Plain sugar cookies are boring. Plus, I seem to really enjoy making two-toned foods. So…chocolate-striped sugar cookies!
Excuse the photo quality. My usual camera’s battery died this morning, so I had to resort to the backup, and I am sans photo-editing software at work.
Striped Sugar Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ½ cups sugar
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder
Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add in the flour and baking powder, until the resulting dough is thick and thoroughly blended. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one portion in plastic and set aside. Add 3 tbsp of cocoa powder to the other portion of dough, and knead until the cocoa is blended evenly into the dough. Wrap this portion in plastic as well, and place both the chocolate dough and the regular dough in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for several hours, or just forget about it overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Unwrap the cookie dough, and break off pieces of dough slightly smaller than your fist. I have a pretty average-sized fist, and I ended up with 8 pieces of chocolate dough and 9 pieces of plain. I was hoping for equal amounts, but it appears that I wasn’t too precise when I halved the dough in the first place.
Roll out each ball of dough to approximately ¼” thickness. If you chilled it overnight, it might be difficult to work with at first, but a little bit of kneading will bring the dough back to a workable temperature. Try to roll each piece to the same shape and dimensions – this will make the next step much easier.
Stack the dough, alternating chocolate and plain pieces. Use a knife to slice the dough vertically in segments of about ¼”. Pushing directly downward will cause the stripes to bend, so use a sawing motion.
Lightly roll out each segment. It helps to place a piece of plastic wrap between the rolling pin and the dough – less mess! Grab a cookie cutter (or the top of a glass, if you don’t have cookie cutters) and cut out as many cookies as you can for each slice of striped dough. Carefully place the cut out circles on a baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes. You’ll want to watch the cookies while they’re baking (or at least for the final 3 minutes or so) to make sure that you remove them from the oven before the plain-dough stripes turn brown.
If you want perfect, straight stripes, there are two things (that I didn’t do) that you can do to make that happen. (1) Actually roll out each piece of dough to the same thickness. Mine were mostly consistent, but I didn’t measure or anything, and judging by the final result, there were some pieces that were rolled out a bit thicker than others. (2) Don’t press down on the stack of dough when you slice off the striped pieces. This makes the stripes bend a bit, and pushing down on the stack doesn’t really do much to help the slicing process, anyhow.
If you’re more creative than I am, you’ll probably be able to find something fun to do with the little bits of dough that are left after each cookie-cutting. I was feeling a little bit lazy, so I just mixed the dough very gently, rolled it out again, and made marble-y cookies. Per Amberance’s suggestion, I might make chessboard cookies in the future.
This recipe yields a LOT of cookies. Well, a lot for me – at least 3 dozen. I’m not sure how this happened, because I halved my usual sugar cookie recipe. I suspect that it’s because I’ve only ever made sugar cookies in bulk.