Cheese Sables

Photo by Catherine Gratwicke
  • Yield: 2


1 1/3cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1teaspoon sea salt
1/2teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2teaspoon dry mustard powder
1teaspoon cumin or caraway seeds, lightly crushed
1 1/2sticks unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2/3cup finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1tablespoon milk
Sesame seeds (optional)
Kalonji (black onion) seeds (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine the flour, salt, cayenne, mustard powder, cumin or caraway seeds, and some black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Add the diced butter and use the pulse button to rub it into the dry ingredients. Add the grated cheeses and pulse again until the dough just comes together—you may need to add a drop of cold water.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a log roughly 2 inches (5cm) in diameter; wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for a few hours, or until firm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper.
  4. Take the log out of the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and brush with milk before coating in the sesame and kalonji seeds (if using). Slice the log into disks, roughly 1/4 inches thick, and arrange on the baking sheets, spacing the cookies well apart. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
  5. Once completely cold, the sablés can be packaged.

Reprinted with permission from Annie Rigg’s Gifts from the Kitchen (Kyle Books, 2011).