Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lemon Sablés

In case you couldn't tell by my last post, I needed a few days to recover from the excitement of the brunch.
After all the planning and baking and hosting of party guests and house guests alike, I needed a little time to unwind and get my thoughts (and my tiny house) back in order.
Not to mention, things are unusually chaotic at work because we are moving to a new office on Monday.  So we've been cleaning and packing and sorting through old paperwork, and we all ventured to the new office to scope out our new workspaces.
Which, for me only, will be not 15 feet from the men's toilet.
Yes, that's right - the actual porcelain fixture is only that far from my desk. I have not the protection of even a stall nor a cubicle wall to shield me from the smells and sounds I can only imagine will be emerging from that dreadful room.
Naturally, I asked if something could be done, but it seems my fate is sealed. 
So I will look on the bright side. 
My desk is not in the men's bathroom.
And ... I have another brunch dessert recipe to share with you that turned out fabulously.
I actually first heard of sablés (pronounced "sah-BLEHs") in Home Ec back in high school - in case you're not familiar, they are just French butter cookies. 

But in Home Ec, I seem to remember making both a chocolate and vanilla dough and forming them into checkerboards that looked something like this:

Copyright 2008

I also remember them being very boring and waaaay more trouble than they were worth, thus vowing never to make a sablé again for the rest of my days. 

However, this recipe intrigued me and I decided to give them another shot.  I'm happy to report that, with the addition of lemon and coarse sugar, these are not boring at all.  And in comparison to crafting checkboards out of dough, this recipe was a breeze.  (Chilling the dough logs and rolling them in sugar is well worth the extra effort when you see how beautiful and buttery and delicious these will turn out.)

Which says a lot coming from me, because I'm usually not a fruity-dessert kinda gal.  Mr. V liked them too!

So... let's all just be happy that our desks are not in the men's bathroom, and indulge on some lemon sah-BLEHs.

Lemon Sablés

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sanding sugar or other coarse decorative sugar
Mix the sugars in a small bowl and add the lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant with lemon with the bits of zest evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it is soft and creamy-looking. Beat in the lemon sugar just until the mixture looks smooth again, being careful not to let it get fluffy.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat in just two of the egg yolks, mixing until well-blended.  Turn the mixer to low and stir in the flour until it is fully incorporated. The dough will be very soft and not quite clear the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide it in half.

Shape each dough half into a even log about nine inches long and wrap each log in a sheet of plastic wrap (the plastic wrap can also help the dough-shaping process along if your dough is especially soft and sticky). Refrigerate for at least three hours or up to a few days if making ahead.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using a pastry brush, coat each log of dough with the remaining egg yolk, and coat liberally in decorative sugar.
Slice each log into 24 discs (most easily achieved by slicing the log in half, then each half in half, etc.) and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown and the cookies are mostly firm to the touch.  (Keep an eye on these from about 12 minutes on, as they can go from raw-looking to very crispy in a short period of time!)  Cool on the baking sheets for one minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Recipe Adapted from Piece of Cake blog


  1. These cookies are amazing!! Hard to eat just one or two!!! Thanks for the recipe and your wonderful writing!! Love you, Aunt Jody xoxo

  2. So sorr about your desk ! I think you'll need to bring in fresh flowers to help with the location.

  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog (and entering the giveaway!). Your cookies sound great- I want to make them too! There are so many lemon recipes that I want to try. . .!
    I only got the last 8 Meyer Lemons off of my neighbor's tree this year so I bought some at the store yesterday too! I need to replentish my juice and zest reserves in my freezer!

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  5. This article is very informative and intersting,Thanks for sharing such an informative article with us.
    keep updating.....
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