In the pursuit of culinary perfection, some recipes remain elusive, forever captivating our taste buds and culinary aspirations. One such quest led me on a wild chase for the ultimate sablé recipe, a French butter cookie renowned for its sandy texture and exquisite flavor. The sablés I fell head over heels for hailed from a quaint bakery known as Grain de Vanille, tucked away in the picturesque town of Cancale on Brittany’s rugged coast. What’s more, this unassuming bakery was the domain of none other than Michelin-three-star chef Olivier Roellinger. The sablés at Grain de Vanille, or Galettes de Cancale as Chef Roellinger calls them, were nothing short of a flavor revelation.
While I’m not quite ready to divulge the perfect sablé recipe just yet, my relentless pursuit yielded a trove of delicious buttery sablé cookies, though they weren’t quite on par with those from le Grain de Vanille. The surplus of cookies posed a delicious dilemma, and inspiration struck – why not create cookie sandwiches? The logical choice was chocolate ganache, but I wanted something extra special, a touch of gooey salted butter caramel. After all, as the New York Times proclaimed, everyone now adores salty caramels, and I’ve been a fan for ages.
But here’s the twist: filling cookie sandwiches with caramel proved to be a design conundrum. The caramel had a tendency to ooze out before it could set. This is where the chocolate ganache came to the rescue, creating a levee around the cookie edges to contain the caramel. The result? Irresistible cookie sandwiches that, yes, still ooze caramel upon that first delightful bite, but trust me, at that point, you’ll be too enraptured to care.
So, whether you’re a seasoned sablé enthusiast or just dipping your toes into the world of French cookies, this delightful journey will walk you through the steps to create these delectable, ooey-gooey, and utterly scrumptious Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches.
I’ve been in a bit of a mad search for the perfect sablé recipe. I’m completely obsessed with the sandy French butter cookies from the north of France. The best ones I’ve had came from a tiny bakery called Grain de Vanille in a little town named Cancale on the rugged Brittany coast. That little bakery that could is small in size but not stature, as it is owned and operated by the Michelin-three-star chef Olivier Roellinger. We haven’t been back there in a couple of years, and I’m positively aching for some of those sablés (though Chef Roellinger calls them Galettes de Cancale.)
I’m not quite ready to share the sablé recipe yet, I’ve got a really good one now, but I’m not sure if it’s the ultimate yet. I’ll share it when I get there. Meanwhile, my mad search resulted in loads of perfectly delicious, buttery sablé cookies – albeit not quite the caliber of le Grain de Vanille yet – and I had to do something with them.
That’s when this idea came to me. Cookie sandwiches! The obvious choice is chocolate ganache – who doesn’t love chocolate ganache? But I wanted to make something even more special. Yes, and what about some gooey salted butter caramel – didn’t the NY Times just claim that everyone now loves salty caramels? (As for me, I’ve loved them for ages thank you very much!)
But filling cookie sandwiches with gooey, salty caramel turned out to be a bit of a design problem. The caramel oozed out of the cookies before it had enough time to set. So here’s where the ganache came into play again. I piped the ganache along the edges of the cookie, forming a levy so I could pour the caramel inside. Topped with another butter piece of cookie, the sandwich is now ready to be devoured. The caramel will still ooze out once bitten into, but by then I am beyond caring – and so will you, too.
You can use just about any butter cookie or shortbread recipe you like. If you need someplace to start, Dorie Greenspan’s “punitions”, as interpreted by Deb of Smitten Kitchen, is a very good one.
This quantity of ganache and caramel will be enough to make about 24 (2-3 inch wide) Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches. (Doubling the recipe on Deb’s blog should do.)
Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches Recipe
- Chocolate Ganache
- 100g or 3 1/2 oz very good quality dark chocolate
- 120ml, 1/2 cup cream
- Salted Butter Caramel
- 120g, 1/2 cup sugar
- 60g salted butter, at room temperature
- 100ml, 1/4cup+2tablespoons cream
- Chop up the chocolate into small pieces. Add the cream to a medium pot saucepan over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the chopped chocolates to the pan, turn the heat off, and let sit for two minutes to melt.
- Whisk until the ganache is smooth and let rest until cools down a bit. Fill a medium pastry bag with the ganache. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can improvise one with a regular ziplog bag.
- Add the ganache to the ziplog bag, seal it close, and cut a hole in one corner so you can squeeze out the chocolate. And there you have it, your pastry bag.
- Let the ganache cool down just a little bit, then pipe it along the edges of a cookie to form a sort of levy.
- Do this to half the amount of cookies or shortbread you made. Let sit to cool down and set it a bit more. Meanwhile, you can make the caramel.
- In a medium pot, add the sugar and let it melt over medium heat. Shake the pan occasionally to make sure all the sugar is melted. Stir if you need to. Add cream to a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
- When the sugar melts and turns amber, add the cream and stir vigorously to mix well. Add the butter in small chunks and stir to blend. Set the caramel aside to cool down until lukewarm but still liquid.
- Fill another pastry bag with caramel, and pipe it into the middle of each cookie, making sure the caramel stays inside the ganache so you don’t make a mess.
- Cover each one with another cookie to make Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches.
In the end, this sweet adventure of combining the luscious textures of sablé cookies, velvety chocolate ganache, and indulgent salted butter caramel delivered an unforgettable taste sensation. We started with a quest for the perfect sablé, reminiscent of those divine cookies from the corner bakery in Cancale, and though the ultimate sablé recipe remains a tantalizing secret for now, we’ve uncovered a delightful alternative. These Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches, with their rich, contrasting flavors, are a testament to the creative spirit of baking and a tribute to the magic of French pastry.
As you embark on your own culinary journey to create these Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches, remember that the essence of a recipe lies in its ability to inspire and adapt. So whether you use a cherished butter cookie recipe or embark on the adventure of crafting your own, the art of baking is all about savoring each delectable step. Share these sweet moments with friends and family, and let the oozy caramel and rich chocolate ganache ignite your taste buds and create unforgettable memories. So, go ahead, embark on your sablé adventure, and savor the irresistible charm of this delectable Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches.
A Divine Dessert Delight!
I recently stumbled upon a heavenly delight – Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread Sandwiches. Let me tell you, these treats are an absolute game-changer. The combination of crumbly shortbread cookies, luscious chocolate ganache, and gooey salted caramel is a taste explosion you won’t want to miss. The recipe’s clear instructions and easy-to-follow steps make whipping up these delights a breeze. These sandwich cookies are perfect for impressing guests, satisfying your sweet cravings, or just indulging in a little self-care. Trust me, they’re a must-try for all dessert lovers!