How fun are these? This past summer there was a large bat mitzvah celebration at my synagogue, and most of the cookies were white or brown. I decided to make a brightly colored cookie that would help brighten up the cookie trays.
I was inspired by the invitation, which is similar to this design (the artist is the girl’s aunt). I looked all through Pinterest and Google, trying to find a swirly, tie-dye-like sugar cookie that I could use. Unfortunately, almost everything I found was either straight rainbow or relied on decoration. I was inspired by the way this cake roll looked and rolling sprinkles into the dough like in these cookies, but otherwise I made the technique up on the fly.
I used a great sugar cookie dough perfected by a friend of mine. I divided the finished dough into five rough portions, and colored them using Betty Crocker gel food coloring (both classic and neon colors). In my case, I decided to use typical rainbow colors – purple (using neon purple), blue (using classic blue), green (using classic green), yellow with a hint of orange (using classic yellow and a bit of neon orange), and a deep pink (using neon pink). Obviously you could use as many or as few colors as you’d like – this would also be amazing as an ombre cookie.
The dough was refrigerated until firm. The dough packages were laid out in the order I wanted to keep them in. Small amounts of dough were rolled into snakes about 1/2″ diameter (roughly), and placed on a parchment sheet. It is important to keep a 2-3″ border around the dough, to allow space to roll out the dough.
I did two to two and a half repetitions of the colors, depending on the roll as I was playing around with what worked best. After finishing the ropes of color, I put another parchment sheet across the top, and used my hands to smooth the dough into more of a smooth surface. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough out an inch or two up and down the lines of color. The stripes will still look the same when you’re just rolling along them.
Gently turn the parchment, and roll in the other direction, perpendicular to the lines of color. You want to roll gently, and not too much, as the colors will really blend into one another and the edges will get pretty ragged. You can use a butter knife to help clean up the edges, and use the removed dough to fill in holes (see the above picture). Don’t worry too much about it, as variation works well in these cookies.
Sprinkle the dough with clear or silver decorator sugar (this was Cake Mate’s Shimmer White Sugar), then start to roll it up. Wrap the rolled log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Slice 1/2″ slices (yes, they will look very fat) from the chilled log, and place on a parchment-lined sheet. I tried baking them as is, and squished, and much preferred the look and size of the “squished” ones. So, place the fat slices on the cookie sheet, then cover with plastic wrap (like that that had wrapped your cookie log) and flatten with a glass or measuring cup until it’s about 1/4″ thick.
I really love the swirl of colors and the glints of the coarse sugar peeking out here and there. While these do take a little bit of time, they do go relatively quick and are incredibly inviting to eat.
Recipe from Kay Lynne Dubinsky
- 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt