I mentioned before that one of the things I like about Claire Saffitz's cookbook Dessert Person is that the recipes seem fresh, yet accessible. A perfect example is her recipe for "Brown Butter and Sage Sablés." I've made countless sablé recipes before, but never one using savory herbs. At the same time, sage is not exactly exotic or unfamiliar, so the idea didn't seem that far-fetched. I couldn't wait to give the recipe a try.
Unless I buy herbs at the farmers market, I get the small plastic clamshell containers at the grocery store, and this recipe requires half an ounce of sage, or a whole container's worth. You combine the sage with butter and cook the mixture until the butter browns. Then you pull the sage out from the butter -- reserving it for later -- and set the butter aside until it cools and starts to solidify.
When the butter is opaque, but not completely hardened, you cream it with sugar and lemon zest until pale; add egg yolks and vanilla; and mix in the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, and salt). You form the dough into a log and chill it for at least two hours. When you're ready to bake the cookies, you take half of the reserved fried sage leaves and crumble them into demerara sugar. You roll the log of dough in the sage-sugar mixture to coat before slicing the log into individual cookies. This dough was a joy to work with; it was easy to slice but kept its shape well. I love getting perfectly round cookies from a slice-and-bake recipe.
Recipe: "Brown Butter and Sage Sablés" from Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz.