Dorie Greenspan had a recipe for sablés in Bon Appetit a few years ago and I went gaga over it. I don't remember the exact recipe, but it had almost nothing in it: butter, sugar, and salt. Oh, I'm sure it had flour and eggs and maybe a few other ingredients, but the flavor was so pure and clean and gently sweet I wondered why I had, until that very moment, felt the need to put chocolate chips in all my cookies.
So when you all selected Heather's Orange-Sablé Ginger Cookies as a finalist in this cookie swap, I was pretty excited. In fact, I almost made them first because I thought I had all the ingredients, but then I came to "pure orange extract" and uttered inappropriate words. The cookies would have to wait.
(Turns out Safeway had the extract. On sale, too.)
I'll also take this moment to officially proclaim that I'll be announcing both the Grand Prize winner and raffle winner tomorrow. (Feel free to try to influence me based on my posts from the last several days.) Then I'll go on a sugar detox diet for at least 24 hours. After that, we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming, which will include things other than recipes, and recipes for things other than cookies.
Recipe for Heather's Orange-Sablé Ginger Cookies
From CSR: As always, I'm printing Heather's recipe verbatim below. My notes: 1) Keep in mind that the dough has to chill in the fridge for 3 hours before you bake the cookies. 2) The recipe calls for "finely chopped crystallized ginger." I'd revise that to say very finely chopped crystallized ginger, if only because the orange flavor is so subtle and the ginger flavor so powerful that the latter will overwhelm the former if your chunks are too large. (And don't even think about using a food processor on the ginger. I made that mistake with a small portion and it gummed right up into a solid ball. Practice those knife skills and aim for tiny dice.) 3) I'd also recommend flouring your hands before patting out the dough and using the parchment to your full advantage.
From Heather: This is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe from years ago.
1 ¼ c. whole blanched almonds
1 c. powdered sugar
¾ c. (1 ½ sticks) butter
3 T. finely grated orange zest
1 large egg
1 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
1t. pure orange extract
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
6 ounces finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Place almonds and sugar into food processor and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Set aside.
- Put butter and zest into mixer with paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy – 2-3 minutes.
- On low, add almond/sugar mixture; beat until combined, 10 to 15 seconds.
- Add egg and orange juice, and extract; combine.
- Add flour; combine.
- Place 2 12 x 16” pieces of parchment on work surface. Divide dough in half and form each into a rough log over the parchment.
- Fold parchment over dough, roll and press into a 1 ½’ cylinder.
- Wrap and chill at least 3 hours.
- Heat oven to 350.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Spread ginger on work surface, unwrap dough and roll over the ginger to coat.
- Cut logs into ¼” rounds, place on baking sheets, spaced 2” apart.
- Bake until edges turn slightly golden brown, about 11 minutes.
- Transfer to wire rack and let cool.