This month for #BakeTogether Abby gave us a savory selection. The challenge was to make your own adaptation of her Spicy Parmesan Sables. Challenge accepted! I love sables although I’ve only ever had the sweet version, some of the best ever being made by the very talented hands of Dorie Greenspan herself. But I’ve never tried a savory sable and I certainly haven’t ever made them myself.
Now I find myself asking, “why not??” They were SO easy to make! The dough comes together in all of about 5 minutes then you wrap it up and chill it for a few hours. They it’s just a matter of slicing them and baking them. Shortly there after you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor which wasn’t even labor at all. The flavor combinations you could come up with are endless! You can add zest or seeds, different herbs or spices, different cheese, different nuts or no nuts at all. Truly, the only limit is your imagination.
I decided to change the cheese to cheddar, kept the spicy part which comes from a dash of cayenne pepper, I added finely chopped walnuts and I changed the water to beer! The end result is a savory, cheesy biscuit with a soft, delicate, crumbly texture. These were a huge hit with both HB and surprisingly (since they’re a bit spicy), Maddy. Not so surprising? Not a hit with my picky eater husband 😉 This makes the perfect snack with a glass of wine or the perfect easy appetizer for entertaining.
If you’d like to join in the #BakeTogether fun, head on over to Abby’s site and drop her a line. The way we see it is, the more the merrier in this virtual kitchen so join in!
One Year Ago: Malted Chocolate Tart
Cheddar Walnut Sables Adapted from Abby Dodge
Makes 29 sables
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 7 slices, well chilled
2 Tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons very cold beer
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
Kosher salt for sprinkling (optional)
– Put the flour, cheese, salt and cayenne in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are slightly larger than pea size. Drizzle the beer evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form moist crumbs that are just beginning to clump together.
– Dump the moist crumbs onto the unfloured counter and gather into a pile. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the pile of crumbs. With the heel of you hand, push and gently smear the crumbs away from you until they start to come together in a cohesive dough, about two or three ‘smears.’
– Using a bench scraper, gather the dough together and turn it about 45 degrees and give it one or two more smears. Gather the dough together and shape the dough into a 7 1/4-inch long and 2 1/4 -inch wide rectangle using the bench scraper to make the sides nice and straight. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 hours, or up to 2 days.
– Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/4-inch slices and arrange about 1 inch apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until nutty brown around the edges, 16 to 18 minutes. If you like, sprinkle the crackers with a little kosher salt just as the baking sheets come out of the oven. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
Abby’s Note: *The dough can be shaped and frozen for up to a month and then thawed for about an hour on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight. Likewise, tuck the baked and cooled sables in a heavy-duty zip top bag and stash them in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature and warm them for a few minutes at 325°F to refresh the flavors.*