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Mrs. Lenkh's Cheese Sablés

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Yields about 43 2-inch hexagons, plus scraps.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 74

These crackers are great with drinks and go especially well with dry and off-dry sparkling wines. The dough keeps for two days in the fridge, and for months in the freezer (thaw it in the fridge before using).

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour          
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 7 oz. (14 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3-1/2 oz. (1-1/2 cups) finely grated sharp Cheddar
  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with a pinch of paprika and 1/2 tsp. water, as a glaze
  • Kosher or sea salt for sprinkling

Put the flour, salt, cayenne, and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse again until the butter is in small pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses. Add the cheeses, pulse, and finally, add the egg and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together.

Dump the dough on an unfloured surface. If you’re using nuts, sprinkle them on the pile of dough. Knead by lightly smearing the ingredients together as you push them away from you with the heel of your hand until the dough is cohesive. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for an hour or two to let the butter firm.

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Stamp out shapes or cut shapes with a knife. Arrange 1-inch apart on two ungreased baking sheets. Reroll scraps once and stamp again.

Brush with the glaze and sprinkle lightly with kosher or sea salt. Bake until golden brown and thoroughly cooked inside, about 14 minutes, rotating the sheets from front to back and top to bottom about halfway through. To test, break one in half and look to see if the center still looks doughy. If so, cook for a few more minutes, but be careful not to overbake. Let cool on a rack and store only when completely cool.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per cracker; Calories (kcal): 70; Fat (g): fat g 5; Fat Calories (kcal): 45; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3; Protein (g): protein g 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 115; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 25; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The salt is a definite mistake in the original recipe and I used unsalted butter so no mistake on my part. They list 1 Tablespoon of table salt - they are way too salty and I am a salt freak - I add salt to nearly everything. They either meant 1 teaspoon table salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Sure the sparkling wine helps get the salt down but there's no need for that much. Also bag the rolling out and cutting and place the dough in a parchment log they way you would for a compound butter. Then the next day (one hour is nowhere long enough to set up the structure) when the dough is firm just slice and bake!

I will definitely make these again because of the rave reviews and will give it 4 stars on potential alone, but this first time, they did not come out too great for me. I agree with the reviewer that said 1 Tbsp of salt is way too much - really unpalatable for our tastes, so will make with milder salt next time. I also do not have a food processer, so used the Kitchen Aid paddle; what do folks think about that affecting the outcome? Thanks

These were OUTSTANDING!! My guests raved!! Melt in your mouth cheesy goodness. I made them exactly as written except, like a previous reviewer, rolled the dough into 2 logs. I froze one log and refrigerated the other for 2 days. Then the day of the party, I cut the refrigerated log into 1/4 inch rounds, brushed with egg wash, sprinkled with Malden salt and popped them in the oven. Done in 13 minutes. Perfect little munchie with drinks and I still have a log in the freezer for another day. I get approx. 35 crackers per log. You don't need them big. I will be making these again. Thank you!!

I have made these several times over the past years and really love this recipe. The reason I did not give it 5 stars is because the one time I used table salt (meaning, iodized salt) instead of the usual kosher salt and/or sea salt, they came out WAY too salty. So I recommend to all who will make this, to use a milder salt in the recipe -- and then add a light sprinkle of a malden salt, or kosher salt on top of the egg wash before baking. I found this process not only makes the cracker more appealing, but gives the palate a delicious salt/butter contrast!

I love making these for holiday snacks. They remind me of a gourmet, flakier version of Cheezit crackers. Excellent with champagne.

This was an excellent recipe and I made it with the ingredients exactly as stated. However, instead of rolling them out, I rolled the dough into a log, wrapped the log in saran wrap, refrigerated it for an hour then cut them in 1/4 inch slices. This was much easier to do than rolling out and the dough didn't get tough with the re-rolling. This recipe is a keeper and all my guests asked for the recipe.

Very flaky and delicious. I made a batch thinner than the suggested 1/4" and they were crispier and more like crackers.

Nice texture, really great for cocktail parties. The recipe would be good also with just cheddar cheese, and maybe just a bit more red pepper. I also would cut back the salt to 1 tsp. A tablespoon of salt doesn't make the recipe too salty, but with the cheeses, I will probably just use less.

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