Recipe from Slice & Bake Cookies by Elinor Klivans (Chronicle Books, 2013)
The many buttery layers of these cookies are produced by a quick sour cream dough that mimics puff pastry. The dough is rolled up with cinnamon sugar to make fancy cookies that look as if they took hours to prepare, rather than minutes. But who’s telling? Not me.
Makes 36 Cookies
Measuring & mixing time 15 minutes
Bake at 350F/180C/gas 4 for about 17 minutes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup/125 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp/145 g cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1⁄3 cup/80 ml cold sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together until evenly blended. Set aside.
Put the flour and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed until the butter is in pieces the size of small lima beans, about 45 seconds. The butter pieces will be different sizes, and there will be some loose flour. With the mixer running, add the sour cream and vanilla and mix just until the dough holds together in large, smooth clumps that pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds. The dough will be cold and can be rolled right away. Gather the dough together and pat it into a flat rectangular shape.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out to a rectangle 18 in/ 46 cm long and 16 in/40.5 cm wide, with a short side facing you. This is a large piece, but it’s easier to roll up as one piece. Leaving a 1-in/2.5-cm bare edge along both long edges and reserving 1 tbsp of the cinnamon sugar, sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough.
Beginning at the bottom edge, roll the dough up tightly, but stop when you reach the halfway point. Then, beginning at the top, roll the dough tightly toward the center until the second roll meets the first one. Pinch the seam along the length of the roll to seal it tightly. Pinch the ends to seal them tightly. Sprinkle the reserved cinnamon sugar evenly over the roll and roll it back and forth to coat the outside with cinnamon sugar. The finished roll should shrink to about 12 in/30.5 cm in length.
Cut the roll in half crosswise to form two pieces, each 6 in/ 15 cm long. Wrap each piece in a large piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight, until firm, or wrap aluminum foil over the plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Frozen dough will be difficult to cut and should be defrosted in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight first.
When ready to bake the cookies, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a large, sharp knife to cut each cold log into 18 slices About 1/4 in/8 mm thick. Place the cookies 1. in/4 cm apart on the baking sheets.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time just until light brown, about 17 minutes. The cookies will spread into large, open double spirals as they bake. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Choices: Substitute plain sugar for the cinnamon sugar.