Friday, October 7, 2011

Lavender Sea Salt Sables

It's a little ironic, as someone who posts recipes on the internet, that I am afraid of internet recipes. What bugs me about all recipes and and all that? They're not really tested, and half of the comments are "I made this, it was awesome, here are the three hundred things I changed about it" and I just can't get on board with that.

I want to know that someone somewhere measured and timed and sliced and baked more than once and got the same result. I want to see a publishing house behind the book. I've been burned before by the hard bound variety (I'm looking at you, booze cakes), but not as often as by the internet. I want to know that what I'm investing my organic sugar and butter in (and time!) is going to turn out GOOD.

This is probably why my sister and I have about two drafts for every one post. The recipes that we forget about or aren't so enthusiastic about posting are forgotten, left lingering in the purgatory of blogger. You aren't missing those, internet friends.

I went to my cookbook on the internet, Smitten Kitchen. Deb at Smitten Kitchen has always been good to me. Searching through her cookie recipes I found one that didn't require any fancy ingredients or equipment (I've been living with boys who don't cook. Even a lime is hard to find around here, forget about a zester).

These are super simple and delicious. They're like the danish ones in the blue tin, stacked neatly in the white paper. Only you don't have to wait until Christmas, and they're all gone before they get stale.

I added the lavender and sea salt to satisfy a craving. I actually tried no fewer than three variations on lavender before I got it right. It became my white whale, getting them right.  The secret is to use food grade lavender, not the kind from the supplements department, and really crush it up with the salt (I used the tiniest mortar and pestle ever). The lavender is actually really nice and doesn't taste a thing like soap, but if it's not your thing that's cool too.  I'm not offended if you don't like them, more for me! I ate three of them for dinner last night (and some ice cream for a well balanced meal).

These are really nice and really simple.

Sables from Smitten Kitchen via Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets who adapted from Boulangerie Poilane. Confused yet?

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3/4 teaspoon food grade lavender flowers

1. Using a mortar and pestle, combine the salt and lavender. Mix them till  you are sick of it, this will take about a minute. I whisked this mixture into the flour.

2. pulse the butter in your food processor until smooth. Add the sugar and pulse until blended. Next, add the egg (don't forget this, not that I have ever done it, but it will be much better with the egg) and pulse until it is smooth and satiny. Add the flour mixture, pulse 10-15 times until it is just combined. Divide the dough into two equal portions, roll into logs, and refrigerate 4 hours or as long as you can stand to wait, up to 4 days.

3. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the logs 1/8-1/4" thick discs and place about 1-2" apart on the sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned on top. They are so good and crumbly if you can let them cool before eating. I understand that is nearly impossible, but in case you have self control it is totally worth it.
The first one always burns.

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