I was your typical little girl growing up in that I loved playing dress up. I used to have a cigar box full of cheap costume jewelry and several old dresses donated from my mother’s closet. My favorite piece of clothing was an old beige silk nightgown. The material and the lacy detailing around the edges made it more than just a nightgown. In the eyes of a little girl, it was an evening gown.
I had a child-sized table and chairs in my room that I liked to use to throw “tea” parties. A doll’s blanket served as the tablecloth, the fine china was actually plastic cups and saucers, the guests were usually a select few stuffed animals and dolls that were my favorites at the moment, and the tea was make believe.
Now that I’m a grown up, I have to admit I don’t find too many excuses to dress up in an evening gown and host a tea party. But should the occasion ever arise, I will serve these cookies. They get their name from the French word for sand which refers to their crumbly texture. They are light, buttery, and very elegant.
Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies
- 2 soft, plump vanilla beans
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/3 ounces (1/3 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg yolks
- 9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sanding sugar, white or colored
- Cut each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the edge of a spoon, gently scrape out the pulp.
- In a small bowl, whisk together vanilla pulp and sugar. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add the salt, vanilla sugar, and confectioners’ sugar and mix for an additional minute until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add 1 egg yolk and mix on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer still running, gradually add the flour until just combined. Dough will be soft and crumbly.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface and knead gently just until dough begins to come together. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a 9-inch log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
- Sprinkle sanding sugar onto a piece of waxed paper. In a small bowl, gently beat the egg yolk. Unwrap the cookies. Brush outside of log with the egg wash then roll in the sugar until well-coated. Cut log into ½-inch thick rounds. Place them on a baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
- Bake the cookies, for 18-22 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Let cool for five mintues before moving to a cooling rack to cool. For the best texutres, allow cookies to cool completely before eating.