While cook, author, and all around baking diva Dorie Greenspan is (justly) famous for many things, these cookies may end up as her most enduringly delicious legacy. Originally published in her book Paris Sweets, the recipe comes from frequent Dorie-collaborator Pierre Hermé and is just as divine as everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) says it is. And what better cookie, then, to kick of my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies bake-off? I’ll be attempting to crank out 12 delicious holiday cookies in basically the next two weeks. Insanity may ensue. (ed. note. It did, and this is as far as I got. Waaah-waah.)

Despite having read about these on countless blogs and having bought Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, which includes the recipe, I’d not made these buttery, darkly decadent sablés until very recently. And I’m here to tell you that the hype is very much well-earned. Distinguished by their saltiness, their chocolate flavor is powerful and sophisticated, with smoky, not-too-sweet nuance. Even the bits of chocolate embedded in the luxuriously sandy crumb are bittersweet.

Totally addictive, and so good that Dorie’s gone into production for herself. You can buy them at her Beurre & Sel shoplettes in New York City. They’re quite simple to make yourself, though, so if a trip to the Big Apple isn’t in the cards, you can still get your fix.

You could certainly use regular cocoa for these, but I love them with black cocoa. The Batman of cocoa, it’s dark and angsty and brooding and delicious. Use with caution. I get mine here. I also took the liberty of mixing in some broken cacao nibs for extra textural interest and because it seemed like a good idea.

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