Sablés are delicate, sweet or savory, butter-laden crisps. (The name, from the French word for sand, refers to the crumbly texture of the cookie/cracker.) I remember enjoying a delicious sweet version years ago in Brittany, but did not know how to make them until this month.
The March Baketogether “assignment” is Abby Dodge’s version of Spicy Parmesan Sablés. She has encouraged us to change shape, cheese, flavor and/or texture. In other words, using her recipe as an inspiration, group members take the concept in different directions.
Sitting at my kitchen table and looking out the window, I realized that the chives growing on my deck look enticing. With a log of goat cheese in the freezer, the chives on my deck, and Dijon mustard in the refrigerator, I had my own take on sablés in hand. The MWK (MotherWouldKnow) version followed the pattern of many meals in my house – look around and figure out how to proceed without a trip to the store.
This recipe is easy, but it does require a food processor. Check out Abby’s photos before you start – they are beautiful and a great guide to mixing, shaping, and cutting the dough. (Encouraging hint – my work with dough was not nearly as picture perfect as hers, and the end result was still delicious.) Also, for adventurous variations, check out the links from other Baketogether participants at the bottom of her post.
- If you use a soft cheese like my goat log, freeze it to a crumbly consistency. Harder cheese like parmesan or cheddar works fine at refrigerated temperature, but goat cheese is sticky unless frozen.
- The easiest way to cut chives is with a sharp pair of scissors.
- You need a something with a flat edge to shape the log. Abby suggests a bench scraper. If you don’t have one, a metal spatula works well, and even a strong plastic one will do.
- Use a ruler to measure the log when you cut it, so that you can cut the slices evenly.
- The dough must be well chilled to cut it into individual slices. Work quickly or re-chill if it starts to get sticky.
Goat Cheese, Chives, and Dijon Mustard Sablés
Servings – 29 Sablés Cost – Less than $3.00
- 1⅓ cups (6 oz) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (2 oz) goat cheese, frozen and crumbled or cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon chopped finely chives
- ¾ teaspoon Dijon (French-style) mustard
- freshly ground black pepper (I used 3-4 turns of pepper mill)
- 8 tablespoons (4 oz) well chilled and cut into 7 or 8 slices
- 2 tablespoons + 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons very cold water (add ice cubes to cold tap water)
- Food processor
- Scale (for flour & cheese)
- Measuring spoons
- Scissors (to cut chives)
- Sharp knife
- Metal spatula
- Plastic wrap
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper or silpat mat (see below)
- Combine flour, crumbled goat cheese, salt, chives, mustard and pepper in a food processor. Pulse 6-9 times to combine. Add butter slices and pulse 10-12 more times until pieces are slightly larger than pea sized. Drizzle water over dough and pulse a few more times until dough becomes crumbs.
- Follow Abby’s directions for making a log.
- Refrigerate the log, wrapped in plastic, for at least 3 hours. I refrigerated it overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut log into 29 slices, each ¼ inch thick. I measured 1 inch lines on the log with my knife, then traced lines halfway and again halfway, so that each 1 inch block had 4 evenly-spaced marks before I made the slices. That method kept the crackers a uniform thickness.
- Bake the sablés for 16-19 minutes. Watch closely after 14-15 minutes. I turned the baking sheet at the end (forgot to do it earlier, so they would bake evenly) and found that some got “nutty brown” edges (indicating they are done) before others.
- I used a Silpat mat, not the parchment paper as Abby suggested. It was a mistake.
My sablés slipped a bit as they cooked and got lightly brown on their undersides. The slippage wasn’t a problem and I liked the look of the undersides, but I’ll be interested to see how they turn out next time – and I do intend to make them again. After Passover, that is.