I was once given a box of cookies as a thank you gift by a japanese student I hosted last time. I can remember it very well because the box was filled with individually wrapped cookies ( in which later I read that they were indeed actually sablés) with different delicate flavours, a common Japanese pastry trait. There was earl grey, green tea, citrus and others which I couldn’t remember. All i know is that I savoured each and everyone one of them and wishing someone could make me the same thing, again.
So, that was my first encounter (probably) with sablés.
Sablés are the French equivalent to the shortbread biscuits but just sounds so much nicer. Sablés
Perhaps the Japanese popularized it and made it look so pretty and delicate. They are sold in most Japanese bakeries I saw and in commercialized snacks. Put that next to good old shortbread cookies and it just does not look the same.
So here’s one of my attempts in creating sablés. I find it hard sometimes to make it just right because the dough can be abit too dry to form into logs or too wet, but if you follow the recipe well, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Roll into a log. I used the help of the baking paper to roll and shape them.
One thing I realized is that it takes some time for the dough to come together because usually the recipe tells you to incorporate the flour mixture into the butter using a spatula/wooden spoon instead of a mixer. So keep mixing gently till you get the right consistency.
I also suggest you to thaw the dough abit before slicing them (if you refrigerate them in the freezer or if it feels very hard). This way, you get a neat cut without the dough crumbling and getting knife marks. So, patience. Just let it soften a little.
Nicely spaced and ready to go into the oven. You could tell the edges are a bit rough.
If you are a perfectionist and couldn’t stand the sight of the edges of the cookies showing lines, roll the cookie log on a plate of granulated sugar to cover them before slicing. I skipped this, but that’s because I do not have granulated sugar with me.
Green tea sablés (Makes about 50 cookies)
Adapted from Okashi by Keiko Ishida
Plain flour/pastry flour 240g (chilled)
Green tea powder 15g
Unsalted butter 150g at room temp
Icing sugar 130g
Salt (a pinch)
Egg yolks 2
Granulated sugar, optional (for covering the sides of dough)
Egg white (beaten)
Green tea leaves (for garnishing)
1.Sift flour and green tea powder together, twice.
2. Beat butter, icing sugar and salt until soft and creamy. Add yolks and mix well.
3. Add flour and green tea powder mixture and fold in with a spatula until a dough is formed.
4. Cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate for about 15 minutes so that it is firm enough to roll into logs.
5. Divide dough into half. Place a portion onto baking paper and shape it into a log about 3.5cm in diameter. Wrap it up with the baking paper and do the same to the other. Refrigerate logs until firm.
6. Preheat oven to 150C.
7. Thaw the dough a bit before cutting them into 7mm thick rounds. If you want, dip the edges with granulated sugar.
8. Place them on baking trays and brush a little egg white over the cookies and garnish with green tea leaves.
9. Bake for about 25 minutes.