I’m in my final month of vacation and work will start in September. In the meantime, I am learning how to drive and boy does a manual car (stick shift) require good hand-eye coordination, which I think I might lack. Luckily enough, baking does not require any hand-eye coordination.
The fasting month will soon be upon us and for the first time in a long time, I will have ample time to plan and bake Raya goodies. And thus, being the forward thinking person that I am (not) I have been searching for new recipes to try. That was when I stumbled upon this recipe. The cookies looked cute and sort of resembled the rice cakes we serve during Eid. Mine turned out kinda wonky and the weird thing was that I did use a ruler to measure but that didn’t matter once you taste them.
And what do you do if you have extra dough pieces left behind? Roll them together and make black and white spiral cookies!
From Baking Obsession
Makes 8 dozen cookies (I halved the recipe – boy, did i regret it)
5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy before beating in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Finish the mixing with your hands or a wooden spoon.
Divide the dough into 2 – I used the weighing scale just to be accurate. Knead ½ cup of cocoa into one portion of the dough. Divide the chocolate and vanilla dough in half. Form each of total four portions into a rectangle, wrap individually in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Take a portion of the chocolate and a portion of the vanilla dough and let them sit on the counter for about 15-20 minutes to soften slightly – in this hot weather here, 5 minutes ought to do it. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the vanilla and one portion of the chocolate dough (separately, using a well floured rolling pin) into ½ -inch thick rectangles, with the sides about 12 x 5 inches long. Using a pizza wheel or a knife cut out a total of 9 ½ -inch wide strips from each dough. Handling the strips delicately, form two checkerboard logs alternating the chocolate and vanilla strips – there is a pretty awesome diagram on the original website. Cover with plastic wrap refrigerate until firm, at least for 2 hours.
On a piece of parchment or waxed paper, roll the remaining chocolate (or vanilla) dough into a rectangle about 1/3-inch thick and measuring 12 x 6 inches. Place the firmed checkerboard log into the center and with the aid of parchment, wrap the dough around the checkerboard log pressing firmly to adhere. Roll the finished log from side to side to form sharp corners. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate well.Repeat with the rest of the dough and the second chilled checkerboard log to form another, opposite in colors, cookie log. Wrap, place in the fridge.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment. Using a very sharp knife, slice the cookie-dough log into ¼-inch thick slices. Place on the prepared baking sheet leaving about 1 inch all way around them. Bake the cookies, in batches, for about 12 minutes until firm and golden brown on the bottom. Don’t let them bake for too long, or the color contrast between the chocolate and vanilla dough will be lost. Cool on the baking sheet on a rack for 15 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.