So… as you’ve gathered, Andrea and I are both in for some big moves. We’ve been waiting all summer to announce our changes while we made decisions and plans. The husbands are both pursuing higher education, getting their Masters Degrees, so we’re being torn apart with a continent and an ocean between us. I already miss Andrea a LOT We keep saying to each other, “At least we have our blog to keep us connected!” And fate be willing, eventually hope and would love to be next door neighbors again.
So where are our husband’s educations taking us?! Drum roll please…. my family is relocating to Salem, Oregon so Phil can attend Willamette University. It’ll be interesting and worth while to be living in the gluten-free capitol of the world. From what I’ve gathered, Oregon is very friendly to people with food sensitivities and big into natural health. I’ve also heard that it’s a quirky place where “anything goes.” Hopefully it means for some crazy stories to tell.
For Andrea, and I’d say she’s the winner here, her family is relocating to Bordeaux, France! I’m so happy, envious, and thrilled for her! Riggins, aka Shem, got accepted into the Masters Program there and couldn’t pass up such a life changing and life enriching experience. So basically Andrea is moving back to where it all started for me, in Bordeaux, and is going to have the greatest culinary experience anyone could ever hope for. We’ve come full circle Even though we’re being taking away from our beloved Hawaiian Island of Oahu, together we’re still Coconuts and Cardamom because this is where it all began: we grew roots, we started our families, we became friends, we deeply loved the culture, the climate, the people and the food. The Hawaiian way of life is rooted deep within us and will follow to Oregon and France. Bring on the Island European fusion.
We both move in just a few weeks, and that means life is happening at a hectic, busy, crazy pace for us right now. My family is going on a camping trip with our extended family this week to squeeze in the last few memories before we vanish to the west coast. I’m watching everyone pack the food for the week, including the snacks, and realized I won’t get to enjoy any of the wonderful treats I see. Unwilling to be left out completely, I decided to make a GF and lactose free snack I could enjoy while lounging about in the great outdoors.
These little butter cookies (in French they’re called sablés, meaning sandy) are the quick, easy, and satisfying solution. It’s a recipe I learned while living in Bordeaux, and have since adapted to the GF way. But all you lucky wheat eaters out there, please don’t hesitate to whip these puppies up, they’re as satisfying as a bite sized nugget could ever be. (If you must, regular cookie flour could easily be replaced instead of the GF flours as these don’t o much rising at all). The key is to use a spatula and your hands when mixing to avoid over beating and overheating the dough. It’s a simple and tender little cookie, so treat it as such.
|Sablés – Butter Cookies, Gluten Free|
- 7 ounces (14 tablespoons) butter at room temp, unsalted
- 1/2 cup blond cane sugar*
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 teaspoons thick vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons xanthum gum
- about 1/3 cup milk (coconut or almond), to act as glue for sugar coating
- extra sugar for coating, coarse large-crystal or regular blond cane sugar work best.
- Begin by blending together the dry in a side bowl: brown rice flour, spelt flour, xanthum gum, and salt.
- In a mixing bowl using a spatula stir the room temp butter until its smooth and creamy.
- Add in the vanilla bean paste and sugar and mix well.
- Now add the dry bowl to the butter mixture. It’s most effective to use your hands here. Don’t shy away from it, it’s fun to get hands on and allows you to feel the dough right when it’s incorporated. You don’t want to over mix this one.
- Divide the dough into 3 or 4 sections and roll each into a log, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap these logs with plastic wrap and let them firm up in the fridge for an hour.
- After the hour goes by, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Remove the logs from the wrap, generously brush all sides with milk and roll in the extra sugar so the log is has a thick coating of “sable.”
- Using a sharp knife, cut pieces about 1/3 inch thick off the log and arrange on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Not much space is needed between the cookies as they don’t rise much, so pack them on there. You should be able to fit almost all the batch on one sheet.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, it’s a slow and low baking process so they don’t color much and the sugar has time to gently crystallize.
- Enjoy as an afternoon gouter (snack), with ice cream, crushed up as a base layer in desserts, dipped in nutella, etc etc.
*regular white sugar can be used, but unrefined cane sugar lends a better flavor for such a simple recipe. It’s also better to use a less processed sugar for the body.