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Pecan Sablé Cookies Recipe & Video

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Pecan Sablé Cookies are a French Butter Cookie, also known as a Breton Biscuit. The name 'Sablé' is French for "sand", which refers to the sandy texture of this delicate and crumbly cookie. The buttery rich flavor is similar to a shortbread cookie, with the addition of toasted pecans which adds a nice caramel flavor. I love how the tops of the unbaked cookies are brushed with an egg wash which gives them a glossy sheen. A perfect snack with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

 

A few notes on ingredients. Butter is what gives these cookies their wonderful flavor and crisp and crumbly texture. I like to use a higher fat (82% butterfat content) European-style (cultured) butter to make these cookies. Also, try to use pure vanilla extract or even vanilla bean paste. Don't use the imitation extracts as their flavor isn't as good.

The pecans are toasted before adding them to the batter. This really brings out their caramel flavor. To finely chop the pecans you can use a food processor, spice grinder, or chop them by hand.

The unbaked cookies are brushed with an egg wash before baking. This gives them a glossy sheen and also helps with browning. If you like you can then sprinkle the tops of the unbaked cookies with coarse sugar (white or brown), finely chopped pecans, or pecan halves. Bake them until they are golden brown to ensure that their texture is nice and crisp and crumbly.

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Pecan Sablé Cookies: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool and then place the pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground (can also chop them by hand).

In a bowl, whisk the flour with the ground cinnamon and salt.

Then, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, on medium low speed, until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat, on medium low speed, until well combined. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and ground pecans and beat just until incorporated.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and divide the dough in half (375 grams). Then roll each half into a 6 inch (15 cm) round log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (a couple of hours or overnight). The logs can also be frozen for one month.

Preheat your oven to 325 F (165 C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the cream.

Remove one log of cookie dough from the refrigerator and place on a cutting board. Cut the log into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick slices. Place the cookies on the baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. You can then sprinkle the tops of the cookies with finely chopped pecans, a pecan half, or coarse sugar.

Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate your baking sheet front to back about halfway through baking. 

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet that has been placed on a wire rack. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about a week or they can be frozen.

Makes about 48 cookies.

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Pecan Sablé Cookies Recipe:

1 cup (100 grams) pecans

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

14 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

Egg Wash:

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1/2 tablespoon cream

 

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