We’ve known each other for close to a decade and a half. Yet, food was the last thing we talked about. Colleagues at our “first jobs”, we were far too busy trying to figure out what we wanted to do than concentrate on what we would love to do. Facebook got us together after a few years of staying out of touch and the next thing I knew was that Suneeta was a full time home baker whipping up delicious stuff. And all that I wanted to do was eat the goodies she baked and as luck would have it, she sent across a whole load of goodies when my mom came visiting.
“December brings with it the anticipation of upcoming holidays, Christmas and the New Year. There’s a nice nip in the air (where winter should be). It’s that time when you want to snuggle under your blanket for a little longer in the mornings and sip your coffee leisurely with some cookies to go.
I am a home-based baker and for me December means a lot of slogging and back-breaking work with baking Fruit cakes and various types of cookies apart from my regular work. The last week and a half have been very hectic and will continue to be till Christmas time. I bake many different kinds of cookies, but the ones which I find really hard-to-resist are these Vanilla-Almond Cookies that are oh-so-delicate and just melt in your mouth. And the best part is that they aren’t overly sweet, so you simply can have too many of them. Today I share with you my recipe for these Vanilla Sables with Orange Jelly. The Jelly is optional, you can choose not to sandwich the cookies and keep them as is (I can tell you from experience that there is no guarantee of them reaching the sandwiching stage :)).”
Vanilla Sables with Orange Jelly
Prep time: About 1 hour plus chilling, baking 7-9 minutes
Ingredients (yields about 30-40 layered cookies)
- 125 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 3-4 Kinnow Oranges)
- 125 gms regular (crystal) sugar
- 175 g all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the board)
- 100 g ground almonds
- 75 g Icing or confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk (M)
- 200 g butter (well chilled, cut into cubes)
- For decoration: confectioners’ sugar
To make the jelly
Squeeze the juice from the oranges and discard the pulp. In a non-stick sauce pan, add the sugar and the juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer, till some of jelly when dropped on a on a cold plate, sets within a couple of seconds, otherwise keep boiling for some more minutes. Fill into a small bowl or jar and chill until ready to fill the cookies.
To make the Vanilla Sables
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, ground almonds, confectioners’ sugar and salt.
- Add the vanilla extract to the egg yolk and mix and set aside. Cut the cold butter into small cubes using your fingertips to rub it in until the butter pieces are the size of peas.
- Finally mix in the egg yolk until the dough comes together (add a little more flour, if dough feels too sticky to handle) and form into a thick disc. Wrap with cling film and chill for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (~350°F) and line the baking trays with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut off half of it (put the other half back into the fridge). Dust a large wooden board with flour and roll out the dough until about 3 to 4 mm thick. Cut out the shapes of your choice and place on baking trays, then continue with the other half (any dough scraps should be chilled before using again).
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes (the edges should just start to brown ever so slightly, be careful not to let them get too dark = burnt taste), then take out and slide the parchment paper with the cookies off the tray, then you can let them cool down completely. They are very fragile, so handle with extra care.
- With a teaspoon, place a little of the orange jelly in the center of one cookie, spread with the back of the spoon and top with another cookie (if the jelly is too firm, warm it shortly or give it a good stir). Then dust with confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight box.
Your vanilla sables with orange jelly are ready to eat! Isn’t that easy? I am not too much of cookie baker, but this one makes me want to try this recipe! You can check all that Suneeta has been baking for this Xmas by clicking here.
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*All of my reviews are based on my own personal experiences with the brand/products. If it is a sponsored post, it is indicated. Most of the brands and products reviewed are what I have tried and tested and truly recommend! All Photographs are (C) Pratibha unless stated otherwise.*