One of the most loved places in Portland has to be The Standard Baking Co. It’s tiny, there’s very little parking and it’s not easy to find if you haven’t been told where to look. The pastries are unfussy and understated, relying more on technique and ingredients than flash and food coloring. Most mornings, the line is out the door, as anxious customers await their turn for a transcendent croissant, a decadent morning bun (with or without nuts), or a famous blueberry scones. And a good cup of coffee.
The baguettes and other breads are extraordinary, but you know me. I’m all about the chocolate.
No matter how many other wonderful things I taste at Standard, I always come back to the chocolate sables. ( by the way, that’s sa-blay, not say-bull). These simple chocolate cookies are just the right combination of texture and taste – crispy and full of butter and cocoa with a touch of salt.
As a huge fan of Standard and an avid home baker, I was thrilled when they recently published a cook book, aptly named The Standard Baking Co. Pastries by Alison Pray and Tara Smith. The book reveals the how-to’s for such treats as Pear Frangipane Tarts, Chocolate Corks, Vanilla Bean Shortcakes. And thankfully, the Chocolate Sable.
Of course I made them for you. Here they are:
The recipe makes a lot of cookies. Delicious, crunchy, chocolaty cookies. And I still have three logs of the dough in the freezer so I can make more any time (like tomorrow). Here’s the recipe so you can make them too.
The Standard Baking Co. Pastries
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/3 cups (2 2/3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chunks
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until soft and smooth. Add both sugars and vanilla to the butter. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just blended thoroughly.
Add the chocolate chunks and mix until they are evenly distributed.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6″ log and wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap.Refrigerate until firm, at least 45 minutes. At this point, the dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to three days, or frozen for up to a month. (Frozen logs should be defrosted before slicing.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove two logs from the refrigerator. Unwrap, and with a sharp knife, cut into slices about 1/2″ thick. Place on prepared baking sheets, spaced 2″ apart. Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt.
Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Bake for another 4 minutes, or until the centers are just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Keep in mind…
The longer you chill the dough, the more likely the sables are to hold their shape.
At Standard, they stack the cookies and sell them in a cellophane sleeve. Looks very pretty and would make a nice gift.