Combine the butter and the sugar in a large bowl. With an electric mixer set
at medium-low speed, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is creamy
and the grains of sugar are barely visible, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla
extract and beat until the mixture is smooth and combined.
Sift the flour and salt into the butter mixture. Using a large wooden spoon,
stir the flour into the butter until incorporated. (Mixing the flour in by hand
instead of using the electric mixer avoids overworking the dough, which would make
the cookies hard and tough.)
Divide the dough in half. On a sheet of wax paper, form each half into a 10-inch
log, using the paper to help form a smooth cylinder.
Wrap tightly in the waxed paper
and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. For longer storage, wrap the
logs a second time in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Place an oven rack on the middle shelf of the oven. Heat the oven to 325 degrees
F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a long, sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and place
them on the prepared pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies
are a pale, golden brown but the centers of the cookies are still very pale.
the cookies from the baking sheet with a large metal spatula and let cool completely
on a wire rack.
Store sables in a tightly covered container for 2 to 3 days.
Makes about 2 dozen.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Sables: Follow the recipe for Vanilla Sables, using 1 3/4
cups flour and 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder instead of 2 cups
flour. Fold 1 cup whole skinned toasted hazelnuts into the dough. Chill, slice,
and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are firm and have a dull rather
than shiny appearance.
Dried Apricot and Candied-Almond Sables: Follow the recipe for Vanilla Sables,
but use only 1/2 cup superfine sugar. Gently knead 1/2 cup crushed praline and 1
cup diced dried apricots into the dough before chilling, slicing, and baking.
Pistachio-Orange Sables: Follow the recipe for Vanilla Sables, adding the grated
zest of 2 oranges with the egg and substituting 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier and 1
teaspoon pure orange extract for the vanilla extract. Fold 1 cup skinned toasted
pistachios into the dough before chilling, slicing, and baking.
Posted by kdipaolo at Recipe Goldmine 6/11/01 2:44:01 pm.