Just like for everyone else, this year has been one of a lot of change in our lives. Two of them have changed our life in a big way, one hopefully good and the other not-so-good. The first one was the decision we made, after a lot of thought, to leave Goa and move back to home to Kochi. The other one, something over which we had absolutely no control, was the loss of our five year old dog Fudge.
A very sudden and short illness claimed him and before we knew it, he was gone leaving a huge hole in our hearts and lives. He was a huge part of our lives and almost everything we do brings back memories of him overwhelming us. As Dean Koontz has said, “Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
Cookies are on the list but she left the choice of what to bake so long as I ran them past her first! I recently found a set of simple snowflake cookie cutters and some mini-Christmas themed cutters as well at the local store and wanted to celebrate my find by putting them to use. I’ve made a lot of snowflake cookies as well as decorated cookies over past Christmases so I wanted to do something a little different this time.
I finally settled on making chocolate and vanilla cut out cookies because there’s something so irresistible about the way they look and what’s not to like about chocolate and vanilla? These are two toned cookies with contrasting coloured and flavour. I chose to make square cookies with Christmas themes such as Christmas trees, snowflakes, candy canes and gingerbread boys.
The dough comes together pretty quickly and the cookies themselves taste very buttery, almost like shortbread. One half of the dough is coloured and flavoured with cocoa powder and then both doughs are chilled, rolled out and then cut out with cutters and baked. Then one sticks the Christmas themed smaller cookies with a melted chocolate on the square cookies, light on dark and dark on light for contrast.
There a couple of things to keep in mind but otherwise making them is a breeze, especially if you’re making them with kids.
While mixing up the dough, be judicious with the flour. The dough should be moist but not sticky and should come together as a ball. Too much flour will spoil the texture of the cookies.
The dough must be chilled for about 4 hours at least and it is best to work with as cold as possible dough. It makes the dough easier to handle and it also will not spread while baking.
Roll the dough between sheets of parchment. This means you won’t have to add flour to make it easier to handle the dough while rolling it out. You also won’t have flour streaks on the chocolate dough.