One last Christmas cookie post before the big day!
There are only 4 1/2 days till Christmas! How exciting! My baby’s first Christmas…..we absolutely CANNOT wait! I know she probably won’t have a clue what’s going on, but Mommy and Daddy will be brimming with excitement to witness our baby girl opening presents under the Christmas tree!
Anyway, I just had to post one more cookie recipe before I take off for the holiday fun. And let me tell you, this one is a KEEPER! Crisp, crumbly, buttery shortbread flecked with bright, citrusy orange peel, then dipped in luxurious dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. OMG so amazingly good! (P.S. sable is the french word for shortbread). If you still have parties to go to, or perhaps want to leave Santa something a little more special this year, by all means, this cookie is for you!
Chocolate-Dipped Orange Sables
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 2 large oranges
2 cups melted dark chocolate, for dipping (you can use chips, or chop your own)
Working in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy. Add the sugar, salt, and orange zest and continue to beat until smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the egg yolks and almond extract, again beating until well blended.
Turn off the mixer, pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the mixer and pulse the mixer about 5 times at low speed for 1 or 2 seconds each time. Take a peek; if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, stir for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. If you still have some flour on the bottom of the bowl, stop mixing and use a rubber spatula to work the rest of it into the dough. (The dough will not come together in a ball — and it shouldn’t. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you’re aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy dough. When pinched, it should feel a little like Play-Doh.)
Scrape the dough onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long (it’s easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log). Wrap the logs well and chill them for at least 2 hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Trim the ends of the roll if they are ragged and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies.
Place the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each cookie, and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a cooling rack with a wide metal spatula. Repeat with the remaining log of dough. (Make sure the sheet is cool before baking each batch.)
When the cookies are cool, dip each cookie (I like to just dip half of the cookie since white chocolate can be a bit rich) in the melted chocolate and place on wax paper. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt. Makes about 50 cookies.
Recipe source: sable recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan; the orange-chocolate idea is a Sing For Your Supper original