Sable is French for sand, and these Parmesan Sable biscuits are so named because of their texture. Crisp and firm, but on biting into them the texture is more sand like then crumbly.We added some hazelnuts, a scatter of chopped sage and some sea salt (kosher salt). Oh and a bit of cayenne for a hit of chilli.
Sharp cheese, a hint of spice and herbs, these savoury cookies make for a perfect gift if you want an alternative to all the sweet stuff over the coming holiday season. They will sit as well at smart cocktail gatherings as they will provide accompaniment to a humble bowl of tomato soup for midweek supper.
Holiday Gifts – how to make it practical to do and pretty enough to be proud of!
Every year I have had grand plans – hampers filled with homemade goodies for friends and family. Yet being underdeveloped on the artistic side, I have tended to struggle with packaging and presentation and more often than not given up.
But no more – for this year there is a big trend for edible gifts, which means an abundance of recipes, ideas and packaging so that you can make and present gifts with ease and flair.
It may not turn you into the gifting supremo shown below (from the film ‘Love Actually’), but try and remember that less is more…!
Over the next couple of weeks we will share some ideas from our own kitchen and from other sites, to inspire you to create your own gifts and hampers.
Making edible gifts isn’t really about being thrifty – whilst you may save some pennies, the love and time taken to make and pack these goods is an investment that will be appreciated by your recipient.
Pick things that are simple, that will last a while and are sturdy enough to cope with being carried around and packaged up.
Be sure to think about shelf life and add a note to this effect.
Pretty boxes, wrapping plastic and seasonal ribbons are readily available. If you are in the UK, Lakeland and Hobbycraft are a good start but do look online for equivalent, better value deals. Amazon is also a great stop for supplies, wherever you are based.
Now back to the recipe in hand – makes 24 cookies.
We used mini loaf tin cases from Sainsburys, then packaged them in cellophane bags and tied with a ribbon.
- 100g/3½ oz unsalted butter - cold and cut into half-inch cubes
- 100g/3½ oz all purpose (plain) flour
- Half teaspoon each of table salt and cayenne pepper
- Half teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 100g/3½ oz finely grated parmesan (or other hard, sharp cheese)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Half teaspoon of sea (kosher) salt
- 24 hazelnuts, peeled
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/Gas 4/180°C and line two baking trays with greased baking paper.
- In a food processor, pulse the butter, flour, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, herb and cheese until the mixture forms into a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a fat disc, cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Flour your work surface lightly
- Remove the chilled pastry from clingwrap and place it between 2 sheets of silpat or baking parchment
- Roll the pastry to a ¼ inch thickness. Cut out the sable biscuits using a 2 in circular pastry cutter.
- Place each sable onto the baking tray (about half an inch apart each) and place a hazelnut on each one
- Brush the sables with beaten egg and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are golden-brown in color.
- Use a palette knife to gently lift the biscuits onto a cooling rack to firm up.
- Once cooled and firm, store in an airtight container for up to a week
Do you have any plans to create edible gifts this year? What are you making and do you have any packaging tips?
Here are some savoury and sweet ideas we’ve garnered. Check back for more ideas in upcoming blog posts. If you want to keep up to date with our blog, why not subscribe – just add your email to our list here and we will inbox you with recipes, reviews and competitions on all things food.
Gruyere and Hazelnut Crackers from The Kitchn
Homemade Cheese Crackers from The Kitchn
Michelle’s Chunky Chocolate Cheerio bars
Sweet and Savory spiced nuts from Savory Lotus
Homemade Oatcakes from Delicious. magazine
And a great post on Edible Gifts from Katie Bryson
And for loads more ideas, check out our Pinterest board on Edible Gifts which we will keep adding to over the Holiday season.