Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Viennese Cookies - Sablés Viennois

Viennese Cookies, or Sablés viennois, are a lovely buttery cookie/biscuit similar to spritz cookies.  But they are piped into shapes, rather than pressed.

The recipe is very simple and I have tried it a couple of times, in different guises, to see whether it affected how well the shapes were retained.  In both cases the cookies spread some and lost a bit of their shape.  I have watched lots of videos and it seems that most people's spread similarly.  So I read  up a little on how to stop cookies from spreading and it seems that you don't want too much air in the butter.  I had been creaming mine for quite a while.  So in my third attempt I barely whisked the butter at all when incorporating the icing sugar, and only a little more when mixing in the egg whites and vanilla bean paste. I also read that the oven temperature was very important, as too low a temperature lets the mixture spread.  So, where I had adjusted for convection baking at a lower temperature in the first two attempts in this final attempt I baked without convection, at the higher temperature.

There seems to be a couple of different types of recipe, one that includes cornflour and one that uses some egg whites.  I opted for the egg white in the hope that it would help hold the shape.

I also decided to chill my cookies before baking. So I chilled two trays of piped cookies for 30 minutes.  I had one smaller tray that I didn't chill.  It seems that the chilled ones retained slightly more definition, so maybe that is the way to go.
Viennese Cookies - Sablés Viennois
                   Viennese Cookies - Sablés Viennois -Video
Ingredients:
  • 190g very soft, unsalted butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • 30g egg whites
  • 75g icing sugar
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Place the butter into a bowl and briefly whisk to mix evenly.
  3. Add the icing sugar and mix again, until just combined.
  4. Add the egg whites and vanilla seeds and mix to combine.
  5. Sift in the flour and mix in, with a spatula, until just combined.
  6. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper, with corners stuck to the tray with a little butter.
  7. Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle(I used 1M)
  8. Pipe shapes onto the parchment paper, leaving a decent gap between each one to allow for spreading (I piped a few different shapes).
  9. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  10. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to change colour.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. 
  12. When cooled place in an airtight container to store until required.


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