I made these cheese sables on Valentine’s Day and received the best compliment from J. He said “these taste just like my Uncle’s….” Now, this may not mean much to most people, but J’s uncle used to own a patisserie in the Netherlands for many many years.
These cheese sables are buttery, cheesy, crispy and delicate, suitable for general snacking, nibbles before dinner, or with an aperitif.
The recipe is so simple, yet the results are absolutely outstanding. Make sure you use the highest quality European unsalted butter you can find/afford for this recipe, you will really taste the difference. I used vintage aged Gouda, which is a cheese that’s pretty salty, so I didn’t add any additional tsalt. Don’t even dare to make these with a mild cheese, it defeats the object of having a cheese sable. Anyone who’s watching their waist, these probably aren’t the wisest of snacks, but then again, I don’t recommend that you eat them every day.
The beauty of these sables is that you can keep some on stand-by in the fridge, so if any unexpecting guests arrive, simply keep a log of the dough in the freezer, when needed, slice with a very sharp knife and bung them in the oven. You’ll enjoy freshly baked cheese sables in less than 15 minutes.
Makes about 25 thick sables or 50 thin sables
- 100 g (⅔ c) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 100 g (1/3 c and 1 ½ T) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g (3 ½ oz) strong hard cheese, finely grated
- 1 medium egg yolk
- Pinch of cayenne/mustard powder (optional)
1. In a food processor, blend the flour, butter, cheese, egg yolk and cayenne (if using) until a dough is formed.
2. Shape the dough into a log* about 4 cm (1 ½ inch) in diameter. Wrap in cling-film (plastic wrap) and allow to chill for 1-2 hours or until very firm.
3. Line 2 baking trays (pans) with parchment paper.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Using a very sharp knife, cut off thin rounds and place onto the prepared trays (pans), repeat as necessary^.
5. Place the trays (pans) into the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp. Allow to cool on the tray (pan) for 5 minutes before using a spatula to transfer them onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool before enjoying!
* Alternatively you can chill as 2 flattened discs. After chilling, roll the dough out and cut the sables into shapes you prefer. Bake as normal.
^ At this stage you can keep the log in the freezer for unexpected guests.