Saturday, August 3, 2013

bake like you mean it...

What's not to love here?

I know I say this a lot with Baker Beth's creations, but seriously.

Enjoy the Italian, Summery goodness and pretend you're hanging out 
with George Clooney and his boys at Lake Como.

Tutti a tavola a mangiare!

There was a time, shortly after I started creating these posts for Angelo, that I had to purposefully not base every creation on shortbread. 

Today, I have to purposefully not base every creation on sablés.


I made a sablé last month, I know, but as I was mulling this idea, my mind kept coming back to the texture of these sandy little gems.

In my notes, I wrote: "What if every cookie I do from here on out is a variation on a sablé? I won’t really do that. But it’s kind of a cute idea."

Then again, I just may. Maybe my someday bakery will be entirely sablé-based. Time will tell.

But in the meantime, this post is the basis for August's simple treat. Because espresso and cream are a delight in any combination.

And because odds are very good that Angelo already has a can of whipped cream on hand.

The limoncello is optional, of course. But if you have it in the fridge, it's a lovely accompaniment. 

Enjoy the waning days of summer, kids. I am eagerly awaiting fall!
— Beth

Small Espresso Sablés with Whipped Cream and Limoncello
(Modified from From Cook's Illustrated, November & December 2008)

1 large egg
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus
1 tablespoon (2 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coffee extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (7-ish ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water Turbinado sugar
1 can whipped cream (I use Redi-Whip Heavy Whatever It's Called; yes, you can whip your own cream, but this is easier, more fun, and I like the ruffliness.)

Place egg in small saucepan, cover with 1 inch water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill small bowl with ice water. Using slotted spoon, transfer egg to ice water and let stand 5 minutes. Crack egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white; discard white. Press yolk through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with rubber spatula as needed. Turn mixer to low, add the coffee and vanilla extracts, and mix until incorporated. Stop mixer; add flour and espresso powder and mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, press dough into cohesive mass.

Divide dough into fourths; roll each piece into log about 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Wrap each log in 12-inch square of waxed paper and twist ends to seal and firmly compact the dough into tight cylinder. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using chef's knife, slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rotating dough so that it won't become misshapen from the weight of the knife. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Using pastry brush, gently brush cookies with egg-white mixture. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. 

Bake until centers of cookies are pale golden brown with edges slightly darker than centers, about 12-14 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Serve with whipped cream and small glasses of limoncello. (Yes, you can skip the limoncello, but why would you want to?)

One year ago: Almond Graham Biscotti with Hot Fudge and Marshmallow Fluff

Two years ago: Drumstick Cookies


dstoutholcomb said...

you are the Queen of Sables!

Beth said...

I love that they've become my "signature" cookie.

I made my first sablé for this blog, a little more than two years ago. Talk about connecting with something.

Good things happen when you know Angelo! He's like magic!

angelo said...

Little known fact---"Magic Mike" was NOT the original title to that movie. Carry On...

Beth said...


Well played, Angelo! Well played!

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