I love eating cookies but I rarely think to make cookies. I’m not entirely sure why, but it probably has to do with the fact that I would likely end up eating half of the batch all on my own. Fortunately Kristy and the 3rd Annual Keepin’ It Kind Vegan Cookie Swap Party motivated me to craft a cookie recipe, and I decided to draw on inspiration from Christmas in Paris last year for recipe.
Last year I also contributed a recipe inspired by our travels, that time I made Sweet Purple Potato Alfajores inspired by a trip to Buenos Aires and also intended to celebrate the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 – Radiant Orchid. Along with being excited to join the Keepin’ It Kind Cookie Swap, I’m also eager to return home after the holidays in Melbourne so I can get stuck in to Kristy’s first published cookbook! Congratulations Kristy!
These Petits Sablés à la Crème de Marron will always return me to France. Over the winter months, Chestnuts are everywhere in France and are referred to as both Châtaigne and Marron.
One of the best things we discovered during our trip was Crème de Marron – Chestnut Cream. Paired with a plain unsweetened soya yogurt, this was one of our favorite breakfasts. It also made a lovely snack spread on fresh bread or a buckwheat crêpe. At Gentle Gourmet Cafe we tried a mille-feuille cake layered with Crème de Marron, we were in love with this spread. It’s available in jars and tins year-round but there is something undeniably wintery about Crème de Marron. Produced simply and without any additives or preservatives, a Crème de Marron should only contain chestnuts, sugar and vanilla.
Preserved, candied, roasted, toasted, baked – Chestnuts are intrinsic to the winter customs in France. The aroma of roasted chestnuts is one that makes me nostalgic for the streets of Paris on a cold winter day. So with winter and the holidays upon us, I was inspired to make these lovely, nutty and delicate chestnut shortbread cookies topped with a spoonful of creamy and sweet Crème de Marron.
To achieve the wonderful nuttiness in the biscuit base of this cookie, we’ve used chestnut flour. You can grind roasted chestnuts into a fine flour using a food processor, it’s a perfect gluten-free substitute for wheat or all-purpose flour when baking or thickening gravies. Along with providing that nutty flavor we wanted, chestnut flour is also mildly sweet and splendidly aromatic. Unlike other nut flours, it is low in fat and has a low glycemic index. It’s also downright delicious and provide a distinct chestnut flavor.
As dry roasted chestnuts can be difficult to find in the US, you may prefer to purchase prepared chestnut flour like the beautifully decorated tin from Dowd & Rogers. I was able to find Dowd & Rogers Chestnut Flour at my local natural foods store and it was perfect for my Petits Sablés!
These delicate French shortbread thumbprint cookies are soft, buttery and rich. Chestnut flour adds a lovely nuttiness to the vaguely sweetened biscuit base for the Crème de Marron to complement. Once topped with the Crème de Marron, these rustic shaped biscuits become every bit the rich and decadent winter bite-sized treat you’re looking for this time of year!
I would like to thank Kristy for inviting me to her Cookie Swap Party 2015, I was so excited to craft a special cookie for the occasion. It’s been a fun party! Make sure you check out other amazing bloggers’ cookie recipes here as well.
Head on over to Keepin’ It Kind for the full recipe and leave me some love.
And one more thing to add, Keepin’ It Kind is hosting a Vitamix 5200 giveaway, please click here for more info and TO ENTER! Good luck everyone!