ph’s viennese chocolate sables

IMG_2420sablé in french means sand, and these cookies very much crumble once you put them in your mouth.  i did find them similar in taste and texture to the other chocolate cookie recipe I posted, but somehow the squiggly shape makes them a lot more elegant and fun.  pierre hermé writes in a side note to this recipe from his book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé that he learned how to make the cookies from wittamer pastry shop in vienna. he also goes on to say that the traditional version of these cookies is never made in chocolate but that he decided to make a chocolate version because they seemed like the perfect vehicle for delivering the chocolate flavour.  i’m thinking that these might be delicious in matcha form too!

hermé also advises that these cookies are typically formed into a W  — perhaps an ode to the Wittamer pastry store.  s decided to make mine into little S shapes.  S for sablé!

PH’s Viennese Chocolate Sablés
(makes ~65, or about 2 half sheet trays)

Flour                                  260g
Cocoa powder                    30g  (Valrhona preferred)
Butter                                250g @ room temperature
Confectioners’ Sugar      100g
Salt                                     a pinch
Egg whites                        3 tbsp (lightly beat 2 egg whites and then measure out 3 tbsp)

  1. Whisk together flour and cocoa, and set aside
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter until it is light and creamy.
  3. Add sugar and salt, and then the egg white
  4. Slowly add the flour & cocoa mixture.  Blend it until it is just incorporated.  Do not over mix or you will lose the crumbly characteristic.
  5. Pipe the cookies into whatever shape you desire using a medium star-tip.  [Note: the dough is really thick.  PH advises working in small batches.  I piped it in one fell swoop, but it required quite a lot of elbow grease on my part.]
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes.
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2 responses to “ph’s viennese chocolate sables

  1. Wittamer is not in Vienna but in Brussels.

  2. tomatointribeca

    alan – you should tell pierre herme that. maybe he worked at a wittamer branch in vienna?

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