These biscuits are delicious cookies originating from the Maine area of France, near the Loire valley. Why they are called sablés is unclear, but it could be a reference to their crumbly texture: sablé means "sand". Ultimately though, it's not about the name, it's about the biscuit which is frankly amazing (if we do say so ourselves).
Basically, our sablés are all about the rum. We use the multi-award winning Ron Zacapa from Guatamala: we know it's not very French, but accept no substitutes. The stuff is potent, and wonderfully aromatic and lends the cookies a sweet honey flavour that's really delicious.
These are quite tricky to do though: undercook them and they come out a bit gooey, and overcook them and they blacken and go rock hard. Unfortunately the oven at A's current flat is a little temperamental, but when we've done them at C's place (where the oven actually works!) we get a far more consistent finish.
Here's how you do it; our recipe comes translated from the French cookery bible: Je Sais Cuisiner (I know how to cook).
- Butter (for greasing)
- 2 eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp rum
- 250g flour
Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark VI and grease a baking tray with butter. Mix together the eggs, sugar, rum and flour to make a soft dough. Put small piles of dough on the tray, well spaced out (our experience tells us that the mixture gets sticky really quickly so be liberal with flour and water on your hands. If the balls are not perfectly round, they come out funny. Also, try to keep the balls really small to stop the middles remaining undercooked). Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
It is that easy.