In the spirit of Independence Day and to commemorate all the tea that was dumped into the Boston Harbor 240 years ago, I’m making tea biscuits with the pâte sablée I love to hate. It’s a holiday of mixed feelings so it seems apropos to work with a difficult, fragile dough that has the potential to be so sweet, but can just as easily go so wrong. But this blog is about food, not politics, so I digress…
First, refer to the dough section to make the pâte sablée (and learn why I love/hate it).
Once it has been in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, roll it out onto waxed paper or parchment paper. I tend to put the rolled dough back in the fridge before cutting cookies. It only takes a few moments for this dough to go all soft at room temperature. Once soft, it’s difficult to transfer to the cookie sheet. Just keep telling yourself how good it’s going to be. Refrigerate, cut, transfer… keep doing this as needed until you’ve used all your dough.
Preheat your oven to 370 degrees and bake for 6-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookie and how golden you like them.
I made a variety. Some I brushed with dissolved freeze-dried espresso granules and made fork hash-marks. With others, I made a thumb-print and filled the indent with black raspberry jelly or seville orange marmalade before baking. I put almond slivers on a couple and dusted with confectioner’s sugar after baking; I also baked a few plain cookies and dotted them with Chantilly cream and berries after baking. Only after the fact am I noticing all the red, white and blue I’ve created… totally coincidental.
As much as I complain about this dough, I’ll admit, it’s one of my favorites. It’s so subtle; it just melts in your mouth. Whatever toppings you decide to use, keep them light (for instance, chocolate chips would overpower this cookie). I guess that’s why I want to call them biscuits. Tea biscuits.
Now go pay your taxes.