Vanilla Sablés Viennois (Viennese Biscuits)

by thomandaimee

Its pouring outside as I write this. And I have about 15 minutes to rush this post out before we head out for lunch. I wouldn’t lie and say that we have been cooking regularly. With Ned’s intense working hours, we barely even meet each other. When we do, we’d rather sit down and catch up on each other’s lives. It was just last night that we could sit down and have a meal properly. Oh, Ned did make some tamagoyaki (Japanese sweet rolled omelette) since we had Japanese for dinner yesterday.

Baking? Not so much. In fact, we feel a little guilty for not investing for time for T&A. As much as we love it, our conflicting schedules are proving to be a little difficult to plan. Its a little odd to open an empty fridge at times; it used to be filled with tons and tons of ingredients Ned bought. Just two days ago, we didn’t even know we ran out of black pepper and olive oil. Black pepper and olive oil!!! Staples in the kitchen were not available!! Well, that’s another misadventure I’d share another day.

It really hit me that there are moments that you just have to make do with what you have in your kitchen. Long gone are the days that we have a well-stocked or rather, overflowing pantry of food. We have so many types of flour, sugar and spices that I’ve lost count. Herbs? Just head out to the garden to snip some off. In fact, I had a lot of pride for our bursting kitchens. It was so easy to whip something up in seconds without a visit to the markets. Now… well… it’s a slightly different story.

But there’s no need to be a defeatist! Sometimes we forget how simple baking should really be when you look at the essentials: butter, flour, eggs and sugar. They are the foundation of homemade goodness like biscuits, cakes and everything awesome that grannies in storybooks make. And that’s how simple these sablés viennois are. With the only addition of vanilla and a touch of intricate piping, you get a tray of melt-in-the-mouth crumbly biscuits. Ned is not a big fan of biscuits but with what we had in the kitchen, it really wasn’t that bad to have a bit of sweetness after our meals.

Vanilla Sablés Viennois (Viennese Biscuits)
By Dr. Tim Kinnaird (Perfecting Patisserie)

Makes 24 biscuits

200g butter, room temperature
75g icing sugar
40g egg white / 1 medium egg white
1 vanilla pod
200g plain flour


Cream the butter with the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg white and continue to beat. You may need to whisk the mix briefly to bring it all together.

Spilt the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the mixture. Mix in the flour but only enough to combine – any more and the biscuits will become chewy and tough.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet. Fit a piping bag with a 1cm star-shaped nozzle and fill with the biscuit mix. Pipe in a zigzag from left to right covering a space 4-5cm. After piping the biscuits, place the tray in the fridge for 15 minutes. Baking them cold will help the biscuits keep their shape. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until light brown.