Oh February – the month of love, flowers, chocolate, and cheesiness. From those four characteristics, I fall for three, and flowers get left in the dust.
I know it sounds kind of awful to dislike flowers, but I never know what to do with them. I’m terrible at taking care of them, as I am with most plants in general – I’m THAT person who once killed a mini cactus by forgetting about it and knocking it over. Moreover, I grew up in a world where the gifts I received were practical and possessed a decent amount of utility, and so when I receive flowers, I can’t help but find them a bit of a nuisance that I have to clean up after once they shed their petals all over my tablecloth.
That said, if there were flowers that I could eat, then that’s a different story, which is how these florally-inclined sablé cookies (French shortbread) came to fruition.
Sablé means “sandy” in French, and these cookies mimic a similar crumbly texture but with much more deliciousness. Cookies as simple as these bake best with high quality ingredients, which is why I advise using the best butter you can find. I used Kerrygold, a sweet Irish butter that contains higher fat content than American butter. The additional fat lends itself to a flavorful cookie tinged with cardamom for a twist on a French classic.
While I have no clue how to cut or arrange flowers, I can cut flower-shaped cookies just fine. Fifty cookies and a hefty drizzle of caramel sauce later (an optional garnish if you don’t plan on packaging these), I have a final product that makes me fall in all sorts of love with flowers and February.
The way to my heart.
- 8 ounces butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and cardamom together until well-incorporated, about 3-4 minutes. Add in vanilla.
- Add flour and mix on the lowest setting until JUST mixed – do not overmix.
- Shape dough into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until firm but pliable.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
- On a Silpat or a well-floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 3/4″ thick on all sides. Use a 1″ wide cookie cutter to punch out shapes and place them on the prepared baking sheet. If the dough gets too sticky to handle, stick it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm up.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes until the bottom of the cookies are a light brown color. Let cool on a wire rack . If not packaging the cookies, drizzle with caramel sauce before eating.