You could call these crackers, or biscuits, or cookies or even cheesy shortbread, but I sometimes like to be fancy (oh la la!), especially when I’ve having canapés and I call them Black Pepper and Parmesan Sablés. I also call them pretty darn delicious!
Technically are these sablés? I don’t know. The only recipes I’ve seen have been sweet ones. My go to book for French cuisine the one and only ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ by Julia Childs (if you haven’t read it then get it out of the library because its fantastic, a bit lacking in the old glossy picture department but lots of detailed step by step recipes) only has a recipe for sweet ones. But sablés means ‘sandy’ and even these savoury ones start out like wet sand before coming together in a dough that bakes into delicious cheesy treats. Am I boring you with my little inner debate? Ahhh…yes. Okay, moving along Kate. One last comment….regardless lets call them sablés, its nice to be fancy every now and then!
These Black Pepper and Parmesan Sablés are great for entertaining. Not only is the salty biscuit perfect to accompany a nice beer, wine or cocktail, they are also can be made in advance, kept in your fridge (or even freezer) and whipped out and into the oven when your guests arrive. I love the simplicity of parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper, but I have also tried these with cheddar cheese (a little less salty), rosemary, thyme, chilli flakes and even olives. Its so easy to incorporate your favourite flavours, either add them to the dough or sprinkle on top when they are deliciously warm just out of the oven. Mmmmmm.
I now just wish I was having some guests over for a classy soiree tonight – sadly I don’t think that’s happening with a toddler and another little one on the way! Oh well, I’ll enjoy them with my husband in front of TV, and actually my toddler loves these sablés, classy little guy!
Happy Friday everyone! xoxo Kate
Black Pepper and Parmesan Sablés
- 150 g 5oz parmesan cheese
- 1 cup 200g/7oz plain flour
- 125 g 1 stick unsalted butter, 1cm or 1/2” cubes
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- sea salt to serve
Place chunks of parmesan cheese in your food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. This is much easier than grating it, but alternatively you can always grate it by hand.
Add the flour, butter, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Pulse until the mixture starts to clump together.
Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Form the mixture into a log that is approximately 5cm (2in) in diameter or any diameter that is of your choosing. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a week.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 180C (350F). Using a sharp knife carefully slice 5mm (1/4 in) slices and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper (parchment paper).
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the sables are starting to turn a light golden brown.
Remove from oven, sprinkle each sable with some flaky sea salt and allow to cool slightly before serving warm or cold. They will harden as they cool. Delicious with a cocktail, wine or beer!