Pretty much always, I’m in this for the butter, especially where sweets are concerned. And, if you’ve read Brooklyn Supper for any amount of time, you have probably divined that I’m obsessed with citrus, and that zest of some fruit or another finds its way into almost all of my recipes. So for a recent cookie exchange hosted by Bloggers Without Borders, I did what came naturally to me and made these buttery, zesty sablés.
With a light and incredibly buttery crumb, sablés (so named because of their sandy texture) are less gooey than sugar cookies and softer than shortbread. Here, they’re imbued with the distinct fragrance of satsuma oranges, and just a little tang from a few cranberries. The edges glitter with zest and cranberry-flecked sugar, making them an irresistible holiday bite ready to disappear from any party table.
And the cookie swap? Hosted by Bloggers Without Borders at Hill Country Barbecue, the proceeds from the delicious event went to WhyHunger, an organization based in New York, but dedicated to practical, empowering, community-based solutions to hunger and poverty across the US and worldwide. As you’re considering end-of-the-year charitable donations, I highly recommend this effective non-profit; learn more about WhyHunger here.
A note on the recipe: Satsumas are a citrus variety widely available right now. They’re a fragile fruit, with intense fragrance and delicate, delicious flesh. Whether for cookies, or a simple salad, try to get your hands on some before the season ends.
for the dough
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used Turbinado, which made for distinct grains of sugar within the cookie)
2 tablespoons satsuma orange zest
3 cranberries, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 egg yolks, room temperature
for the rolling sugar
1/3 cup large-grain Turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons satsuma orange zest
3 whole cranberries, grated
Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a regular mixer, beat the room temperature butter on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar, beat for a minute, add the granulated sugar, and beat until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Stop and scrape the sides down as needed.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Next, add the sea salt, zest, and grated cranberry.
Finally, add the flour in three batches, scraping the sides as needed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide into two. Roll each section into a long 2 inch-thick log. Wrap in parchment, tie the ends, and chill for an hour or more.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly mix the rolling sugar ingredients in a small bowl, and spread the sugar into a rectangle on a large board. Remove the dough roll from the fridge, unwrap, and slowly press and roll into the sugar mixture until the roll is well coated.
Slice the dough roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place each one on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, an inch or so apart.
Bake cookies for 10 – 12 minutes, or until they are set, but still pale. Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies will keep nicely in a sealed container for a few days, or longer if frozen, but they at their very best day-of.