Orange-Flavored Spritz Sable Cookies dipped in Dark Chocolate
Spritz sablé cookies are French butter cookies. They have a very rich flavor. Depending on the shape of the cookie and on the baking time, spritz can either be crumbly or have a chewier texture. Spritz sablé cookies are the perfect canvas upon which to introduce other flavors. From the basic recipe, you can make an unlimited number of variations.
My little sister-in-law who is allergic to egg yolks (not egg white, go figure!) loves these cookies. They are one of the few sweet treats she can enjoy. I made some today and flavored them with orange blossom water. I then dipped them in dark chocolate to make them extra decadent.
Yields: 6 dozen1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
27 tablespoons unsalted butter, (3 sticks + 3 tablespoons)
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt), ground to a fine powder
2 egg whites
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon orange zest, freshly zested
8 ounces dark chocolate chips
2/3 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Preheat the oven to 365°F.
In a bowl, combine the flour and sea salt. In another bowl, place the powdered sugar. Sift all the dry ingredients, separately.
Using a paring knife, scrape and gather all the grains of the vanilla bean.
Cream the butter with the powdered sugar (whisk using the paddle attachment of a standmixer to get as much air as possible into the butter). Add the egg whites, the grains of vanilla, the orange blossom water and the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft, pliable, sandy cookie dough is formed. Do NOT over-mix. Transfer the dough into a bowl. Plastic wrap it and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes.
Use a star-shaped decorating tip. Fill a pastry bag with the cookie dough. Pipe about 80 tight "snakes".
Bake for about 9-10 minutes. The cookies should be firm but not too golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
Tempering the chocolate: Place a pot filled with hot water (at a gentle simmer), topped with a piece of cloth so the bowl does not move and place a stainless-steel bowl filled with the chocolate chips on top. Turn off the heat. Temperature of the water shouldn't exceed 118°F. Melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable shortening. (See tips). Use immediately. If the chocolate hardens, place the chocolate back in the double boiler.
Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper. Dip the top half of each cookie in the melted chocolate. Shake the cookie a little to remove the excess chocolate and place onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle some orange zest. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the spritz cookies, one at a time. Let the chocolate set and harden. Depending on the weather, chill the cookies in the refrigerator if needed so the chocolate sets completely.
I used Guittard for the chocolate. You can make crème brulées or chocolate mousse with the rest of the chocolate chips.
For the double boiler, I always like to add a little kitchen towel underneath the chocolate-filled bowl. That way, the bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any splatter of water in your chocolate. If the chocolate hardens, place the chocolate back on the double boiler.
Tempering chocolate requires a few rules: Use good quality chocolate. Do not let water get into the bowl. I use chocolate chips for the chocolate to melt evenly (or chop a large chunk of it using a serrated knife). Use a clean, dry, stainless-steel bowl to melt the chocolate. Use a silicone spatula, not wood. Dark chocolate is tempered when the temperature reaches 90°F. Temperatures for tempering vary depending on the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate. I'll write a post about each type of chocolate later. (You can find digital thermometers at IKEA. They're very inexpensive ).
The vegetable shortening helps give a glossy look to the chocolate. You can omit it but don't use butter, which contains 20% moisture and can make the chocolate grainy.
After scraping the grains of vanilla, do NOT discard the remaining vanilla bean. Just place the vanilla bean in a jar and cover it with regular granulated sugar. Let it sit for a few weeks and you'll get a nice, fragrant vanilla sugar.
If you don't have any vanilla beans, you can substitute 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.
I buy orange blossom water at the Iranian store. You can also find it in specialty stores or online. But if you don't find it, you can replace it with a teaspoon of orange extract.
You can store the cookies in an airtight metallic tin for up to a week to keep them fresh. If you prefer them harder, just let them cool out or place them in a regular cookie jar or simply eat them all, like we did!
Published By: on September 7, 2009.