This is the first in our monthlong series, 12 Days of Cookies, featuring classic and inventive recipes from across the country.
Most cookies are built from a simple foundation of butter, sugar and flour.
In Brittany, this trinity achieves greatness in the form of sablés Breton. Sweet and lightly salty, these are the sophisticated, sultry French predecessors to classic sugar cookies. In other words: Don’t even think about icing them.
Pierre Zimmermann makes a superb version at La Fournette, the Old Town bakery he opened this summer. They’re far from the most complex or eye-catching treat amid the shop’s spread of croissants, macarons and cakes, but the pronounced buttery flavor and crumbly texture are striking (see the recipe).
As for that butter, we’d advise you to spring for the best (Plugrá is the favorite of our Test Kitchen).
We first tried La Fournette’s sablés on a late-summer night, with a glass of bone-dry rosé alongside; the pairing was superb. This time of year, we’re serving them with the last sips of dinner’s lighter-bodied reds. Though it’s made far from Brittany, Beaujolais Nouveau feels right at home with a plate of these superlative disks.
Postprandial whiskey and mulled cider do nicely, too.
La Fournette, 1547 N. Wells St.; 312-624-9430 or lafournette.com