I very rarely eat heart-shaped food. Mostly I just end up feeling cheated. Because heart-shaped edible things either look too cute to be eaten, or just don’t taste as good as they look. Or, they’re pink, red or bright pink. Or, I just feel ridiculous eating something heart-shaped.
This Valentine’s Day, we shall change all that. You will learn, like I did, to love dark, intense hearts.
(I will also be saying ‘heart’ a lot).
By the way, sables (‘sab-lays’ in case you were wondering) are French shortbread cookies. These are pretty different from what the traditional ones are supposed to be, but I’m not complaining.
I actually made these sables for a friend’s bachelorette 🙂 They are also good for cheesy holidays. Turns out, I’m terrible at piping anything but alphabets, and white chocolate does not melt well. Therefore, I was forced, with a heavy heart (Ah ha!) to use more dark chocolate. Oh, the horror.
I don’t think my kitchen has ever smelt so good, or seen as much carnage. I baked late at night, and fell asleep in a haze of chocolatey smells. Woke up the next morning, used up every spoon, bowl and nerve I had. Tried piping out a bikini on the cookies because Google Images looked inspiring. I ended up with what looked like a face wearing glasses. The husband tried too. We’re obviously meant to be going by our synchronized lack of drawing skills.
Anyway. All of that aside, these sables are fabulous. They might look thin and far from fudgy. They are. But they are also so deeply chocolatey, so, so, so chocolatey. Dark, rich, and um, chocolatey. Soft, but with a snap. Skinny, but not crunchy. So good.
It is up to you just how thick you want them to be, but do adjust baking time accordingly. They tend to get darker as they cool, so take them out of the oven when you start to smell the chocolate roasting, but don’t wait till it’s gone to “omg I burnt it” (4 cookies met their fate this way).
Grating the chocolate is a serious bicep workout, so if you aren’t nervous about breaking your food processor, use that. Otherwise, tell yourself the sables are your reward.
Chilling the dough is a must, must, must. I produced a few dark and twisted hearts (hee hee) till I told myself, it might be late at night, and my strongest need at this point might be a pillow, but that’s not the cookie dough’s fault, so chill it.
I got roughly 20 cookies (I started eating before counting). It just depends on how big your cookie cutter is. I also rolled up the last bit in my palms, flattened it and baked one little round sable. So that’s a great option if you don’t have cookie cutters or don’t feel like battling with oddly shaped dough.
Everyone I fed these to, including the beautiful bride-to-be went nuts over them. So whether you like to eat heart-shaped things on the regular, or you’re secretly a huge fan of Cheese Day, make these 😀
Recipe adapted from the lovely Smitten Kitchen.
What you’ll need:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, at room temp (115 gms)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
100 gms grated/finely processed dark chocolate (I had just a little less than 100 gms because the smaller bits of chocolate got too difficult to grate, so don’t worry if you skip those too)
What to do:
1. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, beating till combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients and grated chocolate and mix well, till a soft, sticky, scraggly dough starts to form.
4. Tip the dough out onto a piece of clingfilm, wrap tightly and chill for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how hot your kitchen is.
5. Preheat the oven to 175 C. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to desired thickness, flouring as needed. Cut out shapes, lift out carefully and place on a greased baking tray. Alternately, you could roll bits of dough into rounds, flatten them out and bake as is.
6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for cookies as thin as the ones you see here. Longer for thicker cookies.
Allow to cool just a bit before transferring to your mouth. Icing is optional, not required, and much harder to do than just eating them straight off.
Happy whatever-it-is-you’re-celebrating Day!