I made these swirl cookies and donated them to The Ronald McDonald House in memory of Sam's 2nd birthday. They were fun to make and the kids loved them.
Icebox Swirl Cookies by Martha Stewart
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white for brushing
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 5 c. all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder
- gel-paste food coloring
1. Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed til creamy. Add eggs and salt; mix until well combined. Beat in milk and vanilla. With mixer running, add flour a little at a time til well combined.
2. Divide dough into balls- one for each color. For chocolate dough, add cocoa (1/4 cup is enough to flavor half a batch) ; mix well with electric mixer. For colored dough, add 1/4 tsp. food coloring; mix well. Add more in tiny amounts for darker colors.
3. Wrap each ball of dough in it's own sheet of plastic wrap; pat flat into a rectangle. Refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to use. At this point the dough can be frozen for up to one month. 4. Parchment or waxed paper makes a good work surface. Sprinkle generously with flour, then roll out each piece of dough 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Roll out one color at a time. I rolled mine out to an 8x12 rectangle, but you can make them any size you want.
5. Place the rolled out dough on baking sheet and return to the refrigerator to chill while rolling out the other colors. Brush each layer with eggs whites- this will act like glue to keep the layers together. When you layer the colors you want (don't layer too many colors- it'll be hard to roll up and the cookies will be ginormous) roll up carefully and wrap in parchment paper. Return back to the refrigerator for at least 1.5 hours or wrap really well and freeze til ready to use. To help the logs keep their round shape, set each in a cardboard paper-towel roll that you have sliced open lengthwise.
6. When ready to slice cookies, cut 15 inches of dental floss (or double thickness of thread). Let log soften for about 10 minutes (out of fridge). Remove parchment. Wrap floss around log and pull through. Make the slices thin: 1/4 inch or less.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet (lined with parchment paper). Bake for 12 to 18 minutes (depending on size), until firm but not browned. Let cool on baking sheet for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 4-6 dozen depending on size of logs. ha ha, I said logs :-)
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Like I said, it's labor intensive, but if you break up the process it's not so bad. I made the dough one weekend and froze it til a couple of days before I needed them. I thawed the logs out in the fridge overnight and baked them the next. Honestly the hardest part was cutting the slices with the floss, but it really is necessary to keep the slices neat and clean without the colors "bleeding" into each other.
These can be made with vanilla and chocolate swirls (ie: without the food coloring). The vanilla part isn't that flavorful, but other extracts would be nice too. Like orange, almond or peppermint instead of vanilla. The chocolate dough is quite tasty though :-)