I love hosting parties at home! That feeling of coziness, comfort, and caring that you share with your guests is nothing compared to dinning out.
About a month ago, we finished our speedy 6-day kitchen renovation. Yes, SIX DAYS! It involved removing everything from lighting to cabinets to floor to the big giant wall between the kitchen and the dinner room… then rebuilding everything from ground zero! I think it took us longer to pack/unpack and clean up than the actual renovation. But now my kitchen makes so much more sense considered we cook and host guests a lot! I’m such a happy bird now!
During this renovation process, I received French Appetizers cookbook from Marie Asselin, one of my very lovely friends that I met via Instagram. Her second one, after the amazing Simply Citrus, is all about l’apéro, a casual gathering with finger foods and drinks before dinner. As you can see, I simply couldn’t wait to get back to my kitchen and start planning some happy hour gatherings!
As a shortbread cookies maniac, I’ve been very curious about sablés, the French version of shortbread! So when I came across Marie’s chocolate and tahini sablés, I knew this would be the first recipe that I had to try from the cookbook. Making sablés is easy, as they are simply icebox cookies – mixed, rolled into logs, chilled, sliced and baked. I was very intrigued by the addition of eggs, which I believe adds wonderful flavour and richness to the cookies. I especially appreciate Marie’s creative take on tahini in this recipe, which yields such a lovely exotic personality to the cookies.
We all need a little help to effortlessly host l’apéro with an array of delicious French food. And this cookbook will surely inspire you along the way! I’m excited to give away a copy of this lovely cookbook to one lucky reader. Simply leave me a comment below telling me one of your favourite party appetizers before April 16, 2019 (Tuesday) midnight PST. You can also tag a friend, follow Oh Sweet Day! and follow Marie on Instagram for extra entries. One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced on this post. Good luck!*** Congratulations to Clara Manger Cats, the winner of French Appetizer by Marie Asselin. Thank you all for participating! ***
Ingredients (36 sablés):
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
50 grams grated or very finely chopped dark chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup tahini (stir well before using)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
150 grams chopped dark chocolate
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
In a large bowl, sift together together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk to combine then whisk in the grated chocolate. Set aside.
In a bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and tahini until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on low speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir at low speed just to incorporate. (Avoid overworking the dough).
Transfer the dough to a work surface and gather it with your hands, pressing it down a few times to roughly shape into a disk. Cut into 2 equal portions. Place 1 portion onto a large piece of plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to both your work surface and your hands, and then shape it into a thin log of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the log tightly into the plastic wrap; repeat to shape the second log. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or up to 3 days. (You can also freeze the raw dough for up to 1 month.)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take 1 log out of the refrigerator, unwrap, and use a serrated knife to slice into 1/3-inch-thick cookies. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, setting them 1 inch apart. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to bake the second batch of cookies, if desired.
To serve, gently melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double-boiler. Spoon some chocolate over the sablés, or dip into the chocolate, and then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Let cool until the chocolate sets.
Store leftover sablés in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days
Recipe adapted from French Appetizers by Marie Asselin, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.