I had the privilege of meeting Dorie Greenspan, baker extraordinaire and cookbook author. She has published many beautiful cookbooks, but Dorie’s Cookies is a wonderful gift for any baker. At a recent book signing event, the discussion about her food journey was heartfelt, warm and funny. Listening to her speak about making cookies, reminded me how much I enjoy baking during the holidays.
Sables are French butter cookies and they’re a perfect holiday gift or treat. The smooth, deep minty flavor comes from either pure peppermint extract or peppermint oil. Extract is easier to find and more shelf stable. The mint pairs perfectly with the cocoa powder and dark chocolate. Dorie makes some of her cookies using 2-inch baking rings. The metal rings are used to make the cookies uniform in size. Baking the cookie dough in muffin tins, helps keep the shape of the cookies as well. If you’re interested in trying the rings, they are available at many kitchenware stores or on-line. Happy baking!
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a small bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars and salt together on medium speed. You can use a hand-mixer as well. Beat mixture for about 3 minutes until smooth. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for another couple of minutes and then stir in the peppermint extract. With the mixer turned off add the dry ingredients and then start the mixer again on a low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Blend in the chopped chocolate by hand with a spatula.
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. Place each half between two pieces of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough into a disk that is 1/4 inch thick. (The dough sits between the pieces of parchment paper while you're rolling it to prevent sticking.) Once both pieces are rolled out, refrigerate the dough still sandwiched between the parchment paper, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking pads. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter or baking ring, cut the dough into rounds. Keep the dough you’re not cutting in the refrigerator. Save the scraps and re-roll them together to make more cookies. Place the cookies on the baking sheet. (If using the baking rings, bake the dough in the rings, placed on the baking sheet. Leave the cookies to cool in the rings for at least 20 minutes.) Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes or until they’re firm to the touch. Let them cool for a few minutes and move the cookies to a cooling rack.
The dough can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days or wrapped tightly and frozen up to 2 months. Once baked, the cookies will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 2 months.