Dessert Uncategorized

Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés via Bon Appétit – A Guest Post by Caroline Knorr


Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés - Photo by Amy Wilson

Some of my readers may know that I started working at Common Sense Media early this year. Well, last week, I attended the annual holiday cookie swap for the first time, and there was one cookie that completely knocked me out. They were chocolate-pistachio sablés that had these salt crystals on top which made all of flavors jump right off the cookie. I had to find out who had brought these amazing a little treasures and what the recipe was. Well, parenting editor, Caroline Knorr had brought them and she happily agreed to do a guest post here on StreamingGourmet after I approached her about it. Thank, Caroline! – Amy/StreamingGourmet

Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés for the Annual Holiday Cookie Swap

Caroline Knorr
Caroline Knorr

The annual cookie swap at Common Sense Media is a festive — and dare I say — ultra-competitive event. We have so many talented bakers in our office that you really have to be at the top of your game to stand out. When I received my December issue of Bon Appetit, there were cookies on the cover, and I immediately pounced on the holiday baking feature, assuming that anything I chose from that section would attract attention.

I had actually made that issue’s caraway-rosemary shortbread a few times, thinking that I’d make them for the cookie swap, but though I loved them, I really wanted to make something chocolately for the party. I decided upon the chocolate pistachio sables partly because the recipe made A LOT — we have over 50 people in the office and my biggest fear is cookie shortage — and because the assembly was slice-and-bake logs and I thought it would be faster and more fool-proof than cutting shapes or doing drop cookies.

As for  ingredients, I used Ghirardelli cocoa and bittersweet baking chocolate. I had to make a few substitutions because my grocery store didn’t have raw pistachios or maldon salt and the clock was ticking. I had to make do with roasted, salted pistachios in the shell and a sea-salt grinder. I was concerned that this combination would ruin the delicate interplay of salty and sweet flavors in the sables, so I compensated by sprinking on some coarse sanding sugar along with the salt.

The process was fairly simple once the logs were rolled. I was only able to chill them for about 3 hours, which was totally fine. I didn’t use a serrated knife, as the recipe specifies, because I discovered a sharp chef’s knife resulted in a cleaner edge. The only issue I ran into was that a few of the cookies were so crumbly when they came out, they fell right off the rack. That may have been due to the fact that I didn’t roll the logs tight enough — and that was because I didn’t want to make them too tough. No worries, though, my family was happy to eat the broken pieces!

On the day of the swap, I was still concerned that the cookies would be too salty for some tastes ( I loved them, though, but I LOVE salt). If you can find raw pistachios or at least unsalted ones, I would recommend using them or do what I did and sprinkle sugar on top along with the salt.
-Caroline Knorr

Find the original recipe on Bon Appétit.

Chocolate Pistachio Sablés
Chocolate Pistachio Sablés Photo by Amy Wilson

Here is the adapted version.

Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés via Bon Appétit
Chocolate and sea salt. A perfect combination
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 50
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardellie or Hershey's Special Dark will work)
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt (option if using salted, roasted pistachios)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. It will take about 4 minutes.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients while mixing on low just to combine.
  4. Add egg white and mix on low to combine as well.
  5. Fold in chocolate and pistachios with a spoon.
  6. Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll each piece into an 8”-long log about 1½” in diameter. If it feels crumbly, mush the dough together more firmly. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (The colder your dough, the easier it will be to slice. If you're rushed for time, you can also use the freezer.)
  7. Preheat to 350°. Working with 1 log of dough at a time and using a serrated knife, cut logs into ¼”-thick rounds and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing ½” apart.
  8. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt and bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until set around edges and centers look dry, 10–15 minutes.
  9. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Chocolate Pistachio Sablés
Chocolate Pistachio Sablés - Photo by Amy Wilson
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