Expanding on Pierre Hermes’ Sable Vennois Recipe – Sugared Danish Butter Cookies

As much as I admire gourmet flavours and sophisticated recipes, I know I am not a good cook. I have neither the skills, the experience nor the deftness to create intricate and sophisticated dishes. Unlike full time housewives tasked with enormous responsibilities and with loads of practical experience stashed under their belts, I am at best, only pretending to cook in my kitchen. However, I would also admit that I like my food to make me look like a good cook… hence my quest and my penchant for ‘simple gourmet recipes’ that taste great and pack a punch of  wow…

If you are rolling your eyes now at the sight of yet another sable vennois post, sorry dear… this is my blog, I cook and I post what I like. I had liked how the sables tasted and I had felt gratified by the way these had resonated with many. Until recently, I had never thought that having someone read my post and attempt my shared recipe with raving success could be so rewarding and satisfying. I now realise I had underestimated the power of sharing. To all those who had recently tried the recipes in the last few posts, thank you for sharing your satisfaction with me – they had really made my day…

There is something magical about this recipe and I am determined to create the full collection in the very popular blue tin. This is an easily identifiable shape… I don’t remember seeing cookies that come in this ‘pretzel’ shape except for those in the Danish Butter Cookie Tin. I bought the cookie cutter years ago and have never used it. Now that I have found the right recipe for it, I just can’t wait.

In the previous posts, the cookie dough was piped from a piping bag. For ths creation, I have chosen to roll out the soft dough into a sheet, chill it to firm before cutting with the cookie cutter. Straight forward approach that does not require a nobel prize winning scientist to figure out but sometimes, we are too fixated with a recipe and just need a little nudge to move things out of the box…. in my case, the nudge came in the form of this twisted cookie cutter .

There is another advantage in shaping the dough this way – the thicker slice actually made the cookie less delicate to store and transport. Many would remember the pretzel shaped variety in the blue tin came crusted with grainy sugar. My sugar is not coarse enough to create the same effect but the slight crunch from the grains nevertheless added good texture to the cookie. To be honest, out of the 4-5 varieties normally encased in the blue tin, the sugar crusted versions were my least favourite. The ones that would run out first would always be the plain round wreaths (like what I made the last time), followed by the coconut raisin cookie…  So stay tuned – if I succeed in my experiment with the coconut raisin butter cookie, I would technically have the full range from the Blue Cookie Tin…    So – which is your favourite variety from the blue tin?

Recipe :
95g               Unsalted Butter
1g                 Fleur de Sel
1/8 tsp          Vanilla paste (the recipe originally asked for 2-3 pinches of Vanilla powder)
40g               Powdered Sugar
15g               Egg White
115g             All purpose flour
Method :
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk unsalte butter with Fleur de Sel until creamy.
3. Add in powdered sugar and whisk until homogenous and creamy.
4. Add in egg white. ( The mixture may curdle a little but it will smoothen out after flour is added.
5. Add in flour and mix until well combined.
6. Roll the dough in between 2 sheets of plastic to 0.3cm thick. Chill in the fridge for 30mins or more. Cut the dough into desired shapes using a cookie cutter. Sprinkle with coarse grain sugar.
7. Bake at 180C for 10 -12 mins or until golden brown.
8. Cool down and store in air tight container.