French Sand Cookies (Sablés)

Sablés are French shortbread cookies, although more delicate than, say, Scottish shortbread. They’re also known as sand cookies, due to their texture and they can crumble easily. These cookies cannot take a bashing without ending up as a pile of crumbs. I first made them when my family was SCD, using almond flour – so if you’re grain-free/paleo/SCD/GAPS, head over to that recipe!

I’m getting back into my groove – aside from one recipe that still isn’t working I almost feel like things are back to normal again in the kitchen of Z, particularly in the baking department, after making these cookies.

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Kitchen Confidence

Model peanut butter chocolate chip cookie

The only thing I’m able to make properly right now, it seems, is peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. My other baking endeavours haven’t been successful in how I expected them to be.

On Tuesday I tried making rice crackers. The flavour was there, but they were so hard that I feared someone would break a tooth.

Yesterday I tried making chocolate meringue cookies, but had to make them into cupcakes: the batter was too runny. I think it was probably something to do with using honey instead of powdered sugar. The cupcakes turned out well, though, dense and fudgey, with an intense chocolate flavour suited to only the best chocolate cake you can imagine. Nothing half-fast. The kind you’d want to eat with vanilla ice cream. I wrote a beautiful post about those cookies last year (it’s in my drafts), when I first discovered the recipe around this time last year. Now I’m not sure if that post will see the light of day – I mean, your screen. Anyway.

(Allow me to move on before I start confusing myself over whether that last sentence makes any sense.)

My main reason for writing this is that I don’t know where my baking mojo’s gone. I’m generally confident in the kitchen, I don’t often make mistakes or have things flop on me. My ultimate testament to that is that I made gluten-free puff pastry perfectly the first time I tried.

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Printer Friendly Recipes at Z’s Cup of Tea!

Some exciting news for all of my readers: printer friendly recipes are available – AT LAST! This is for all of you who asked for printer friendly versions, instead of printing off twenty pages. Last month I mentioned on Twitter how I was in the process of making printer friendly recipes for every single recipe (except those I’ve reprinted with permission from a publisher) so far on Z’s Cup of Tea and here is the result. I’m not finished yet (still going through the bulk of 2010), but all of last year’s recipes and this year’s so far have been provided with printer friendly versions.

If you don’t want to print them but still want a copy of just the recipe itself for yourself and your own personal use, you can now save them in pdf format to your computer or your mobile device, such as saving them in iBooks to view on your iPad as shown in the photo.

(Scribd, the site I’m using for storing the printer friendly versions, requires you to have an account with them to download a document. In the chance that any of my readers don’t want to sign up for an account, I’ve also included a link for download. If you do have a Scribd account, see this article for how to get Scribd documents on your mobile.)

See a preview of the printer-friendly format for yourself in the window below (note that the text is clearer and easier to read once printed):

Let me know how you like them. Any feedback is appreciated and welcome!

Also in the news department, you might have seen on Twitter and Facebook yesterday that there is a new email address that you can contact me at. In case you missed it, go to the contact page and check it out. Also update your contact info if you have my old blog email address. You may email me at the new address from this moment forward.

And last but not least, I joined Google+! Yes, I’ve joined. I tried signing up earlier, although I couldn’t for some reason to do with my name. I finally figured out a work-around and now I’m on. Is it the new Facebook, or better than Facebook? I can’t say just yet. So far I’ve just been using it for posting links to new posts on Z’s Cup of Tea and I’m still learning the ropes – if you’re on there, add me to your circles and say hi!