If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post, I am baking Christmas cookies this year to give as homemade gifts and sharing my recipes over the next five weeks here on Freutcake!
The first cookie to make its way into my gift tins is a classic icebox slice and bake cookie which is really just a fancy way of saying a sugar cookie (all dressed up)! These cookies are perfect for kids, or to leave out with a glass of milk for Santa. Just separate your dough into equal parts and have fun mixing up vibrant colors and combinations…it’s like dying Easter eggs but with cookie dough! My favorite turned out to be the chocolate pinwheels. They not only look dramatic, but they tasted pretty darn good too! And since I’m getting a head start on my baking this year, these little beauties are getting wrapped up tight and frozen to be sliced and baked the week of Christmas! Check one cookie off your list.
Bulls Eye & Spiral Slice and Bake Cookie– recipe via Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole large eggs, plus an extra egg white for “glue”
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
5 cups flour, plus more for work surface
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate for more color/flavor)
Food coloring, in various colors (use either gel or liquid-whatever you prefer)
- Using the electric mixer, mix the butter and the sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and the salt, and mix well. Beat in milk and vanilla. Add flour a little at a time, mixing it in until all of it has been incorporated.
- Divide the dough separate bowls, 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, start with 1/4 teaspoon food coloring, and mix well. Add more in tiny amounts for darker colors. Gel-paste coloring can be intense, so add it gradually.
- Spread dough out on its own sheet of plastic wrap; pat flat into a rectangle. Refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to use.
- 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 to make the swirls; you can use thicker layers for the bull’s-eyes.
- The bench scraper is a good tool for trimming dough’s edges to make them even. The egg white, brushed on with a pastry brush, will act as a glue, making the layers stick together.
- For center, with your hands, roll chocolate dough into a 1/2- to 1 1/2- inch-thick rod; chill 20 minutes. Place rod on edge of rolled-out dough that’s been brushed with egg white.
- Roll rod inside sheet of dough. Cut the dough where it meets up. Seal by pinching and pressing gently. Chill 20 minutes, then repeat to add other layers.
- For spirals, measure and trim two or more colors of dough to same size. Brush on egg white, then stack layers. Brush top with egg white. Starting at one end, roll up the dough.
- Smooth and straighten the layers as you roll them so there are no gaps, then gently pinch and press the edge of the roll to seal it.
- Roll each log in parchment or waxed paper; twist the ends of the paper closed. To help the logs keep their round shape, set each in a cardboard paper-towel roll that you have sliced open lengthwise.
- Chill logs until they are solid, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Cut 15 inches of dental floss (or double thickness of thread). Let log soften for about 10 minutes. Remove parchment. Wrap floss around log and pull through. Make the slices thin: 1/4 inch or less.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet (lined with parchment paper). Bake the cookies 12 to 15 minutes, until firm but not browned. Let cool on baking sheet for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- You can add your favorite toppings (try coconut, colored sanding sugar, chopped nuts, or chocolate sprinkles): Spread topping in baking sheet, brush dough with egg white, and roll the log in topping if you would like. I didn’t bother with this step since I am freezing them for later.
- If you are making these ahead of time and freezing them. Wrap logs of dough in parchment paper, then tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil making sure to twist ends shut. Label with a sharpie and freeze for up to 30 days. Defrost in the fridge before slicing and baking.
- This dough can be a bit sticky so make sure to use lots of flour on your board and rolling pin when rolling it out.
- Try not to over mix when adding in the colors, this will result in a tough cookie!
- Remember to have fun when making these cookies! This is a get your hands dirty kind of cookie so have some fun with it and get creative!