Why don’t we celebrate the “Hinamatsuri” girls day with French Sablé cookies decorated with Sakura cherry blossoms!? Because Hinamatsuri is just around the corner and also Sakura cherry blossom season is approaching so fast too.
What is Sablé
Sablé is a French round shortbread cookie. Sablé originated from the place in western France, Sablé-Sur-Sarthe. The Sablé cookie is another name for it. However, we call it “Sabure” in Japanese. Because of its crumbly texture, it is quite popular in Japan.
The difference between Sablé, Cookie and Biscuit
The reason Sablé is more crumbly than cookies and biscuits is because Sablé contains more butter or shortening than the others. The cookie is a generic name for baked goods in the USA. They have sugar and fat content of over 40% of the total ingredients. On the other hand, Biscuit is a generic name for baked sweets and the sugar and fat content is less than 40% of the total ingredients. (Reference https://www.biscuit.or.jp/summary/rule.html)
What is Hinamatsuri?
Hinamatsuri is a Japanese festival. It is often called the Doll’s festival or Girl’s day. Every year on the third of March, families with young daughters pray for their happiness and healthy growth. Typically families display tiers of dolls and offer food such as mochi and rice crackers.
Special ingredients: Salted Cherry Blossom flowers
Since the cherry blossom season is approaching, I’ve decided to update my previous post. So as my Hinamatsuri offering: French Sablé with a salted cherry blossom flower. The salted cherry blossom flowers add a subtle saltiness and special Sakura cherry blossom flavour and scent to Sablé. Also salted cherry blossom flowers make ordinary looking cookies so pretty.
How to use Cherry blossom flowers in baking
Sakura flowers are delicate so I use chopsticks to take each sakura flower out of the packet. Then I leave them in a bowl of water to desalinate for about 30 minutes. This sable cookie recipe makes about 16 cookies so you only need about 16 flowers. Finally, I finely chop the remaining flowers and add them to the cookie dough.
Where to purchase the salted cherry blossom flowers?
I bought both the square container of salted cherry blossom flowers and the packet in Tokyo. Your local Japanese grocery stores might have them, but I have never seen in Brisbane, Australia. If you are like me, living outside of Japan, but want to make this pretty Sablé, I suggest getting Pickled Sakura Cherry Blossoms online.
Tips to make Sakura Sablé pretty
- Use chopsticks to handle the Sakura cherry blossom flowers as they are very delicate.
- After the Sakura is soaked in water, remove excess water with a kitchen paper towel and shape the flower-like flower buds.
- Cut the sakura flower stem short with scissors.
So why not try cooking these gorgeous Sakura cookies and impress your friends. I’ll make some more to celebrate Spring in Japan.
If you liked my recipe for Sablé with salted cherry blossom flower, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
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Sablé with salted Sakura cherry blossom flower
- 90 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 45 g sugar
- 1 egg yolk large egg's about 12g
- 130 g plain flour
- 15 g salted cherry blossom flower
- granule sugar to coat
- Gently remove the cherry blossom flower from the packet and soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
- Drain the water, wipe and remove excess water with kitchen paper.
- Pick 16 flowers and cut some of the stems off if they are too long and do not discard them.
- Chop the left over flowers and the stems finely. set aside.
- Leave the butter at room temperature.
- Sift the flour and set aside.
- Place the softened unsalted butter and sugar into a stand mixer to mix until creamy.
- Add the egg yolk to the mixer and combine well.
- Add the finely chopped cherry blossom flower.
- Change the mixer attachment to the flat coated beater (or use a spatula) and add the sifted flour to combine.
- Turn the dough out onto a sheet of cling wrap and roll to shape about 4cm in diameter cylinder on a kitchen bench.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 60 minutes.
- Start to preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
- Remove the cling wrap and roll the cookie dough on granule sugar in a flat container to coat the dough with granule sugar.
- Cut the cookie dough about 7mm (0.3inch)thick and place them on a lined baking tray with baking sheet.
- Place the cherry blossom flower on each cookie and press it gently.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- if you do not have a stand mixer, you can use hand mixer too.
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