Saturday, March 17, 2012

Checkerboard Cookies

I just bought my Girl Scout cookies for the year, and made Hamantaschen for Purim (poppyseed this year), but I've got a blog to write.  That means baking lots of teatime sweets.  Fortunately, most cookies freeze very well for up to six months.  Pull them out an hour to a day before you intend to have them, and you're good to go.

This recipe from the Afternoon Tea book was unnecessarily complicated and made four dozen.  It required you to do a lot of math (half of 3/4 cup?) and to make two batches of dough.  I've scaled it down to the one-egg version, done all the math for you - hence measuring by tablespoons - and simplified it so you only have to make one batch of dough.

They did come out a bit more, um, solid than I was expecting.  Them's dunkin' cookies.  Cup of hot coffee or cocoa, there's nothing to complain about.  Considering how hard Girl Scout cookies are, no one's going to notice before May.

6 Tb butter
6 Tb sugar (1/4 C + 2 Tb)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2-1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp milk
1 Tb cocoa powder

1.  Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and egg.  Add flour and baking powder and beat until combined.

2.  Weigh the dough on a food scale.  Set half by weight (my batch weighed 17 oz, so I kept out 9 oz) on a work space and put the rest back in the bowl.  Beat in cocoa powder and milk.  The milk offsets any dryness introduced by the cooca.  Place chocolate dough on work surface.

3.  Get the scale back out.  Divide each flavor of dough in half, so you have a total of four pieces of dough.  Roll each piece out into a rope 12" long.  Lay a chocolate rope next to a vanilla one.  Place a vanilla on top of the chocolate and vice versa with the last rope.  Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and press the ropes together a little.  Refrigerate about 1 hour, until firm.

4.  Preheat oven to 350º and grease two cookie sheets.  Cut log into 24 1/2" slices and place cut side up on the sheets.  The cookies do not spread out much, so you may be able to get all of them on one large sheet.  I was limited by the size of my silpat.  Bake for 20 minutes, until bottoms are browned and tops are starting to brown lightly.  Remove to wire rack to cool.

Makes 2 dozen

Difficulty rating  π

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