Sablés (Algerian Cookies)

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This is my own accidental recipe in which I mistook a bottle of Lemon Extract for Vanilla, and it made for an even more decadent cookie just like my husband’s grandmother makes.  From the French word sable which means sand the dough will start off as a texture that looks as so. The cookies are easily customizable with fillings and shapes. I hope these make their way onto your list of sweets for Eid.

Special Tools Needed:

  • cookie cutter (any shape is fine but a round fluted cutter is used traditionally)
  • sifter
  • rolling pin

Ingredients: For the Sables

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • a pinch of salt

To decorate

  • 3/4 cup jelly (any flavoring of your choice but no fruit bits)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Cut the butter into the sugar, mix until it is light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold in the eggs, vanilla, lemon and sugar mixture.
  5. Mix slowly until a sand texture is made then continue to mix by hand. The dough should be soft and light. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more flour.
  6. Let dough sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to harden. It helps to handle the dough better.
  7. Roll dough out onto a floured surface with a rolling pin. Make sure to flour the pin as well.
  8. Cut out the top and bottoms of the cookies, don’t forget to punch out a hole in the middle of the tops.
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with wax paper and bake for 8-9 minutes. The cookies should be still white but set.
  10. Allow cut outs to cool on the sheet for a minute then move to a cooling rack.
  11. Find suitable matching tops and bottoms as some may not be shaped the same.
  12. While cookies are cooling heat the jelly on the stove, adding the orange blossom water to thin it out.
  13. Sift powdered sugar onto the tops.
  14. Once the jelly mixture has cooled place about 1/2 teaspoon onto each bottom and place top on.
  15. Allow to set and then store properly.

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* Sablé cookies are able to store for up to 10 days.