Treat Week: Yin-Yang Shortbread Cookies

I was so excited to make these zebra cookies, as I dearly love shortbread. Not only are these delicious shortbread cookies, they are multi-layered shortbread cookies with chocolate and vanilla dough, that are rolled in colorful sanding sugar. However, I made a mistake (my excuse is that I made 4 different types of cookies in the same day, and there was a lot going on!).  I misread the directions and didn’t stack both double layers of dough on top of each other which would have given me 4 alternating layers of chocolate and vanilla dough (I only did 2) which made my cookies a bit smaller and gave me more of a Yin/Yang design instead of the intended zebra design. However, they were still delicious even if visually flawed!

*Requires at least 2 hours of chilling time

from: Bon Appetit  (check out how they are “supposed” to look)
makes: 40-48 cookies

2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/4 cup sanding sugar

Whisk 1 1/3 cups flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk cocoa powder, remaining 1 cup flour, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in another medium bowl. These are the bases for your chocolate and vanilla doughs.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Divide mixture between the 2 bowls of dry ingredients (about 1 cup in each).

Scrape vanilla mixture back into stand mixer bowl (save the mixing bowl) and beat on low speed just until combined. Return to reserved bowl. Repeat process with chocolate mixture.

Arrange 2 large sheets of parchment paper on a work surface. Dollop one-quarter of chocolate dough in the center of each sheet and pat into rough 6×2″ rectangles. Dollop one-quarter of vanilla dough on top of each chocolate slab and pat into rectangles the same size and shape so that you have 2 layers each. Repeat the entire process so that you have 4 alternating layers. Tightly press stacked dough into cylinders about 1 1/2″ wide and 8″ long, using the parchment to help you. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill until very firm, at least 2 hours.

(Don’t do as I did. Stack those two on top of each other!)

(Instead of 4 rolls, there should only be two, as you would have followed the directions the 1st time, unlike me)

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350 F. Working one at a time, unwrap dough and brush with egg. Carefully sprinkle surface with sanding sugar and roll logs in sugar to coat well (really press dough into sugar so it sticks). Slice into rounds a generous 1/4″ thick, rotating after every few cuts to keep slices round. Arrange cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2″ apart. Bake, rotating sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until edges are just set, 12-14 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.

Make ahead: Dough can be made up to 3 days ahead; keep chilled. Cookies can be baked up to 5 days ahead; store airtight at room temperature.

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