Nonetheless, come Christmas time, I start the search for the perfect cookies to give as small gifts. For many years now, I test various recipes from different sources, add some of my staples and create a whole new cookie experience for my recipients. The only common denominator is that they must be “adult cookies”.
Most of the cookies that make the final cut are probably not children friendly: the chocolate might be very dark, the spices a little out there or, simply, not particularly sweet.
This year, I am focussing on a black olive cookie I discovered in a Joan Nathan’s book and that I fell in love with – and I don’t even care for olives. I am toying with a spicy ginger molasses and chocolate variation and I have definitely landed on an extremely adult chocolate espresso sable I could eat all day long. So much for not liking cookies.
Sable is the French version of shortbread: made with butter, sugar and flour, it has a bit of a sandy texture (hence, sable). It’s good on any day, just plain vanilla but this Dorie Greenspan’s variation with dark chocolate and espresso is the ultimate indulgence.
3/4 T instant espresso
4 oz butter, room temperature (113 g)
1/3 C powder sugar (40 g)
Pinch of salt
1/2 ts vanilla extract
1 C AP flour (135 g)
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut in small pieces (55 g)
- Dissolve the espresso in 1/2T of boiling water. Set aside.
- Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar and salt, until well blended.
- Turn off the mixer and dump in all the flour. Slowly restart the mixer and mix just until barely combined – the secret to most cookies is to never overbeat the dough or you will end up with a tough cookie. Add the chocolate and give the dough a whirl.
- Use a spatula to make sure all ingredients are perfectly combined and remove the dough from the mixer. Form it into a ball and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll to about 1/4″ thickness. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, until very firm. You can also roll the dough into a log.
- When ready to bake – and here comes in Dorie Greenspan’s genius – butter or spray a muffin tin (if you rolled the dough in a log simply slice and bake – the shape won’t hold as well as if you bake the cookies in a muffin tin). Use a round cookie cutter slightly smaller than the muffin tin (the dough will spread) and cut enough circles to fill the tin.
- Bake at 325F/170C for about 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cookies from the tin. Baked cookies can be stored in air-tight container for 5 days or frozen for two months (dough can also be frozen or kept in the fridge for a few days).