My littlest girl, Sophie, is always begging to cook together. Perhaps less for the act of cooking than for the together time, which is probably the most treasured thing in Sophie's whole wide world. Today, Sophie had a fun day of cookie making and I followed along with my camera. She made these Neapolitan Swirl Cookies all by herself, adapting recipes from a book called Mom and Me Cookbook.
The cookies start with a versatile dough, before you go on to flavor and shape the dough in swirls and whirls.
It turned out we only had one stick of softened butter at go time, so the recipe had to be halved...which involved using half an egg. Sophie beat an egg and measured out half of the liquid amount. Very clever! She also got in some practice "eye balling" amounts of other ingredients since I don't use or even own all sizes of measuring cups and spoons.
This photo depicts Sophie's version of "mix until smooth." I'm no stickler when it comes to extreme accuracy, but I started to wonder just what might come out of the oven when all was said and done!
Once Sophie's dough was together, she flavored one-third with cocoa powder and the other with strawberry jam. Like a pro, she cut equal sized squares, stacked them and rolled them neatly before slicing into perfect little spirals. I was really impressed with Sophie's orderliness today! I think she'd make a great pastry chef! Of course I won't tell her that because that would likely lead to anything but. (I guess I've learned a few things with her older sister!)
Sophie is the kind of kid that's basically always dancing and talking and making up songs. And she makes funny faces. She's hilarious.
And here we have her works of art! I was thoroughly impressed with these cookies. The flavor was great and the texture reminded me of store-bought Lorna Doones. Yum!
Neapolitan Swirl Cookies
Adapted from Annabel Karmel's Mom and Me Cookbook. Makes one dozen.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 egg (1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid beaten egg)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
Red food coloring (optional)
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir together just until combined. Do not over mix. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Divide dough in 3 equal parts. Knead cocoa powder into one part. Knead strawberry jam and a few drops of red coloring into the other part. Add sprinkles of flour to help dry up the strawberry dough as it gets super sticky from the added liquid in the jam. Use a wide putty knife or bench knife to help pick up dough, mix dough, and clean the counter top. Wrap plain dough, chocolate dough and strawberry dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Prepare a baking sheet by lightly buttering it and preheat your oven to 350F.
Roll out each dough on a lightly floured surface about 1/8 inch thick and cut into an equal sized square or rectangle with your putty knife. Stack chocolate, strawberry and vanilla doughs on top of each other and trim in a neat square or rectangle. Roll up the dough in a tight spiral. Slice into disks 1/4 inch thick and place on your baking sheet, about an inch apart. Use scraps of dough pressed together in random pieces to create marbled swirl cookies. Form into a log, slice and bake as you do the others.
Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottoms. Cool on wire racks and serve with cold milk.