You can always tell when my daughter is coming to visit because you'll see a chocolate cookie recipe on my blog! Although calling Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables a "cookie" is an understatement. They are unique, ambrosial, delicate, velvety and elegantly simple. I didn't decorate mine, but just took a photograph on a white plate so you could see how gorgeous they are. These are perfection. With tea, with coffee, with anything....a show stopper.
But I really want you to see them decorated too, so please give the Butter and Brioche blog a look...HERE...she's decorated them fit for a magazine shoot. (Which it may have been!) If you want to decorate yours, you could use a simple dusting of confectioner's sugar or go all out using white and dark chocolate for dipping and top with chopped, flaked or slivered nuts or almond nougatine. I'm too lazy and anyway, my daughter is all about the sable, not the decorations.
Pierre Herme's Viennese Chocolate Sables
Adapted From Pierre Herme's recipe via Butter and Brioche
1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted
5 tablespoons best quality Cocoa, sifted
1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature.....very soft
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons lightly beaten egg whites ( I lightly beat 2 large egg whites, then measured out 3 tablespoons.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use two racks in the oven....line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Get a pastry bag ready with a medium-sized open star tip. (You can make these any shape you want.)
In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa; set aside.
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat the butter until it is light and creamy. NOTE: For the recipe to be successful, the butter must be very soft.
Whisk in the sugar and salt, then stir in the egg whites. NOTE: Don't be concerned when the mixture separates, as it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.
Gradually add the flour/cocoa mixture and blend only until incorporated. Don't overwork. A light touch is what will give these cookies their characteristic crumbliness.
It is easier to work with this dough in batches. Spoon about 1/3 of the dough into your Pastry Bag. Pipe the dough into "W" shaped cookies, each about 2-inches long and 1 1/4-inches wide, and place 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. If desired, you may pipe the cookies in any shape that you desire.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes (no more) or until they are set but neither browned nor hard. Remove from oven. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure that you don't put the dough on hot baking sheets.
Before serving, you can dust the cookies with powdered sugar or decorate any way you like.