Sunday, February 10, 2013

One dough, three ways (part 1)

I could be alone in thinking this, but eating one kind of cookie is never enough. What good is an oreo without an EL fudge to balance him out?  Have you ever had a peanut butter cookie sandwiched in between two chocolate chip cookies?? Amazing! 

While one type of cookie is good, three kinds of cookies are way better. Duh. But luckily for you, I have the secret on how you can wow your guests with a great cookie platter and only have to make one batch of cookie dough!  This cookie dough is one of the first things you learn in pastry school and it's called 1-2-3 dough.  Not because it's easy as 1-2-3 (even though it is!), but because that's the ratio of ingredients in the recipe. 

  • 1 part sugar
  • 2 parts butter 
  • 3 parts flour
  • Add four eggs for every pound of sugar
  • Add a splash of vanilla (or almond, etc) and a pinch of salt

Ok, so the egg part kind of breaks the trick. But still, this is way easy to throw together, especially if you have a scale! And this cookie dough is infinitely versatile. It's easy to roll for cutouts and easy to add mix-ins for different drop cookies. Over the next few days, I'll show you a couple of different ways to use it.

The first cookies I made were Nutella pinwheels. These cookies look much more difficult than they are. Here's what you need to do. 

  1. Mix the dough (use the instructions below).
  2. Pull out half the dough and pop it in the fridge for a minute.
  3. Throw a big glob of Nutella into the remaining dough (use your judgement/love of Nutella to guide this.)  If your dough looks too sticky, you can add in a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder to balance that out. 
  4. Roll out both squares of dough. The best way to do this is to put the blob of dough between two sheets of parchment paper or wax paper. This way, you can move the dough around easily and it won't stick to your rolling pin or work surface. Move as quickly as you can, because you don't want the dough to get too warm!
  5. When you have two similar sized squares, rip one of the pieces of paper off each square and sandwich them together.  Lightly roll the dough with your pin to ensure that the chocolate and vanilla dough are nice and stuck together. When you rip off the top paper, it should look something like this:

  6. If you want, you can trim the edges a bit so that they line up nicely. We're going to slice 'n' bake these cookies, so there's no need to be a perfectionist here. I'm sure you have a "friend" who won't mind eating the janky end pieces. (PS That friend is me. Send them over.)
  7. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll up the dough, like so:
  8. After I had a big log of cookie, I sprinkled a bunch of crushed up hazelnuts on the counter and rolled the whole log in the nuts.  You could use sprinkles instead of nuts, if you're feeling extra zesty.  You should end up with something like this:
  9. At this point, you're going to want to wrap your cookie log in plastic, pop it in the freezer, and forget about it for a bit. If you try to slice and bake the dough while it's warm, it will mess up your perfect pinwheels.  Then you've wasted, like, twenty minutes of energy for nothing. Lame.


 Come back in a few hours, slice up your frozen cookies with a sharp knife, and bake them right away in a 350* oven for about 8 minutes. You don't want them to get brown!  Baking the cookies while frozen helps them keep their shape.

As you can see, the unbaked cookies (above) look pretty similar to the final product.  These cookies are amazing with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or as with an espresso as dessert after a rich meal. Disclaimer: my opinions may be influenced by the fact that I really want a cup of coffee right now. Enjoy! 


1-2-3 Dough (Recipe)

  • 4 ounces sugar (aka 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon if you don't' have a scale)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 12 oz (2 2/3 cups flour) + 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape your bowl and mix a bit more.
  3. Dump in flour and salt mixture all at once and mix on low to combine.
  4. Proceed with recipe as described above! 

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