Monday, March 2, 2009

Lemon Sablet Cookies

Unless otherwise noted, all materials on this blog are (c) 2009 by Madeleine Vedel

A simple cookie recipe, that is chic and nicely accompanies a fruit salad, or tea-time.

Makes 3 sheets:

4 1/2 cups semi-whole wheat flour (this can be replaced with rice flour and nut meals for the non-glutens)
1 cup 5 tablespoons sweet butter cut in small pieces (this can be replaced with palm oil for the non-dairy)
1 cup non-bleached cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
and optional: 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
1 egg
4 fluid oz water

The easiest surface for me to make this recipe is a large marble or granite slab, or on a stainless steel table. But, when lacking these, I use a large mixing bowl. I always make it with my hands, but you can use a food processor as well.

On my surface I pour my dry ingredients and the butter and I work them together -- and I work and work till the butter is distributed throughout. Sablet means sandy, so, aim for a sandy texture. When the butter is fully distributed, I make a dent in my pile of flour and butter and pour in the egg and the water, gently mixing them with my fingers of one hand.

Here, I like to have a pastry scraper on hand, I mix in the moist ingredients to the dry with my free hand, periodically scraping it off with the scraper. (this technique is particularly appealing when the phone rings, or when you've a tiny itch, or when you need to go open a door to a particularly persistent door bell). I then switch to two hands and finish putting it all together. I then cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill. I can easily make the cookies the next day.

I divide up my dough, press it with my the palms of my hands to flatten a bit, and then, roll it out on parchment paper till it is of an even thickness -- I end up with about 1/3 inch, or just under a centimeter. Then I do one set of cuts vertically, and another on an angle -- making diamonds. I bake these pre-cut sheets in the oven at 375 till nicely browned. Pop them out, let cool, break them up, and into a tin till you need them.

Simple, you probably have all the basic ingredients, and they quite nicely accompany many affairs. Should you so desire, melt white or dark chocolate and dip these half way into them. Drip, and lay on parchment paper till cooled. Yum!

My Japanese guests this weekend walked off with the extras wrapped in their napkins for later...

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