This week for French Fridays with Dorie, I am early! That’s right – already done with the cooking and post and it’s only Tuesday. The recipe selection this week is free choice. Just pick anything from Around My French Table that you want to prepare for the holidays. My choice was inspired by the book, is a Dorie recipe, and has been adapted slightly to become these earthy, citrusy delights.
Ever since I purchased Around My French Table, I’ve been intrigued by the cocktail cookie recipe called Sablés. Dorie explains that this recipe is from David Lebovitz, a famous chef and blogger who now lives and works in Paris. Along the lines of savory cocktail cookies, Dorie was recently featured in Food and Wine, writing about her sweet and savory creations including a recipe for Apricot Tarragon Cookies. This inspired my friend Carol Sacks of the blog In Medias Recipe to write a beautiful post about this intriguing wine/cocktail accompaniment.
After finishing my Thanksgiving menu last week which includes a Clementhyme Sparkle Cocktail (by Chef Kathy Casey and Cuties Citrus), these savory cookies popped into mind with the idea of using orange zest and thyme to mimic the cocktail. I sent a tweet to Carol and Dorie to see what they thought of the combination and received encouragement to give it a try.
So that I did over the weekend, using the Apricot Tarragon recipe as a base. I just left out the apricot, and replaced the two tablespoons of tarragon with one tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme and one tablespoon of freshly grated orange zest. And wow – I am sold on this concept and the combination. Crispy, fragrant, buttery but light at the same time. As @dormantchef said, people will take one to see what it is and then want to repeat many times over. My two teens gobbled them up almost before I could take the photos!
Orange Thyme Cocktail Cookies
Surprise your guests with a cookie appetizer! Pair it with a cocktail and you'll look like a genius. The dough can be made ahead, rolled out between wax or parchment paper, and frozen so you all you have to do is bake them for your big day.
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (1 medium orange)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Remove the thyme leaves from the stalk and chop the thyme finely.
- Zest the orange using a microplane grater, if you have one.
- In a small bowl, rub the thyme and zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and aromatic.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the orange thyme sugar at low speed until creamy. Beat in the egg yolk until just combined, about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and beat until smooth. Add the salt and flour and beat until just incorporated.
Turn the cookie dough out onto a work surface and knead until it just comes together. Divide the dough in half and press each half into a disk. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment to about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the wax paper–covered disks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour, until very firm.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one piece of cookie dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies as close together as possible. Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until they are lightly golden; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. (if your dough, as mine was, is a little thinner than 1/4 inch, reduce the cooking time by about half)
MAKE AHEAD — The rolled-out frozen cookie dough can be wrapped in plastic and kept frozen for 2 weeks. The baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Be sure to check out the French Fridays with Dorie web site after you’ve survived Thanksgiving Day and put Dorie Greenspan’s award-winning cookbook Around My French Table on your Christmas or Hannukah wish list! You will cherish the gift and learn from each recipe and story that she shares. And don’t forget to visit In Medias Recipe’s post and Dorie’s article in Food and Wine.