Monday, January 25, 2010

Chocolate & Vanilla Spiral Cookies

Every December I put together a pile of favorite cookie recipes and make 6 or 7 kinds, arrange them into assortments and mail them off to friends and family who don't live nearby. This year I took a road trip with my boyfriend and delivered them by hand, for the most part. These didn't make it into this year's round because I couldn't find the recipe anywhere, that is, my copy of it got wet on my kitchen counter and there was really no telling how much of the first 5 ingredients it called for. Fortunately, when I made the xmas cookie extravaganza a couple of years ago, one of my friends fell in love with these cookies and I gave her a copy of the recipe, which she just happened to locate last week. Many thanks, Shannon, for scanning it for me! Reunited and it feels so goood......Eh, I'll save it for karaoke night. I'm just happy to have these babies back in the recipe box.

The best thing about these, if you ask me, is that they require refrigeration. Usually that annoys me about cookie doughs, but in this case the dough has to be rolled into a log anyway, so it's like making your own slice-and-bake dough way better than the premade grocery store garbage and if you forget about the dough for a few weeks, SURPRISE, instant cookie dough! Do yourself a favor and make a double batch, and leave one log of dough in the fridge or freezer for a later date. Oh, and sometimes I press the dough-log's sides in so the cookies are square. It's just one more way I entertain myself for almost no money. (They only stay square if the dough is still very cold when they go into the oven.)

Another note, please please don't try to make these without parchment paper.

Chocolate & Vanilla Spiral Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter @ room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1-oz squares baking chocolate (or 9 tbsp cocoa powder)

If you are using baking chocolate, start with melting it in a small saucepan or double boiler and set it aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula, add the egg & vanilla. Beat at medium speed until just combined, then mix in the dry ingredients.
Separate the dough into two bowls. Stir the melted chocolate or cocoa powder to one bowl, leaving the other alone.

Roll out the vanilla dough between two sheets of parchment paper to a 12'x16" rectangle roughly 1/4" thick. It doesnt have to be precise. Repeat with the chocolate dough, on separate paper. Throw them both in the freezer for ten minutes, then remove the paper from one side of each. Carefully lay the exposed side of the chocolate face down on the exposed side of the vanilla, then peel off the top layer of parchment. Working from a short side, roll the dough from one edge to the other to create the spiral, using the parchment paper underneath to help you as much as possible. Wrap the parchment around the finished dough log and put in the fridge or freezer until nice and cold and solid.

Preheat the oven to 375ยบ. Slice the cookie dough 1/4" thick and place 2" apart on cookie sheets. Bake 12-18 minutes or until the vanilla parts are golden at the edges. These cookies will be very soft for a few days, then they're about the texture of storebought cookies - that is, if you are shipping them, wait a few days or they will crumble in the mail.

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