Friday, February 21, 2014

Cinnamon-Log Slices

The thing about science is - it's amazing. Three cheers for science! Remember when you used to have science lessons about nature in school and you would go outside and count the rings on trees? That was so awesome! Well, it's about time that tree with all its magnificent rings signifying it's age and wisdom was turned into a cookie. And so it's been done. Thank you, science.

These cookies are tasty and a nice variation from the usual. Although they take a good amount of time owing to frequent chilling and rolling, they are nice and chewy in the middle and crispy on the outer edges. I think my favorite taste in the these cookies was the milk, though. There was milk in the batter and you could taste that milky goodness coming through in each little bite. They have those great cinnamon and cocoa elements as well, that no one can resist. And the best part - they look like little log slices! If you have small kids, you can count the rings with them and compare them to trees and branches. If you don't have small kids, even better - more for you!

Cinnamon-Log Slices

Note: This recipe makes a nice huge batch. I made half of it and froze the other half for later.

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
2 large eggs  plus 1 large egg white
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup turbinado sugar

1. Beat together butter, white and brown sugars until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time (reserve egg whites for later). Beat in salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon until combined, then milk and vanilla until also combined. Add flour 1 cup at a time until completely incorporated.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls (they don't have to be perfect spheres at all, just rough shapes will do). Wrap 3 of the balls in parchment or saran wrap and place in fridge. Take the final ball of dough and roll into a 12" log. Wrap and refrigerate along with other balls of dough about 1 hour or until firm.

3. When dough is firm remove from fridge. Combine cocoa powder and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on surface. Roll out 1 ball of dough into a rectangle, roughly 6-by-12 inches (again, it does not have to be perfect). Flip rectangle over onto a lightly floured surface. Brush off excess cocoa. Place 12" log of dough in the center of the rectangle and wrap the rectangle around the log so that it is completely covered. Squeeze it together tightly until it is a single log of dough. Repeat with the other 2 balls of dough, each time adding to the log until you have a large log of dough. Wrap and refrigerate log until firm, or up to a day.

4. Remove log from fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly beat egg white and brush it on outside of log. Next, roll the log in turbinado sugar, lightly patting it to help adhere. Refrigerate the log until the sugar is set, about 10 minutes. Slice log into 1/4" thick rounds and place on baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheets and cool on racks. Rings may slightly separate. Cool and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart Living

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