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Black-and-White Cookies

Black-and-White Cookies
These cookies are known as icebox, or refrigerator, cookies. This type of cookie is made by forming dough into a log or rectangular block and chilling it thoroughly. You can also use different types of dough together (vanilla and chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate) to make patterned cookies. Cookies are then sliced off the log or block and baked. When slicing the dough, give the log or block a quarter turn after every half dozen or so slices to keep the cookies perfectly square or round.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut
     into small pieces
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs. unsweetened Dutch process
     cocoa powder

Directions:

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces in 2 additions, pulsing after each addition, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse until the dough holds together. Divide the dough in half. Transfer one-half to a lightly floured work surface and knead in the cocoa until incorporated.

Lightly dust the work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out each dough half into a 3-by-9-inch rectangle, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick; trim the edges to even out. Place each rectangle on a large baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the whole egg until blended. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, cut each rectangle into 4 strips about 3/4 inch wide (you should have 4 strips of each color). Arrange 2 chocolate strips and 2 plain strips in a checkerboard pattern, brushing the beaten egg between the strips and gently pressing them together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and use a knife to square off the edges of each block. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Remove the blocks from the refrigerator, unwrap and cut each crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick. Place them 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies feel firm when lightly pressed, about 15 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Cookies, by Marie Simmons (Simon & Schuster, 2002).