This is the first time I’ve created something to eat with the end visual in mind. I love stripes and I wanted some spring striped cookies. (I’ll be posting my new portfolio next week and you can see how much I enjoy the stripes.) Anyway, I couldn’t find and recipes or even examples of this (although, I’m sure they’re out there) so I made my own.
After trying a couple of recipes I realized that I needed a dough that didn’t rise or spread – which meant something along the lines of a shortbread dough. After some looking I decided that the Glazed Butter Cookies from Cooks Illustrated would work for a starting point. The ingredients aren’t much changed from that, but I’ve made it a bit nuttier and given them a fuller flavor by replacing some of the flour with almond flour and adding in some almond extract. This helps them in the transition from iced cookies to apricot glazed ones.
This recipe makes a lot of cookies. But you can refrigerate or freeze the dough and then cut and bake the cookies later.
Apricot Glazed Stripey Cookies
4 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 c almond flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
4 sticks butter, softened
3 t vanilla extract
2 t almond extract
3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
good quality food coloring (like these)
1/2 c apricot preserves
Put sugar and almond flour in a food processor and pulse for 1 – 2 minutes until sugar and flour are very fine. Place in mixing bowl with sugar and salt and mix on low speed to combine. Add in the butter 1 T at a time until it’s crumbly. Add in the extracts and cream cheese and combine until dough starts forming large clumps.
Carefully pour dough out onto parchment paper and press it into a shape that’s easily divided. Divide the dough into as many sections as you want colors. Put one of the sections back into the mixer bowl to be colored, cover the rest with plastic wrap.
I don’t really have any good advice about the colors except that warm colors seem to work better than cool colors – when the apricot glaze is put on the cookies it will add a yellowish tint, which warm colors take on better than cool colors. Basically, smear little bits of the color on the dough, and then mix until it’s thoroughly dispersed – if you want more color add in more. I just wanted springy pastels, so I stopped there, but you could make the colors really vibrant if you wanted to. When you’re done coloring, mold dough into a disc shape, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator until you’re done with the rest of your colors.
When you’re done coloring – take your first color out of the refrigerator and roll it out, between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap until it’s between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick. Cut out square shapes with a square cookie cutter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside and roll out second color. Repeat with remaining colors. You can start stacking the colors at any time. This dough is crumbly, so you want to transfer squares with a spatula. Just place them on top of each other as lined up as possible and make your stripe patterns.
When you have stacks of cookie dough in even cubes, press them together carefully, pat in the sides to even them out a bit. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to 4 days. (If you want to freeze them, put wrapped cubes into a ziploc freezer bag and put in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before using.)
When you’re ready to cook the cookies, preheat your oven to 375°f. Cut the cookies with a cleaver into 1/8″ – 1/4″ slices. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until edges and bottoms start to brown.
While the cookies are cooking heat the apricot preserves over medium heat until liquid and bubbly. Cover and turn off heat until cookies are done
Let sit on cookie sheet for 3 – 4 minutes to settle, transfer to cooling rack. Strain glaze over bowl, (discard chunks) and brush onto cookies. You can enjoy them immediately or wait until glaze has set.
You can also make stripey ice cream sandwiches from two of them with some fruity ice cream or frozen yogurt.
These worked pretty well. I think next time I’ll do more same color combinations with contrasting intensities. Also, now that this worked out – I think I’m going to try painting with the dough as well. (Oh what fun I will have!) If anyone makes these please and does anything fun, let me know how they turn out.