Friday, March 23, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie: Mexican Hot Chocolate Sablés

French Butter Cookies, or Sablés, are classic French cookies originating in Normandy France. The name 'Sables' is French for "sand", which refers to the sandy texture of these delicate and crumbly shortbread-like cookies. The flavor of these Sablés is enhanced by the use of quality ingredients, such as European-style butter, pure vanilla extract, and high quality cocoa powder and chocolate.

My adaptation of the French Fridays with Dorie Cocoa Sablés was inspired by Mexican Hot Chocolate. I added some espresso powder to the dough and then made a sugar-cinnamon-chili mixture to coat the cookies with before baking. I was up at 4:30 a.m. this morning baking these, due to a certain puppy who wouldn't go back to sleep, so I appreciated having a little extra zip from the espresso and spice to enjoy with my coffee.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Sablés
Adapted from Dorie Greenspans's Cocoa Sables, Around My French Table


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened)
1 tablespoon espresso powder
10 ounces unsalted butter (2 ½ sticks), at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cookie Coating
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, to taste

1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and espresso powder together in a medium bowl. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 1 or 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Mix in the chopped chocolate. Work the dough as little as possible for the best texture.

2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into a log that is about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 3 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)

3. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and chili powder coating and set aside.

4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

5. Working with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the dough into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Gently submerge each dough round in the mixture of sugar, cinnamon and chili powder, turning over a few times until fully coated. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between them. Bake only one sheet at a time. Keep the second baking sheet of cookies in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest, on the sheet, for about 5 minutes. Newf Note: If the cookies spread a bit, and the edges look ragged, use the appropriate sized round cookie cutter to cut away the edges and even them out while still warm.

6. Gently transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies. Baked cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

I'll polish off these, with a spot of port, tonight ;-)


French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!


Cher Rockwell said...

Oh, I love chili powder with my chocolate (it is so good in chocolate cake). Very nice!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Mexican Hot Chocolate Sablés look and sound wonderful. Great adaptation. I want to try those. Your new puppy is so cute I know you can't be mad at him for getting up early.

Adriana said...

Denise, I love the idea of spicing up the chocolate sablés! They look awesome, as usual. :)

Mom said...

They taste pretty awesome, too! Oh my, Mexican Hot Chocolate Sablés are definitely enhanced by the use of quality ingredients. Must be why I’ve just about polished off my drop-off already!;) Thanks, Denise.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Those sound amazing!

Nana said...

Those sablés look so inviting and perfect. Reading
through the various blogs this week I see that I must
not have let the butter soften to room temp. enough
and that is the reason for most of my
problem. I love the idea of the Mexican sablés.

Trevor Sis Boom said...

OOoh I bet these were great! I made them once with Lindt Chili chocolate baked in but these sound even better with that surprising outsides.

Pachecopatty said...

Wonderful idea to use the chili powder! I have a bar of chili flavored chocolate that I keep meaning to use... Your sablés look perfectly baked and I'm sure they were delicious:-)

Betsy said...

I love the flavors of Mexican chocolate. What a great inspiration for your version. These are great with port (bedtime snack last night)...

Gracie said...

I love the flavor combination!

Mary Hirsch said...

Denise, Love the bi-linqual taste to this cookie - the Latino spice traslated nicely (by you) into the French version of shortbread. Sounds yummy and the reviews seem to suggest that. Good idea that I (and, apparently, other Doristas) will try. Mary

MyFudo™ said...

I love to try something different every now and then...This is nice to try. Different, yet very familiar. Who wouldn't feel at home with chocolate? Thanks for sharing!

hanseata said...

I'll bake these for a friend who operates a Mexican Food Truck. The perfect little give-away for her faithful customers!

hanseata said...

They taste really good. Next time I would rather add the chili powder to the batter, though.
It is important to chop the chocolate very fine, otherwise it is more difficult to cut the dough log into slices without pieces breaking apart.