Better than the tin

The more I bake and try new things, the more I find out that it is possible to recreate my favorite store-bought treats, and, once the recipes are mastered, the home-made versions are ten times better. This was the case with the lemon sables I made this past week, better known to us as those sugar-covered butter cookies in the Christmas tins. I love those cookies and didn't think there was anything wrong with the tin version until I made these at home. They were amazing! And so very easy! These will definitely be on my gift list next year.

Lemon Sables


1large egg
10tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
1/3cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (2 3/4 ounces)
1/4teaspoon table salt
1teaspoon vanilla extract
4teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 Egg white + 1 t water
Turbinado sugar


  1. 1. Place egg in small saucepan, cover with 1 inch water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill small bowl with ice water. Using slotted spoon, transfer egg to ice water and let stand 5 minutes. Crack egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white; discard white. Press yolk through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl.

  2. 2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with rubber spatula as needed. Turn mixer to low, add vanilla and lemon zest, and mix until incorporated. Stop mixer; add flour and mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, press dough into cohesive mass.

  3. 3. Divide dough in half; roll each piece into log about 6 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in 12-inch square of parchment paper and twist ends to seal and firmly compact dough into tight cylinder. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

  4. 4. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using chef’s knife, slice dough into ¼-inch-thick rounds, rotating dough so that it won’t become misshapen from weight of knife. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Brush with egg white and water mixture and sprinkle sugar on top.

  5. 5. Bake until centers of cookies are pale golden brown with edges slightly darker than centers, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.


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