My dear non-French people,
Forget about cookies. They are so American !
And actually, French people are better at making them…
Oui oui, it’s true ! That was basically the point of a very popular ad when I was a kid.
This poor American girl was calling her parents to tell them the cookies she was eating in France were almost as good as her mom’s…
We loved the idea so much that we would always repeat the last sentence “Poor Kate, alone in France!“…
Now that I live in LA, I am sometimes that homesick girl who calls her parents, and misses her mom’s cookies…
Or actually, my fiancé is.
He’s French too, and very infatuated to his mom’s sablés.
My mother in law, Géraldine, has this tradition of baking plenty of them at Christmas time, that she likes to hang on the Christmas tree as a great eadable ornament.
I’m sorry to say so, but they are actually very good.
We always go back to the US with a suitcase full of them, and Olivier (le fiancé) says he needs them to write.
So what am I going to do? Tell him that he has to wait until next Christmas and his mom’s sablés to write the next worldwide best-seller?
As a French and perfect woman, I’m to venal for that : I decided to make my own batch.
Les Sablés d’Olivier
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
4,4 ounces butter
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon Sal de Ibiza or coarse salt (you can use Kosher salt, but I like better gros sel, bigger grains) and orange blossom water/ vanilla extract
Sablés are very easy to make, but then I had a hard comparison to overcome…
How to make them even better than a man’s maman ?
And then I discovered salt.
This one is kind of special : my friend Vanessa gave it to me for my birthday. Direct from Ibiza, mixed with dried hibiscus flowers. It’s a hipster salt ! I really didn’t know what to do with it, until I saw it while trying to make the French and perfect sablés that could blow my man’s head and palate…
I just sprinkled some at the last minute on the cut cookies just before sliding them in the oven.. and…. It worked!
- Preheat the oven at 350°F
- Whisk the egg
- Add the sugar and a pinch of salt
- Add the flour
- (if you don’t have Ibiza Salt, that’s when you add vanilla exctract or blossom orange water)
- Mix it with a spatula, and then “sand it”
Sablés are called like that because of the way you work the dough…. You “sand” it, pinch the dough with your fingers, as you would crumble sand on the beach.
- Spread the dough
- Cut it into French and perfect shapes
- Put on a baking sheet
- Sprinkle with Sal de Ibiza con hibiscus
- Slide into the oven for 8-9 minutes (they have to brown slightly)
Et voilà !
I’m told that they are actually fabuleux. Not as good as maman’s of course, but very different (and very good). So I guess that’s where the lesson of life comes : never try to outpass his mum, just do a little bit different. Make it yours, quoi !
You can store the sablés in a tin box for around two weeks.
And the recipe is also valid for pâte sablée, a sweet dough, perfect for fruit pies.
Bon appétit les amis !