Viennese Cookies, or Sablés viennois, are a lovely buttery cookie/biscuit similar to spritz cookies. But they are piped into shapes, rather than pressed.
The recipe is very simple and I have tried it a couple of times, in different guises, to see whether it affected how well the shapes were retained. In both cases the cookies spread some and lost a bit of their shape. I have watched lots of videos and it seems that most people’s spread similarly. So I read up a little on how to stop cookies from spreading and it seems that you don’t want too much air in the butter. I had been creaming mine for quite a while. So in my third attempt I barely whisked the butter at all when incorporating the icing sugar, and only a little more when mixing in the egg whites and vanilla bean paste. I also read that the oven temperature was very important, as too low a temperature lets the mixture spread. So, where I had adjusted for convection baking at a lower temperature in the first two attempts in this final attempt I baked without convection, at the higher temperature.
There seems to be a couple of different types of recipe, one that includes cornflour and one that uses some egg whites. I opted for the egg white in the hope that it would help hold the shape.
I also decided to chill my cookies before baking. So I chilled two trays of piped cookies for 30 minutes. I had one smaller tray that I didn’t chill. It seems that the chilled ones retained slightly more definition, so maybe that is the way to go.
- 190g very soft, unsalted butter
- 225g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- seeds from half a vanilla pod
- 30g egg whites
- 75g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Place the butter into a bowl and briefly whisk to mix evenly.
- Add the icing sugar and mix again, until just combined.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla seeds and mix to combine.
- Sift in the flour and mix in, with a spatula, until just combined.
- Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper, with corners stuck to the tray with a little butter.
- Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle(I used 1M)
- Pipe shapes onto the parchment paper, leaving a decent gap between each one to allow for spreading (I piped a few different shapes).
- Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to change colour.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- When cooled place in an airtight container to store until required.