Hello, stranger! It’s been a mighty long time. I sort of checked out a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to get much done around here. I am still without a Christmas list because I’m having a serious aversion to shopping this year. And I’ve yet to mail a single holiday card. Uh-oh.
The good news is I’m actually really enjoying this holiday season. I took part in my very first cookie swap earlier this month, which was super fun (and left me with a major sugar hangover). My vintage Christmas trees have gone up at home and at work, and my collection of little Christmas elves is on display. There’s also this playlist I created for Little Magazine. If you need some muzac to get yourself into the holiday spirit, this is for you. There’s also this gem from a few years back.
You might’ve noticed this little guy in the green suit that makes his appearance every December. He’s my fave. Something about his expression reminds me of the Mona Lisa – a little mysterious, a little bit naughty. He loves delicious sweet treats, especially cookies.
I made these chocolate sables for the cookie swap I mentioned earlier. These are Dorie Greenspan’s famous “world peace” cookies. They’ve been on my to-do list for a while. I had the most insane chocolate shortbread cookie at a party a few months back and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so I figured now was a good time to bust these out. I love chocolate sables because they’re so unassuming. But it only takes one bite to realize you’ve hit the cookie jackpot – buttery, crumbly, and oh-so-chocolatey. Because it’s the holidays (and because I love me some bling), I thought it would be fun to add a little gold sparkle to these. How could anyone possibly say no to a gold-encrusted cookie? ‘Tis the season…
black ‘n gold chocolate sables
makes about 3 dozen cookies
adapted just slightly from Dorie Greenspan via The New York Times Style Magazine
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chip-size bits
1 egg yolk
gold sanding sugar
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy. Add the sugars, salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 1 or 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated (the dough may look crumbly). For the best texture, work the dough as little as possible. Toss in the chocolate; mix to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface, divide in half and, working with one half at a time, shape the dough into a log that is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. (As you’re shaping the log, flatten it once or twice and roll it up from one long side to the other, to make certain you haven’t got an air channel.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 1 hour. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)
Center a rack in the oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk egg yolk in a small bowl to loosen; lightly brush all over 1 log. Sprinkle with (or roll in) sanding sugar. Repeat with the second log.
Working with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice rounds 1/2-inch thick. (If the cookies break, squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie.) Place the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving an inch of space between them. Bake only 1 sheet at a time and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. (The cookies will not look done nor will they be firm, but that is the way they should be.) Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest, on the sheet, until they are only just warm. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.