Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Zebras are Out! - Eight Layer Shortbread Cookies

We're reaching the end of November, and fast approaching Christmas. One constant in our family is the almost obscene amount of baking we do. Cookies, cookies and more cookies! Here is one recipe that is a "must make" every year.

EIGHT LAYER SHORTBREAD, AKA “ZEBRA SHORTBREAD”
Everyone’s Christmas favorite
2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 ¼ cups butter, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg white, whisked

Sift flour and cornstarch together and set aside. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until blended. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture to make a soft dough. Divide in half. Knead cocoa powder into half the dough, adding a tablespoon of butter if necessary to keep from being too crumbly. Flatten both doughs and wrap separately in waxed paper, then chill at least an hour. Roll each batch of dough between two sheets of waxed paper into an EXACT 10” square. (Make a 10” square cardboard template for this) Push dough sides in to make absolutely even using the blade of a chef knife or wide long spatula. If dough gets too soft or sticky, refrigerate on a cookie sheet for a half hour and resume. Remove top sheet of waxed paper from the vanilla dough. Brush top with the egg white. Remove waxed paper from the chocolate dough, and brush top with egg white. Let stand a few minutes to set egg white. Invert the chocolate dough onto the vanilla dough, matching up the sides exactly. Cut into 4 EQUAL 10” X 2 ½” strips. Brush with egg white. Stack dough strips neatly to make eight alternating layers. Wrap each stack in plastic wrap and chill several hours, up to one week.

To bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice dough with a very sharp knife while dough is very cold into 1/8’ thick slices and transfer onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until set and slightly pale golden at edges. Transfer to a rack to cool. Store in tins a cool, dry place up to a week.

Makes about 5 dozen shortbread

1 comment:

squink said...

We only make it because I, in particular, "have to have it". And you know I am right when I whine about not having it because, let's face it, despite it being slightly labour intensive, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Zebra Shortbread. After all, it's my favourite cookie! ^_^