Giant Chocolate Chip Sablé

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chocolate chip sable

We recently returned from our annual family retreat to Grindelwald, a small but popular ski resort in the Swiss alps. We have been going there since our son was a mere 1 month old baby, so it was somewhat awakening to accept that, this year, he attended ski school for the first time. Not only did he exceed all of our expectations at being able to focus and participate willingly during his morning lessons, it turns out that he is a bit of a natural at skiing too. Wow. My little baby boy can now ski. He can already speak French and Swiss German better than me, and soon he will be zooming down the black slopes, leaving me behind in the dust!

grindelwald

grindelwald

grindelwald

grindelwald

grindelwald

grindelwald

grindelwald

Each afternoon after we picked him up from his lesson, we would stop by the local bakery for an afternoon tea treat. He has always loved their giant chocolate chip sablé, and this year was no exception. It’s so funny to see the children eat these giant cookies – they are almost the size of their faces!

giant choc chip sable

Once we arrived back home in Zurich, we didn’t have to wait very long before our son started requesting his usual chocolate chip cookie for afternoon tea. So like any proud mother, I have only been too happy to indulge him.

chocolate chip sable

A sablé is a French shortbread cookie and the recipe below is based on one given to me by my husband’s great-aunt. Like most French cookies, this one is rich in butter, but it is significantly less sweet than, say, most American-style cookies. In fact, I should own up now and confess that my recipe below contains double the amount of sugar which my husband’s great-aunt uses; she shook her head in disapproval when she found out, although I was not brave enough to point out to her that she serves her sablés with a pot of jam on the side …

My son was super-excited to come home this afternoon to a plate of chocolate chip sablés still warm from the oven. And I feel better just knowing that our cookie jar is, once again, full to the brim.

chocolate chip sable

Giant Chocolate Chip Sablé
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Makes about 24 large cookies
Ingredients
  • 350 g (12 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 600 g (21 oz) plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 160 g (6 oz) dark chocolate chips
Method
  1. Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the flat paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of the flour mixture at a time to the bowl and incorporate on slow speed.
  4. Once all of the flour has been added, add a bit of the cold water (you may not need all of it) and mix until everything comes together into a soft ball.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and incorporate this into the dough.
  6. Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll until the mixture is about 1 cm thick.
  7. Place the rolled out dough in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  9. Use a large round cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with baking paper. I used an 8 cm (3 inch) round cookie cutter.
  10. Bake the cookies for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden.
  11. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook’s Notes

You can make these cookies as big or as small as you like. Just bake them until they are lightly golden.

The cookies keep well in an air-tight container for several days.

Share your photos!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

 

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26 Comments

  1. Dannii 19 January 2017

    Anything with the word giant in the title gets my vote.
    Those scenery photos are just stunning.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 19 January 2017

      Thanks, Dannii! You can then see why we love going to Grindelwald each year 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sarah 19 January 2017

    That looks and sounds like it was a wonderful family trip! …and those cookies, yum!! Perfect afternoon snack indeed!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 19 January 2017

      Thanks, Sarah. We always enjoy our trip to Grindelwald, and this year especially!

      Reply
  3. David @ CookingChat 19 January 2017

    fun to read this post! giant chocolate chip piqued my interest, but I hadn’t seen the term “sable” before. And I went hiking in Grindewald many years back, fun to see your pics of the place in the winter!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 19 January 2017

      Oh, I’ve never been to Grindelwald in summer! We keep hearing that it’s a beautiful place to hike in summer, so we ought to do that this year. A “sablé” is a French shortbread cookie which is fairly popular in Switzerland. These cookies are essentially large sablé with chocolate chips added 🙂

      Reply
  4. These biscuits would go down a treat with the kids. Bookmarked to make later

    Reply
  5. sara | belly rumbles 19 January 2017

    You had me at giant chocolate chip, but you got me completely over the line with SABLE!!!

    Your photos of Grindelwald are stunning and, what a proud mum you are! How fantastic for you son on his first inclusion in ski school and to be blitzing it!!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 19 January 2017

      Thanks, Sara 🙂 We weren’t sure how it was going to work out with the ski school, but our son was a true champion from day one. I’m so used to having to negotiate with him to get him to do most things, so this was a complete surprise!

      Reply
  6. mary 20 January 2017

    Great cookies! and great vacation! – we are going to be enjoying a batch of these:)

    Reply
  7. Dani | salt sugar and i 23 January 2017

    Those photos are something of fairy tales! I cannot imagine snow like that right now when our nights are stifling hot 🙂 will have to give these a go when it’s cool enough to turn the oven on again and dream of snowy mountains like these while baking! Thanks for sharing x

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 January 2017

      I’ve always been a winter person, so Switzerland definitely suits me 😉 I can’t imagine living again in Australia where it would get up to 40°C in summer. If we ever move back to Australia, it might have to be to Tasmania!

      Reply
      • Dani 23 January 2017

        I much prefer the cold too… I’ve had many many many thoughts (& dreams) about moving to Tasmania to escape Sydney’s heat this summer!

        Reply
        • Eat, Little Bird 24 January 2017

          I once travelled to Tasmania briefly for work and was lucky to visit some friends who were living there at the time. They showed me around and I just found the area to be stunning. The city feels so different to the rest of Australia, albeit a bit isolated. I remember the Sydney heat well … I don’t miss the humidity one bit! 😉

          Reply
  8. Alex 23 January 2017

    Your ski vacation looks like heaven! Must be amazing to live so close to the Alps 🙂

    Reply
  9. grindelwald looks gorgeous! all that snow ? i do have to admit at first i thought you were talking about grindelwald, the evil wizard pre-voldemort in harry potter ?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 January 2017

      LOL! I’m also a Harry Potter fan but I didn’t know that was his name – just looked it up now! It’s not a bad name to have, especially since it’s linked to such a beautiful part of Switzerland 🙂

      Reply
  10. Lynn | The Road to Honey 23 January 2017

    Awww. . .the kiddos sure do grow up fast, don’t they? Such beautiful photos of Grindelwald. They make me want to drop everything & run there. . .especially if it involves a giant sable. They look so tasty and would be the perfect partner to my walnut tea.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 January 2017

      They say that the days are long, but the years are short … that is so true when you have children! Cookies and a hot cup of tea sound just perfect to me right now 🙂

      Reply
  11. The-FoodTrotter 25 January 2017

    Your pictures from the moutains are simply breathtaking! And your cookies are probably a lovely snack to serve with a cup of tea to observe the summits from this cute wood cabin 🙂

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 January 2017

      Thank you! We always enjoy being in the mountains and it’s a rare opportunity when I can capture such photos with so much fresh snow. I think we will always associate Grindelwald with giant chocolate chip cookies, so it’s been nice to recreate them at home 🙂

      Reply
  12. Vy 29 January 2017

    Thanh, your ski vacation looks amazing! I would gladly trade my beaches for the snow for a few days! Glad to see you making good on your New Year’s resolutions!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 January 2017

      Thanks, Vy! I hope you and your family had a wonderful time in Hawaii. I’ve always dreamt of visiting Hawaii, so hopefully we will make it there one day! As for the blog, it’s hard work trying to meet my goals, but at least it’s fun to work on the blog 🙂

      Reply

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