This past month I started a new job, my husband and I purchased a new house (with a mid-January move-in date), and, oh yes, the holidays are here. My to-do list looks a lot like Jack Kerouac’s manuscript for On the Road. (How he managed to write that entire novel in 20 days and on a single, 120-foot long scroll, I’ll never know. Well, I do know. Unwholesome doses of coffee and amphetamines. Maybe he was on to something there….)
In any event, time is tight. Happily, these sable cookies have few ingredients and a simple set of directions. Cream the butter… add sugar, flour, eggs, and salt… chill the dough… bake. We were attending a potluck dinner this weekend and I needed to bring something, so, as one of my new colleagues likes to say, I decided to “re-purpose” these cookies.
And yet, when they came out of the oven — rich, buttery, and edged with festive sparkly sugar — they somehow didn’t feel like a potluck kind of dessert. They’re lightly crisp and crumbly, mellow, perfect for an afternoon tea. But this hungry crowd of six adults and five children would need something more substantial. I thought about filling each cookie with Nutella or raspberry jam, to give them a little more oomph; but when I tried to pry loose the cookies I baked on a plain tray, without a silpat, they started to break into shards and crumbles. In my haste to get them all baked at once, instead of one batch at a time (as Dorie specifies), I effectively dashed any hope of bringing them to the potluck.
So I made a batch of my favorite Baked brownies. My friend’s son, mid-way through his brownie, announced: “These brownies are better than Halloween candy!” The sables are way better than Halloween candy, too. And my haste certainly didn’t make waste. We’ve eaten them happily, both plain and filled with jam, all weekend long. Which is a good thing, because we need extra fortification to face that task list.
Thanks to Barbara of Bungalow Barbara for selecting these simple, elegant, snackable sable cookies. You can find the recipe on her site or on pp. 131-133 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.