This is Jacques Torres's recipe for sablés, a classic French butter cookie with a sandy, crumbly texture (sablé means "sandy")—though this fabulously dense version is actually more like shortbread.
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1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
Pinch of salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons cold milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1/2 cup granulated sugar
How to Make It
In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa and salt. Add the butter and process until sandy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla extract and process until a firm dough forms. Transfer the dough to 2 sheets of plastic wrap and form into two 7-inch logs, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until very firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the egg white in a small bowl. Sprinkle the granulated sugar in a 7-inch square on a sheet of wax paper. Brush the logs with the egg white and roll in the sugar, pressing to help it adhere. Cut the logs into 1/4-inch slices and transfer to the baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until just firm to the touch; shift the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through for even baking. Transfer the baking sheets to racks to cool.
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