I had to go into the kitchen to bake these Calamansi Sables to get my mind off the horrific news. The television networks were in a frenzy. We were riveted to the news coverage of Boston. From my living room, I stayed tuned to the events unfold and watched incredulously just like the rest of the country, how a major city remained under lock down.
I felt for the citizens of Boston. My heart went out to the victims’ families. There were lives and limbs lost, futures permanently altered. The events of the last few days had varying textures of emotions ~ from intense courage, suspense-filled terror stricken moments to immense joy then sadness. Like a well knitted patchwork of squares, Boston’s story gave us many lessons to look at.
The chatter on social media simultaneous with all TV networks’ broadcast made me edgy. The high strung voices of the newscasters made me nervous. And when I listened to the helicopters hover on television, I felt as though they were right above my house, too. I went to the kitchen. I baked. It’s a coping mechanism. I cook to get my mind off worry. Eventually I find a neighbor who gladly welcomes the cookies or dish I cooked for no reason. These sables flavored with ‘calamansi’, the Filipino lime were a result of the Boston lock down. I had to calm myself by baking these.
Sables, in French are pronounced ‘sah-blays’. They are like delightful shortbread rounds, covered in a coating of sugar. The sandy texture with a buttery-citrus flavor was a sheer delight. I attempted a bite, and the glorious crumbs scattered on the table. I did not mind the minor mess. The calamansi sables were a treat with a warm cup of tea. I sipped some and bit into the thick, powdery round cookie. I knew then life was going to be okay because these sables were simply sublime.
- Large Cookie or Baking Sheets
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons calamansi juice fresh or frozen concentrate; or substitute with Meyer Lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2, egg yolks at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup coarse sugar or use sanding sugar; for coating cookies
- 1 or 2 egg whites for brushing on cookies
- Beat the butter or margarine till smooth in texture in a large bowl, using a stand or hand mixer.
- Add the sugar, salt, calamansi juice, lemon (or calamansi) zest and mix well for a minute.
- Add the egg yolks and mix well for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the flour and continue beating till dough looks moist.
- Divide the dough portion into half. Shape the dough into a long log, about 8-inches. Wrap the logs in parchment or wax paper, then in foil. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
- The next day, when getting ready to bake, prepare the cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or greasing them.
- Take out the dough from the refrigerator. Brush egg white all over the outside of the dough. Sprinkle sugar all over the log. Roll the log around so the sugar sticks to the dough.
- Use a sharp knife and slice the log into ¼ inch thick round pieces. Place the cut up dough on cookie sheets about 1-inch apart.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 350 F degrees, for 12 to 15 minutes. The sables or cookies should be slightly browned around the edges.Cool cookies on baking rack. Store in air-tight containers when they have cooled down.
- Cook’s Comments: Calamansi is the Filipino lime. They are small, round, with a dark green rough skin and with yellowish-orange citrus sections inside. It has a piercing sweet citrus scent that enhances baking or cooking. In the USA, it grows in warmer states. Here in the east coast, you can buy them at Asian markets or Chinatown. If not in season, I often use the frozen unsweetened calamansi concentrate, found in Asian groceries (packaged in round canisters, look in the freezer section). If not available, use the Meyer lemons for this recipe. If you’re in the Philippines, the calamansi grows abundantly in backyards or can be purchased in markets and groceries.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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