Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lemon Butter Cookies

Cookies don't get simpler or more satisfying than sablés, the basic butter cookie of France. Despite their small appearance, these are highly addictive and incredibly flavorful (mainly butter-flavored). This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook 'Paris Sweets', which means it is adapted from a famous pâtisserie in Paris. This particular recipe stems from long-time favorite pâtisserie Lerch. Monsieur Lerch is, like me, an avid cookie-lover. If you're looking for pâtisserie Lerch in Paris nowadays, you will not find it; Monsieur Lerch recently retired after 40 years of creating delicious delicacies. Rating: 4- out of 5.

Lemon Butter Cookies recipe: Dorie Greenspan - Paris Sweets, adapted from Pâtisserie Lerch

Ingredients: Makes about 50
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (8 ounces; 230 grams)
- ⅔ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted (70 grams)
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- grated zest of 1 to 1½ lemons
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 grams)
- approximately ½ cup sugar, for coating (100 grams)

Instructions:
- Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, vanilla, and grated lemon zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn't fully incorporated, that's OK—just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1¼ inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Spread the sugar out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about ¼ inch (7 mm) thick. (You can make these thicker if you'd like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about ½ inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It's fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Note: There are just two things you must remember when you make these sablés, tips M. Lerch passed along to me. First, be gentle when you mix in the flour. Tender cookies depend on a tender touch, so you don't want to rough up the flour and activate the gluten. Second, give the logs of dough a nice long rest in the refrigerator. Refrigerating the dough relaxes the gluten and also helps the cookies hold their shape during slicing and baking.








This recipe makes about 50 sablés. Not a very wise amount
if you're like me and go for seconds, thirds, fourths ...


and fifths ...

19 comments:

Miss Sandra said...

Oh dear..I'm going to have to make these. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing!
Sandra

Alyse said...

These sables look light and lovely for summer.

WizzyTheStick said...

Such delicious little cookies.

rookie baker said...

hmmm i like everything lemon although i made the lime version of these cookies

ABowlOfMush said...

looks like the most perfect cookies!
I'm such a big fan of lemon cookies like this!

Poppies and Sunshine said...

Mmm my mouth is watering now! These look amazing!!

Chele said...

I have that cookbook too and have often 'lusted' after these cookies from the description alone! They look so tasty and melt in the mouth.

Christiana said...

Wonderful blog!! I think we have the same taste in pastries and dessert!! I am now a follower :)

http://petittreat.blogspot.com/

Cristina - TeenieCakes said...

What a beautiful blog! These lemon butter cookies look so good! Perfect w/my coffee or tea. Looking forward to trying them.

Natalie... said...

oooh wow sliced cookies :) these look delicious, lemon is so refreshing as well :D yumm!

Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition said...

Oh goodness, these look yummy! How perfect would they be with a cup of tea in the afternoon?!

Yum.

Lucie said...

Sables + addiction = me. Add some lemon and I'll be an addict for life. Oh well!

Eliana said...

Perfect and beautiful looking cookies.

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

Yes, something new to bake for The Captain on the boat.

I have to get Paris Pastry on my sidebar somehow, you have already seen your Fashion Diva button right?
Did you like it?

These sound divine, I think I'll do a pratice run for some friends this weekend. It's so hot hear I get up at like 3am on Sunday morning, bake something delicious because the oven isn't quite so horribly hot then, and then I go back to bed in the heat of day, get up at dark and bake again.
This is my Friday favorite recipe!
Kudos my friend, here comes some linky love.

Giovanna Dakouri said...

Just made a batch of these, they are pretty good! They crumble perfectly but I'd really like them a bit more "lemony" so any ideas how to up the lemon without losing balance of taste?

Paris Pastry said...

@Giovanna: Glad you enjoyed them! I would suggest adding more lemon zest to the dough for a more lemon flavor.

Tom said...

Wish I could grab a few of these sables off my monitor looks real yummy Dolce..BTW: If you really want to kick up the lemon strength more as some lemons are not very strong so I usually add extra zest and a teaspoon or so of lemon oil or extract along with my vanilla to kick mine up a notch.

Giovanna Dakouri said...

I'm thinking of adding english lemon curd, as the lemon zest can turn the batter quite bitter if one is not careful. We'll see how it goes!

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Can't wait to try these!

Carmen