- 150g salted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoons flaky or grainy sea salt (Sel de Guérande or Maldon or similar)
- 5 egg yolk
- 200g sugar
- 100g almond powder
- 150g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of water
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attached, cream the butter with the sea salt for a minute or two.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the sugar until fluffy, then add to the creamed butter.
Mix the flour, almond powder and baking powder in a bowl and add to the egg mix. Stir in until just incorporated. Do not over mix, or your sablés will not be crumbly.
Cut two long pieces of parchment paper to roll the dough in between. Well, roll is saying a bit much. I found my self using the rolling pin to squeeze the dough into shape. Which was actually easier than to roll it. Try to get it as even as possible, about ½cm thickness or thinner, if you like. Now comes the difficult part. You need a flat space in your chiller that is big enough to accommodate the whole dough. If that is impossible, just cut it in two. Or three.
Mix the egg with the tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Now you have to move fast, unless you have very good air-conditioning, because your dough will start to soften and become impossible to handle, so: Remove the dough from the chiller, gently peel off the top sheet of parchment and brush the egg wash on liberally. If you don’t have a brush, just use a piece of paper towel that you have rolled up. Toilet paper, although you may have a surplus of it, is not suitable as it disintegrates into shreds and adds nothing at all to the flavour.
You have a few options on how to proceed from here. One is easy, gives the best results and the most even cookies, but wastes a fair amount of dough. The other one allows you to knead the leftover dough back together and roll it one more time. So the choice is yours:
Using a fork, score the egg washed dough deeply in a diagonally, then repeat across the pattern flat off the perpendicular, if that makes any sense. Quickly return to the chiller uncovered while you heat the oven to 180ºC. You may have noticed that I haven’t asked you to cut the cookies out. That’s because you shouldn’t. Once the oven is heated up, put the whole sheet of dough into a lower rack and bake until nice and golden.
Take it out and immediately and gently cut with a cookie cutter into whatever size you fancy. If they seem a little soft underneath, return them upside down to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Using a fork, score the egg washed dough deeply in a diagonally, then repeat across the pattern flat off the perpendicular, if that makes any more sense than before. Cut your cookies out with your dedicated cookie cutter. Then you put your dough into the freezer (yes, freezer, not chiller!) and leave it there for an hour. Heat your oven to 180ºC. Take out your cookies, peel them off the parchment and place them on a baking tray. Bake. Knead the leftover dough together quickly and repeat.
I actually added 1 teaspoon of salt and although I liked the result, I am a little worried for my blood pressure, so I reduced it in this recipe to half. You could leave the salt out altogether and still get a great biscuit, as long as you use a good salted butter.