Checkers, Marbles, and Pinwheels

These cookies are super easy to make, just use a ruler if you’re afraid they’ll turn out wonky.  I was staring with discontent at my cookies, wishing I had made squares instead of rectangle. But since I was a bit flustered, I think the fact they’re even as well as tasty should make me happy enough. Not to mention the fact that I just went to the Martha Stewart website, and if rectangle is good enough for her, it’s good enough of me. Not that I base my standards on anybody else’s presentation, but I will for now.

I made two batches of these cookies, one with only butter and the other with only margarine. They both had the same appearance and I couldn’t taste any difference. Of course, if you use a different brand of margarine the results might be different, and if you love butter than there’s no reason to use anything else. (Butter rules, always and forever.)

You may omit the cocoa powder if you wish, and just put 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (or maybe even peppermint extract) and food coloring of your choice.  Get creative and have fun.

Next time I make them, I’ll be sure to take step-by-step pictures so that my directions make more sense! 🙂  Now, without any further ado…

4 oz icing sugar
12 oz unsalted butter / margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
16 all purpose flour
3/4 oz coca sugar
1 egg white, beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Whisk together flour, and salt in medium size bowl. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the sugar, butter, vanilla on medium speed until creamy and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour and beat until incorporated. Remove half of the dough from the mixing bowl, and add cocoa to the remaining half. Beat once again until incorporated. If you find that the dough is sticky, add about flour one ounce at a time, up to 2 oz.

Checkerboard Pattern:
Form both doughs into rectangle logs, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, so the dough firms up and is easier to work with.

Roll out the vanilla cookie dough and chocolate cookie dough each on a lightly floured surface into a 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Brush the egg white glaze on the vanilla cookie dough and place the chocolate cookie dough on top of it. Trim the edgings to make an 8 x 10 inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half to make 4 x 10 inch rectangle. Wrap one half in plastic wrap while you work on the other.

Cut the dough in half to make two 2 x 10 inch rectangles. Brush the top of one rectangle with egg white glaze and stack the other strip on top of it. You should now have a 2 x 10 inch strip of dough with 4 alternating colored layers. Refrigerate this strip while you repeat this process on the remaining refrigerated dough.

Make sure both strips are refrigerated for 30 minutes.

Cut each stack into four 1/2 x 10 inch slices. Turn the slices on their sides. Brush one side with egg white glaze, then stack a second slice atop it, being sure to alternate the light and dark doughs in a checkerboard pattern. Brush the top slice with glaze, and add another slice. Brush that layer with glaze, and top it with a fourth and final slice.

Repeat with the remaining piece of stacked dough.

Wrap both pieces of dough, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Marble Pattern
Divide each of the dough in half, and form into 4 round logs.  Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Twist logs into ropes.  If you find the dough breaking up, add 1 teaspoon egg white glaze to the dough and lightly knead it in.  Brush egg white on the top of one rope, and press the rope against the other.  Twist both ropes together and squish them together to form the marble effect.

Pinwheel Pattern:

Roll out the vanilla cookie dough and chocolate cookie dough each on a lightly floured surface into a 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Brush the egg white glaze on the vanilla cookie dough and place the chocolate cookie dough on top of it. Trim the edgings to make an 8 x 10 inch rectangle.  Cut the dough in half to make 4 x 10 inch rectangle. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you work on the other.

Starting from the long side, roll up dough tightly to form a log.   Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you repeat this process on the remaining refrigerated dough.  Wrap both pieces of dough, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Baking:

Position racks in the upper and lower racks of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease 3 baking sheets.  Remove the dough from the freezer, and using a sharp knife, slice into 1/2 inch cookies.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until they are firm to the touch, or when lifted with a spatula they are slightly brown at the bottom.

Yield: 6 dozen cookies (I made 3 dozen marble and 3 dozen checkerboards)

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2 thoughts on “Checkers, Marbles, and Pinwheels

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Mint Icebox Cookies | Diary of a Pinhead

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