Green Tea Sablés and Holiday Party Recap

My friend Dorothy gave me a wonderful birthday gift last month -- tickets to a Smithsonian evening seminar and book signing for Baking Chez Moi with Dorie Greenspan. Dorie was so warm and kind when I met her briefly a few years ago in New York City, and she was absolutely delightful at the Smithsonian event. I haven't had much time to look at Baking Chez Moi yet, but after seeing Dorie in November, I wanted to make at least one recipe from the book for our holiday party.

I picked a recipe that doesn't evoke the holidays at all, but it still seemed like it would be a good cookie for our party: Green Tea Sablés. What I particularly liked about the recipe was the fact that it included green tea, but not matcha powder -- so the cookies don't have the dull green color normally associated with green tea baked goods.

The recipe headnote says that Dorie prefers berry- or citrus-flavored green tea, and it also says you can use loose-leaf tea or tea bags. I used some supermarket tea bags that I happened to have on hand, Bigelow Green Tea with Peach. I didn't need to crush my tea leaves because the pieces of tea in the bags were already very small. You use your fingers to rub the tea together with sugar and salt, add flour, and then incorporate small pieces of butter by hand. You work the dough into a ball, form it into a log, and chill the dough until firm.
I chilled my dough for a day before baking. I tried rolling the log of dough in turbinado sugar before slicing it and found that it made things more difficult, because then I was trying to slice through hard grains of sugar. Instead, I sliced the cookies first, and then rolled the edges of each one individually in sugar.

The cookies had pretty small specks of green tea leaves throughout. I thought they were delicious. They were super buttery, and the peach flavor was wonderful -- these gave me the sensation of eating a Peach Tea Snapple in a cookie. And coming from someone who loves Peach Tea Snapple, that's a wonderful thing.

For the benefit of our guests who asked for recipes (and to help me remember what was on the menu!), everything I made for the holiday party is listed below. Surprisingly, some of the most popular and talked about items were the alcoholic jelly shots (which gives me some vindication because my husband Tom looked at me like I had two heads when I said that I wanted to serve Jello shots this year). Both layer cakes were also extremely popular, as well as the samosas and puddings. My personal favorites were the apple cider caramels and the frozen maple-mousse pie. Oh, and the marshmallow-chocolate potato chip garnish for the chocolate pudding was pretty addictive.

Thanks so much to all of our friends who came to party -- and we're already looking forward to next year!

Baked Goods:
Chilled/Frozen Desserts:
Previous Holiday Party Coverage: 2013 Holiday Party Recap; Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Buttercream (2012); Stump de Noël (2011) and 2011 Party Recap; 2009 Party Recap; 2008 Party Recap Parts I, II, and III.