Cook the Book: Chocolate Sabl\u00e9s

This week, in honor of Valentine's Day, we've put together a list of our favorite books on chocolate, with one Cook the Book recipe a day coming from each volume. And the next book in our "Chocolate Lover's Library" is Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow, the proprietor of Fran's Chocolates. In this, her debut book, Bigelow reveals the techniques behind her creations, with additional info on worldwide chocolate-making methods and a guide to deciphering chocolate labels.

The chocolate sablés that follow are classic refrigerator butter cookies that should bake up slightly crisp but with a soft interior. The roll freezes well, so you can tuck one away for a rainy day.

Win the Serious Eats Chocolate Library

We're giving away five (5) sets of the Chocolate Lover's Library--one each day this week. So you can win Pure Chocolate, along with four other fantastic chocolate books (to be revealed as the week progresses) by answering the following question in the comments:

What is your favorite chocolate recipe?

One (1) winner will be chosen at random from among the comments of this post. Comments will be open until 6 p.m. ET February 13. Feel free to enter every day, but you may win only once during the lifetime of the contest as a whole. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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Cook the Book: Chocolate Sablés

About This Recipe

Yield:60 to 75 cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted then measured
  • 1 cup potato starch flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup crystal sugar, for decorating

Procedures

  1. 1

    In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate. When chocolate is nearly melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool; return to double boiler only briefly if chocolate begins to set up.

  2. 2

    In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and pale. Add the sugar; continue beating, scraping down bowl sides often, until mixture is completely smooth, 3 to 5 minutes total. Beat in the egg and vanilla until blended.

  3. 3

    Pour in melted chocolate; mix at medium-low speed just until blended, scraping down bowl sides several times.

  4. 4

    In another bowl, with a fork, mix together the cake flour, potato flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture; mix at low speed until just blended. Try not to overmix.

  5. 5

    Put the bowl of dough in refrigerator; chill for 10 to 20 minutes—until firm enough to handle but not too stiff.

  6. 6

    Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. By hand, press dough into a log about 15 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. (If dough is too tacky, loosely wrap in sheet of plastic wrap to form roll.)

  7. 7

    Spread the crystal sugar on a baking tray. Place the log (with plastic wrap removed) in sugar; roll to evely coat all surfaces except ends. Wrap well in plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Log can also be frozen.

  8. 8

    Position 2 racks in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Have ready 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat nonstick baking mats. Remove dough from refrigerator; let sit for about 10 minutes, until warm enough to slice evenly. Using a thin-bladed chef's knife, cut log into 1/4-inch slices. Transfer slices to prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1-inch space between each.

  9. 9

    Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until tops are dull. Cool on wire racks. Can be stored in airtight container up to one week.

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