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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Recipe: Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookies

Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookies

Recipe: Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookies



I set out to make Petits Fours...

...but as I continued building the design for these Vanilla and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, they quickly grew to a size that was decidedly not petite. 

Nope! These are full-sized Cookies. No dainty bites here!

Oh well! Go big, or go home, right?

Consider this recipe to be one of myriad possible design suggestions

Flower of Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookies
Design possibilities are limitless when making Shortbread Cookies from Vanilla and Chocolate Pate Sablee. While a checkboard design is classic, particularly for bite-sized Petits Fours, I ask, "Why stop there?" 

Getting creative is little more than determining new ways to layer and combine two or more different doughs.

Rolled Sheet of Vanilla Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
Most designs begin by rolling at least two different types of dough into sheets. The dough is then chilled until it is firm. Chilling (and rechilling... and rechilling) the dough as you work is absolutely critical. As soon as the dough becomes warm, which does not take long in a hot kitchen, it will be too soft and sticky to manipulate.

Rolled Sheet of Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
For these Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookies, you will need to make one full recipe of both Vanilla and Chocolate Pate Sablee (600g each). Be certain to rest and chill the doughs for at least one hour before continuing.

Divide the Vanilla and Chocolate doughs in half (i.e. 300g). Place half of each dough back in the refrigerator. 

Working on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, roll each of the 300g portions to 6" wide and 3/8" thick. Make the length as long as possible while keeping the sheet of dough 3/8" thick - approximately 15" long.

Spend time to make sure that the two sheets of dough are exactly the same width, length and thickness. You will be stacking these sheets, and any areas that do not match will become scraps (more on that later, so save the scraps!).

Once the two doughs have been rolled to the appropriate size, transfer them to a sheet tray and chill them until they are firm.

Strip of Layered Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
When the sheets are well chilled and firm, lightly brush the entire surface of the Chocolate sheet with egg wash. Layer the Vanilla sheet directly on top of the Chocolate sheet. Gently press or roll the two sheets together. The egg wash will help them stick together.

Cut the 2x layered sheet of dough in half. You will have two 3" wide segments. Lightly brush the top of one segment with egg wash and place the other segment directly on top. You should now have one 4x layered sheet of dough that is 3" wide. Gently press or roll the two layers together.

Place the 4x layered sheet of dough in the refrigerator until it is well chilled and firm.

Sheet of Alternating Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
When the dough is well chilled and firm, slice it lengthwise into 3/8" thick strips using a sharp chef's knife. You will have a total of eight strips, each strip 4x layers tall and 15" long.

Arrange the strips on their side on a piece of parchment paper, pressing the strips together to create a single, striped sheet of dough. The striped sheet will measure 3/8" thick by 12" wide and 15" long.

Sheet of Alternating Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
As your knife cuts may not have been perfectly 3/8" wide, gently roll the striped sheet so that it is of uniform thickness. 

Chill the dough until it is firm.

Rolled Tube of Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
As the striped sheet chills, roll the two remaining halves (i.e. 300g) of Vanilla and Chocolate doughs to 12" wide by 15" long - the same dimensions as the striped sheet. Place the Chocolate sheet in the refrigerator as you continue working with the Vanilla sheet. 

Lightly egg wash the Vanilla sheet and layer the striped sheet directly on top. Gently press or roll the two sheets together.

With the layered sheet facing you lengthwise, tightly roll it into a tube. The tube will be about 3" wide and 15" long. If the dough begins to crack, let it warm slightly. There is a small window of time when the dough is warm enough to not crack but chilled enough to not be sticky.

Place the tube seam-side down on a parchment lined sheet tray and chill the dough until it is firm.

Cross-section of Rolled Tube of Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
When the tube of dough is well chilled, place it on the Chocolate sheet and wrap the Chocolate sheet around the tube, encasing the entire tube in the Chocolate sheet as an outer layer.

Chill the entire tube of dough one last time until it is firm.

Unbaked Slice of Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread (Pate Sablee)
When the tube is well chilled, place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife, trim the ends to reveal the inner design (save any scraps!)

Cut the tube into 3/8" thick slices. You should be able to cut about 40 individual Cookies. Wipe your knife after every few cuts to keep the design clean. If the Cookies are not round, you can reshape the slices with your hands.

Unbaked Vanilla & Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Place the cut Cookies on a parchment lined sheet tray. Leave a couple of inches between Cookies as they will spread slightly in the oven.

Lightly egg wash the Cookies and sprinkle them with Sugar.

Unbaked Vanilla & Chocolate Marbled Cookies Made from Scraps
If you have any scraps of dough, you can form them into another tube and slice marble cookies!

Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookie
Bake the Cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet trays halfway through the baking time. Allow the Cookies to fully cool on the sheet tray.

Vanilla & Chocolate Checkerboard Swirl Shortbread Cookie with Crumbs
The Cookies will keep well for a couple of weeks when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The Cookies can also be frozen for a couple of months.





- The Recipe -



Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Shortbread Cookies:


Yield: About Forty 3.5" Cookies


Ingredients:
  • Vanilla Pate Sablee - 1 Recipe
  • Chocolate Pate Sablee - 1 Recipe



Directions:

1. Prepare the Vanilla and Chocolate Pate Sablee. Chill the doughs for at least one hour.

2. Divide the Vanilla and Chocolate doughs in half (i.e. 300g). Place half of each dough back in the refrigerator. Roll the remaining two halves into sheets measuring 6" wide, 15" long and 3/8" thick. Transfer the rolled sheets to sheet trays and chill them until they are firm.

3. When the sheets are well chilled and firm, lightly brush the entire surface of the Chocolate sheet with egg wash. Layer the Vanilla sheet directly on top of the Chocolate sheet. Gently press or roll the two sheets together.

Chef's Note: If at any point in the process the dough feels too soft or sticky, place it back in the refrigerator or freezer until it is firm.

4. Cut the 2x layered sheet of dough in half (i.e. 3" wide segments). Lightly brush the top of one segment with egg wash and place the other segment directly on top to create a 4x layered sheet of dough. Gently press or roll the layers together. Place the 4x layered sheet of dough in the refrigerator until it is well chilled and firm.

5. When the dough is well chilled and firm, slice it lengthwise into 8 strips that are 3/8" thick. Arrange the strips of dough on their side to create a single sheet of striped dough measuring 12" wide, 15" long and 3/8" thick. Gently roll the striped sheet of dough to make sure it is of uniform thickness. Chill the striped sheet until it is firm.

6. As the striped sheet chills, roll the remaining two halves (i.e. 300g) of the Vanilla and Chocolate doughs into sheets measuring 12" wide and 15" long. Lightly egg wash the Vanilla sheet and layer the striped sheet of dough direct on top. Gently press or roll the two sheets together.

7. With the layered sheet facing you lengthwise, tightly roll it into a tube. The tube will be 3" wide and 15" long. Place the tube seam-side down on a parchment lined sheet tray and chill the dough until it is firm.

Chef's Note: There is a small window of time when the dough is warm enough to roll without cracking but chilled enough to not be sticky.

8. When the tube of dough is well chilled, place it on the Chocolate sheet and wrap the Chocolate sheet around the tube, encasing the entire tube in the Chocolate sheet as an outer layer. Chill the entire tube one last time until it is firm.

9. As the tube of dough chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). When the tube of dough is well chilled, place it on a cutting board and slice 3/8" thick Cookies. Place the Cookies on a parchment lined sheet tray. Lightly egg wash the Cookies and sprinkle them with Sugar.

Chef's Note: If the Cookie slices are not perfectly circular, you can reshape them with your hands.

10. Bake the Cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet trays halfway through the baking time. Allow the Cookies to fully cool on the sheet tray.


Storage:
- The Cookies will keep well for a couple of weeks when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The Cookies can also be frozen for a couple of months.


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