It began at Babette's. You don't know Babette? Well. You should know Babette. I visited Babette's in February after going to the dog show. I love the dog show. It was after the dog show that we headed to The Source- a food warehouse in Denver. It has some great restaurants, a really fun liquor store and a few other establishments, including Babette's. Babette's is a small bakery that is known for its bread. Some say it's burnt bread; at least according to the reviews. They call it caramelly-doesn't really matter to me. It is wholesome and nurturing (grainy and earthy) and I liked the bread.
But what I really liked is this cookie. My friend and I bought one cookie to share. It was not an inexpensive cookie. We ate the cookie. Quickly. And then we both looked at each other and turned around and it was back to Babette's to buy the remaining cookie. I don't know what it is about this cookie. Could it be the rich chocolate? Could it be the sandy texture combined with the oozing chocolate that drips on you as you bite in? Maybe it is the soft cakey, but chewy texture. Yes, I'm not quite sure how to describe this baby. Maybe it is perfectly baked in those special ovens that make their bread so caramelly; not burnt!
I've made chocolate sables before. They were Dorie's recipe and she called them World Peace cookies. I do believe she is right about the peace thing! Read about it and ignore my old photos, please. Her cookies are basically an ice box cookie. Form the dough into a log and then chill. After that they are ready to slice and bake. They are awesome, too. But this cookie. THE COOKIE. Babette's called these chocolate sables, and they were most definitely sable-ey. They were big and thick and though I didn't make my cookies as big, I wish I had. But then I would have had only about 12 cookies and this way I have about 27. I'm counting! This cookie is still sandy, which is the meaning of sable, but yet they are more tender and luxurious in my humble opinion. However choose your preferred method. There is no right answer on this quiz!
I know this recipe is not Babette's. If it was Babette's you would think I gave you a giant present. In this case, think of it as a small one. Save the calories. Just bake this cookie. Or find your way to Babette's! In which case, if you are in Denver, please call and I will meet you! And then you can buy me a cookie!
A few notes: I read that Babette's did not use leavening. He just uses eggs for leavening purposes, so I beat my eggs and sugar really well, so there would be some fluff! I also baked them at a higher temperature after chilling the dough outside on my deck. Additionally, I added some smoked alder salt and some urfa chile flakes to the tops of some of them. What a great surprise. Do not be afraid. This totally makes them an adult cookie and you will feel like a kid, eating an adult cookie. But have it with some bourbon or scotch. Just sayin'.
Makes about 24 smallish cookies. Or make them big and make 12. You can do it!
Time to Make: About 20 minutes hands on and 15 minutes to chill and about 10-12 to bake.
11 T softened butter
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/4 c flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
1 t instant espresso, like Medaglia D'oro
1/2 t fleur de sel or 1/4 t fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
5 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate (I use a large Trader Joe's Bar and use a chef's knife to flake it.)
Urfa Chile Flakes (optional)
Alder Smoked Salt (optional)
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment,beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add egg and incorporate well. Sift flour, cocoa powder, coffee and salt together. (I usually just stir the dry ingredients together with a fork to lighten and combine the mixture.) Turn off the mixer and add flour mixture. With a towel covering mixer, turn it on low and blend in the flour mixture. Do not over beat. Blend in chocolate.
On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop dough by tablespoons or the size you prefer, onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt or be daring and try some smoked salt and urfa chile flakes! Chill for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Bake sables for 10 -12 minutes. It is very important not to over bake. Let them cool on sheet. They may not look done, but as they cool, they will firm up.
More to try:
World Peace Cookies
Mocha Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Toffee Ice Box Cookies
Shortbread Sugar Cookies
Soft Chocolate Crackle Cookies with Mint M and M's
Chocolate Fudge Cookies
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