Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookies Part 3: Orange Sablés

As I’ve said in my previous posts on Christmas cookies, we are always adding new baked goods to our yearly rotation. We tend to draw a lot from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies cookbook, as she has a wide array of delicious cookies and bars that lend themselves well to vegan substitutions. Another excellent resource for Christmas cookies is Martha Stewart. Say what you will about her, but anyone who publishes an entire issue of their magazine devoted to exquisitely beautiful and delicious Christmas cookies is fine with me. My particular copy comes from 2001, but I still haven’t run out of fantastic cookie recipes that I can’t wait to make.

When you’re making a variety of cookies to give to friends and family, it’s important to strike a good balance. I knew I wanted to make Russian Tea Cakes and Cut Out cookies. This pair calls out for chocolate. I have more than enough chocolate recipes to choose from, so that wouldn’t be a problem. I knew the final choice needed to be something a little different, citrus maybe, and after a thorough perusal of Martha’s Holiday Cookies, I settled upon these Orange Sablés. Orange is a classic holiday flavor, and combined with almonds and coarse sugar, it makes the perfect holiday treat.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies

1 1/4 cups whole raw almonds
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
12 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sanding or coarse sugar

Process the almonds and the confectioner’s sugar in a food processor until the almonds are finely ground. Set aside.

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and whip until smooth and fluffy. Add the orange zest and mix thoroughly. Add the almond and sugar mixture and beat until combined. In a blender, combine the flaxseed and water until it is thick and frothy. Add to the dough mixture along with the orange juice, and mix to combine. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a clean surface. Mold half of the dough into a long, thin, roll, about the size of a paper towel roll. Wrap in the parchment paper and refrigerate overnight. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Heat the oven to 350º. Spread the sanding sugar on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the dough rolls from the refrigerator. Roll one dough log in the sugar until it is evenly coated in sugar. Then, slice the roll in 1/4” to 1/2” inch pieces, and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet 1” apart. Repeat with the second dough log. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie are golden brown.

*Feeling a little adventurous, I drizzled some of these cookies with tempered chocolate., however I think the pinnacle of deliciousness would be to dip these cookies in dark chocolate.

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