Le Politique’s pastry chef Melissa Carroll is a big fan of cookies, even in the summertime.
Earlier this season, she debuted a pecan Sablé Breton, a French butter cookie made with pecan and oat flour. As with all shortbreads from France, which is celebrating Bastille Day on July 14, these are buttery, savory cookies that hold up best when baked in metal rings or the bottom of a muffin tin. They also happen to be gluten free.
"This cookie is sweet and salty, crunchy and complex," she says. "It's one of my new favorites."
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Her team makes the oat and pecan flours in house by toasting whole oats and pecans and then grinding them finely in a food processor; if you want to buy the flours, you can find them in the gluten-free or baking section of many grocery stores, including Central Market. The glutinous rice flour is a gluten-free flour traditionally used in Asian cuisine that's available at Asian supermarkets and other specialty stores.
Not many home cooks have the baking rings that Carroll buys online for her kitchen, but she says a muffin tin will work, too. "The cookies just need something to be baked in to allow the edges to creep up the side of the mold and form the classic shape."
Pecan Sablé Breton
2 1/4 cups oat flour
1 1/3 cups pecan flour
1 cup glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted European-style butter, softened
2 tablespoons Meyer's rum
Maldon sea salt, for finishing
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flours, salt, baking soda and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix in cream cheese, butter and rum. Mix until a soft dough forms and no butter or cheese clumps are visible.
While dough is still soft, scrape onto a sheet of parchment paper, topping with another piece of parchment. Use a rolling pin to poll out the dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. Use the parchment paper to transfer the rolled dough to a sheet pan. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Punch dough into circles using 3-inch-by-1-inch metal baking rings. Leave the dough in the rings and place the rings on a baking sheet. Or, use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out the cookies and then place place them on a prepared cookie sheet or in the bottom of a large muffin tin. Top cookies with a pinch of Maldon salt, to taste. Bake for 35 minutes.
Let cookies cool in their molds. Once completely cool, remove from molds and serve. Makes 24 cookies.
— From Le Politique pastry chef Melissa Carroll