egg wash, the glue that will keep these multilayer cookies together. Center the chocolate dough on the butter dough then, using a sharp knife, cut away the excess butter dough. Brush the top of the chocolate dough with egg wash, and place the second sheet of butter dough over the cookie dough. Top this set up with the second piece of parchment paper, flip everything over, and remove the top sheet of parchment. Trim the excess butter dough so that it’s even with the other two layers. Slide the package (still sitting on the parchment paper) onto a baking sheet, cover it well, and chill for at least 4 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the package can be frozen for a month; defrost in the refrigerator before baking.)
- Set two racks apart and heat the oven to 325˚F. Have another parchment lined baking sheet at the ready.
- Using a sharp knife and working from one 7-inch (18cm) side of the dough package to the other, cut even strips of dough, then cut each strip into ¼-inch (7mm) wide cookies. Arrange the cookies on the two baking sheets, leaving a ½-inch( 1.5cm) or so of space between each cookie.
- Slide the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the cookies are firm and the butter dough is lightly browned; rotate the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom at the 10 minute mark. Gently transfer the cookies to rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining cookies, making sure to cool the baking sheet between batches.
* Lightly toast the hazelnuts on a 350˚F (180˚C) oven for about 10 minutes. While still hot, then rub a towel to scrape off the skins.