Here we go again with the sable! My new go-to holiday (anytime, really) cookie. A classic with endless options to customize. This batch, salted dark chocolate sable. Last year, pistachio-orange-chocolate, among other holiday variations. Partly inspired by Alison Roman’s viral cookies, these are truly just amazing shortbread with the right level of salt!
I may also try a browned-butter sage flavor, inspired by Claire Saffitz. I whipped up a batch of lemon zest and garam masala as well. The dough comes together so quickly, you’ll be thinking of the next flavor combination you want to try as you mix!
The base recipe is just slightly different this year, with half the sugar being replace with light brown sugar (but this is totally not necessary). It is truly a “keeper”. If you’re feeling un-fussy, just make the base recipe. You can add some vanilla extract or bean if you want, or not, letting the butter shine through.
For these salted dark chocolate sable, you chop your favorite dark chocolate into small pieces. You want them small enough so that they are manageable to slice through when cutting the cookie dough logs, but big enough so you get some chocolate puddles. Chopping you own chocolate from a bar will produce a chocolate that melts and oozes more – something that I personally love in a cookie. I’ve got nothing against a good chocolate chip (truly, it is all similar if not the same ingredients, just different ratios and processing), but here, you really want a chocolate with higher fat, finer particle size and optimized emulsifier to get a luxurious texture.
Sable dough logs can be made and then refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for a few months. Slice once logs are thawed, and warmed just a bit at room temperature. Bake as many as you need, or just a few for yourself when you really just need a cookie to cope with holiday/life stress. Sables package so well, and have a longer shelf life than most holiday cookies, so they are perfect for gifting.
Get to it, and enjoy!
Salted Dark Chocolate Sable
- 1/4 cup (64g) Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup (63g) Light Brown Sugar
- 2 sticks (226g) Butter
- 1/3 cup (40g) Powdered Sugar Sifted
- 1 heaped tsp Flakey Sea Salt Plus more for sprinkling on top, if desired; you can also use 1/2 tsp fine sea salt here
- 1 Large Egg Yolk Optional: save egg white for rolling logs in sugar.
- 2 cups (272g) All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup (2oz) Chopped dark chocolate Chop into 1/4"-ish pieces
- 1/2 cup Demerara or Turbinado Sugar For rolling logs in, pre-bake
- 1 Large egg white Optional, to prepare egg wash for rolling in sugar
- Add the sugar, brown sugar, butter, sifted powdered sugar and sea salt to the bowl, and using the paddle attachment of the mixer (or, a wooden spoon or spatula or hand mixer), lightly cream the butter and sugar on low speed until combined. The goal is not to whip air into the mixture like American style cookies.
- Stop mixing, and scrape down the bowl thoroughly. Add the egg yolk, and mix again on low until incorporated, taking care to not whip in air into the mixture. Scrape down bowl to ensure even mixing.
- Add the flour, and mix briefly (about 2-3 turns of the paddle). Add the pistachios and chocolate, and mix briefly just to combine. Finish mixing by hand, using a spatula or wooden spoon, taking care to incorporate everything just until it is homogenous. It is key to not over work the mixture once the flour has been added
- Scoop out the dough onto 1 large piece of parchment or plastic wrap. Cut off the piece of parchment or plastic wrap and prepare another. Divide dough in half (eye-ball it), and place the other half on the other piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
- Form into logs that are about 9" long, using the parchment or plastic wrap in place of flouring the counter. You may also roll on a very lightly floured counter. It's sometimes helpful to place the dough into a large piece of parchment, folding the parchment over the dough mass, and use a ruler or bench scraper to push the dough into a log.
- Allow the logs to chill for at least 3 hours, or freeze for up to 2 months (tightly wrap and place in bags)
- To bake, preheat oven to 350F. Place 1 rack in the middle of the oven, or, if you'd like to bake more than one at a time, at even spaces in the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat.
- Optional: Prepare egg white wash by whisking 1 egg white with 1 tsp water. Sprinkle demerara or other coarse sugar on a piece of parchment or other flat surface. Brush egg wash onto the cookie log, and roll in the sugar, pressing gently to get the sugar to stick.
- Cut cookies into ~1/2" discs using a sharp, sturdy, non-serrated knife. Place about 2" apart on the lined cookie sheets. These spread and puff just slightly while baking.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until just turning golden. Allow to cool for a moment before transferring onto cooling racks, and then allow to cool thoroughly. These cookies have the best flavor and texture once they have cooled.
- Store in a container at room temperature for a few days – they keep well! Or, freezer in a sealed container for a few weeks.