Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Whimsical swirl cookies
he minute I saw these cookies (on Pinterest, of course), I knew I needed to make them. This year. The theme at work for Christmas decor is "whimsical" Christmas, which involves a bit of the Krinkles look, with a touch of Dr. Seuss thrown in. These cookies looked perfect for that theme, and besides, all that green? I love it. I've made rolled cookies before (a cranberry concoction from Joy of Baking, years ago) and they turned out fairly well, so that memory just bolstered my resolve!
And, they turned out to be just as easy as I was hoping. The steps themselves take a little bit of time, but the "wow-cool" factor makes them well worth it.
Colorful swirl cookies
2 cups flour, plus possibly a few more tbsp (the original recipe called for cake flour, but I used all-purpose flour and the dough was amply soft)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of food coloring of your choice(and/or 1/2 tsp of any desired extra extracts; I skipped this)
1 1/2 cup holiday sprinkles
In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars with paddle on medium until well blended.
Add butter in, gradually, and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball on your paddle.
Remove all your dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back in to the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. If you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tbsp of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the color is spread out evenly.
Roll out each portions of your dough, between two sheets a wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncolored vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small pairing knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines.
Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it's ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style. Now, don't get nervous if the outer layer of uncolored dough tears a bit. It's no problem, just pinch and pat those tears and reseal them, then just keep rolling.
Now gently lift your dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover the log completely with your sprinkles. Wrap the colorfully decorated log in plastic wrap twice. Depending on when you want to bake the cookies, either place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer and keep it there for up to 2 months. (If freezing, give yourself time for the dough to defrost in the fridge overnight before cutting.)
Slice your dough into 1/4-1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!