Do yourself a favor and make these for whatever upcoming holiday you celebrate. If you don’t observe any holidays, make ‘em anyway—these are outstanding cookies. After all, you can’t go wrong with all that sugar and butter.
Don’t be put off by the step that blends the chocolate and vanilla sections of the cookies. It’s really easy. I’m a very impatient baker, and my blood pressure remained constant during the entire process.
This recipe, by the way, comes from Bon Appetit magazine.
What you’ll need:
- 2.33 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1.5t kosher salt, divided (I’d cut this in half, as the cookies seemed a tinge salty.)
- 0.33 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used regular)
- 1.25 cups (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 0.66 cup granulated sugar
- 0.25 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1t vanilla extract or paste
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 0.25 cup sanding sugar (any color)
What to do:
Whisk 1.33 cups flour and 0.75t salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl whisk the cocoa powder, remaining 1 cup flour, and remaining 0.75t salt in another medium bowl. These are the bases for the chocolate and vanilla doughs.
Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes—obviously, you can use a handheld beater. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Divide this mixture between the 2 bowls of dry ingredients (about a cup in each of the 2 bowls). Scrape the vanilla mixture back into main mixing (or stand mixer) bowl (save the mixing bowl) and beat on low speed until combined. Return to the reserved bowl. Repeat this process with the chocolate mixture.
Arrange 2 large sheets of parchment paper on a work surface. Put 0.25 of the chocolate dough in the center of each sheet. Form into rough 6 x 2″ rectangles. Note that using vinyl or nitrile gloves helps keep the butter from melting on your hands. Now add 0.25 of the vanilla dough on top of each chocolate slab and pat into rectangles the same size and shape as the chocolate dough rectangles. Repeat until you have two sets of four alternating layers. Now press the stacked dough into cylinders about 1½” wide and 8″ long, using the parchment to help you. Again, gloves really help with this step. Wrap the two logs in plastic wrap and chill until very firm, at least 2 hours.
At this point, you could stop the process and cook the refrigerated dough up to three days later.
When you’re ready to cook, place racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven; heat to 350°. Take 1 log out of the fridge, unwrap it and brush with the beaten egg. Carefully sprinkle the dough surface with sanding sugar and roll the log in sugar to coat well—press hard, so it sticks.
Slice into rounds a generous .025-inch thick, rotating after every few cuts to keep the slices round. Arrange the raw cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Now do the same to the other log.
Bake, switching sheets top to bottom and front to back about halfway through, until the edges are just set, 12–14 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.
Cookies can be baked 5 days ahead; store airtight at room temperature.