I've never felt like I was in the cookie business. I've always been in a feel good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.
~ Debbi Fields (of Mrs. Fields Bakeries)
You can't see the words 'Mrs. Fields' without images of buttery, crumbly/chewy cookies entering your mind immediately afterwards. Well, Mrs. Fields' words above somehow resonated strongly as I baked this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Cocoa Sables. I wanted to bake cookies that would invoke a similar feel good feeling to anyone who sets their eyes on them, and if they're lucky enough, who gets to eat them too.
But first, what in culinary heavens is a sable? It's simply a classic French cookie originating in Normandy. Sable is French for "sand", and refers to the sandy texture of this delicate and crumbly shortbread-like cookie. Butter is what gives these cookies their wonderful, rich flavor. A typical sable would have a coating of raw or granulated sugar around the edges but I decided to forego the sugar and make something that's more visually appealing. And what could possibly be more appealing than a layer of sweet, sweet sugar on a chocolate cookie? How about an eye-catching color, like hot pink, for example? Yes, hot pink dough enveloping dark chocolate is all the rage nowadays. At least in my kitchen it is, I'm not sure about anywhere else :).
My original idea was to pair a more innocent shade of baby pink with the dark brown. However, because I very rarely play with food coloring, I underestimated the strength of my little blob of pink gel. It proved too much for the amount of plain batter I was using that the 'baby' part of the pink tuned into a very adult 'hot' in 60 seconds... Oh well, we're all grown-ups here, and eating a sexy cookie is really not the worse thing that could happen to you on a Friday!
Dorie's recipe also suggested the incorporation of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate in the cocoa batter, but I decided to keep things simple and omitted that option too. This resulted in a smoother finish to the cut surface of the sables, which I preferred. What I didn't like was the uneven thickness of the cookies when I sliced through the dough using a knife. Somehow it didn't occur to me to use a thread to do a much cleaner job of it. Next time I bake these, I'm going to use pastry flour instead of the all-purpose because I read that it results in more tender cookies.
Not only do these sables invoke a heart-tugging sensation of love-at-first-sight (who can resist that hot pink squiggle?), they may also cause you to fall in love-at-first-bite, too. These shortbreads are crumbly, sweet, slightly salty and very chocolatey. An all-round experience of joy and happiness right there :).
The recipe for these cocoa sables can be found in Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Around My French Table. The rest of the FFWD cooking group members will have their own take on these cookies, it's totally worth checking them out here.