TWD: Sables – Two Ways – Nibby Almond or Orange

by Holly on December 8, 2009

Almond Sables with Hand Roasted Cocoa Nibs
Tuesdays with Dorie this week is hosted by Bungalow Barbara who chose the Sables. These are a classic French cookie and the name comes from the French word for “sand” which refers to their texture – which is a crumble in the mouth kind of texture.
While generally this type of cookie isn’t my favorite, I’ve been waiting and waiting for someone to choose these cookies. I could have made them in the mean time, but just never seemed to get around to it. Though I say they aren’t necessarily my favorite type to eat (I’m more of a classic chocolate chip gal – unless we are talking World Peace Cookies that is!)
Orange Sables with Demerara Sugar
I decided to use some of the Playing Around options provided by Dorie and do two versions. For the first version I varied just a bit from the Lemon Sables variation and subbed the lemon zest with about 1 Tablespoon of orange zest. For the sugar coating on the outside of the cookies I used some good Demerara Sugar I had on hand, which is why the coating is so dark. I just love the extra crunch and flavor that raw sugars have!
For my second variation though I decided to play around on my own. I have some really incredible cocoa nibs that I’ve been wanting to use that I bought (and have been hoarding) at a local Italian grocer’s here in Salt Lake called Caputo’s. The cocoa nibs come from another local Utah company that I love, Amano Artisan Chocolates. For these cookies I used the Ocumare Hand Roasted Cocoa Nibs which are just ridiculously good. I also subbed out a portion of the flour in the cookies with Almond Flour I got from the wonderful folks over at Oh Nuts! (who have great deals on their nuts by the way – thankfully because I am just about out of the Almond Flour now!). To boost the almond flavor just a bit more I added some good pure almond extract to the dough as well. For a bit of a more festive look I coated the dough in some vibrant red sparkly sanding sugar I had on hand.
I really loved how these turned out. The almond flavor was detectable, but still subtle and didn’t overpower the cocoa nibs. Likewise, the little spattering of cocoa nibs (which you could add more if you wanted, but I just wanted a few in there) didn’t over power the almond either. It was sweet, sweet harmony.
Believe it or not, while my boys are always happy to have baked goods on hand, my husband often refrains – mainly because he wants to watch his weight I guess (he doesn’t really need too, but I guess he thinks he does). Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when I called all my boys into the kitchen for some cookies after we decorated our Christmas tree and lo and behold – he ate one, then another, then put another whole one in his mouth, then later came back for a couple more. He liked both versions quite a bit on their own merits, but it is always a real joy to me when there is something that really tempts him.
We will definitely be adding these cookies into our regular rotation and have lots more fun coming up with other variations. I also see these cookies in the near future for our holiday gift boxes to friends and family.
Be sure to check out the TWD blogroll for many more variations I’m sure!
Also, for some more really great cookie ideas you can visit my recent post about the group of local food bloggers I got together with for brunch this past weekend. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and lots of really great treats!
Please check back a little later this week for my next giveaway to celebrate the holiday season! You won’t want to miss this one!
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Sarah, Maison Cupcake December 8, 2009 at 8:22 am

These look delicious, I love the sugary coating around the edge.

chocolatechic December 8, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I made mine plain, I think they are the best plain….I might have to try them your way though.

Jules Someone December 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Yum! Your variations sound great. I tried the plain version first time around. I love that these store so easily in the freezer.

Jennifer December 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Your sables look amazing!!!!!

Amanda December 8, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Perfect Holly, love the almond variation! I know what you mean about your hubby, glad you found something he kept coming back for!

Maria December 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I love your sables!

Manggy December 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Congratulations on tempting the hubby away from his abstinence! Heh heh 🙂 The cocoa nibs are such an elegant, sophisticated touch. Very Christmas-y with the red sugar too!

Susan December 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I love the variation you did with the almond and cocoa nibs. Looks really yummy. Glad the hubby liked them too. With mine there are few things he doesn't like!

Teanna DiMicco December 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

How did you get it so perfectly ROUND and beautiful?! Wow! Love the two versions!

Tia December 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm

wow you went all out with these! sooo pretty and wow with the nibs!

Mary Ann December 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I love both of your variations. I bet they were fabulous. They look beautiful and festive!

Bungalow Barbara December 9, 2009 at 12:45 am

Thank you for baking along with me this week!

Both your variations sound so delicious. I covet those cocoa nibs! If you are looking for more good recipes to use them, you could take a look at Alice Medrich's "Pure Dessert." She has some really interesting sablé and shortbread variations, including several with nibs.

Engineer Baker December 9, 2009 at 1:31 am

Ooo – almond & cacao nibs sounds fantastic!

Flourchild December 9, 2009 at 1:57 am

Im glad all the boys in your life liked the cookies..they sure Rock!

steph- whisk/spoon December 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm

both look so good! i love nibs, so i'll have to keep that one in mind!

Jodie December 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm

I love the first ones! So pretty with the red sugar

Katrina December 14, 2009 at 3:39 am

I'm a little late making my TWD rounds, but your "rounds" look great! Love the cacao nib ones!

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