For my third bake towards the family picnic I never went on last week I chose to make some Vanilla Sables. Vanilla Sables are the French equivalent of shortbread biscuits and I’ve seen them when I have been on holiday in France, especially in the Normandy and Brittany regions. I’ve seen them called Sables Au Beurre too. Unfortunately there is meant to be an acute accent above the “e” in the word “sable” but I still don’t know how to add different languages and characters on my laptop. I can do it on my phone as I have the French keyboard installed but not on the computer. I still struggle to write my posts on my WordPress App so one of these days I might actually learn how to do it.
The recipe introduction in The Great British Bake Off Everyday book states that sables are “very rich, crisp, sandy textured biscuits”. That’s probably where they get their name from then as sable is the French word for sand if I can remember rightly from my A Level French days.
I made up the cookie dough quickly in my food processor by adding flour, salt and icing sugar to the bowl and then adding cubes of butter through the funnel bit by bit. This was blitzed together until I was left with the sandy like texture. Once this was done I added the yolks of three eggs bit by bit through the funnel until the dough formed into a large ball.
The dough was chilled for half an hour wrapped in cling film in the fridge so that the dough would be easier to roll out.
After 1/2 hour out came the dough again and it was then rolled out on my floured work top to the thickness of a pound coin. I then cut rounds out with a fluted circular biscuit cutter.
Before baking, the biscuit rounds needed to be brushed with beaten egg. Once this is done, they are then scored with the side of a knife in the traditional lattice pattern. Then there is another layer of beaten egg to glaze on the top. This gives the sables their distinctive appearance.
Although these were meant for the family picnic, once my family had seen them, that was it! The biscuits vanished!
Love Sam xx