Friday, April 1, 2011

Avid Baker's Challenge: Zebra Cookies

Before I get started, I just want to give a big shout-out to a nationwide Bakesale For Japan happening tomorrow, Saturday, April 2. My sister-in-law and I will be baking up a storm tonight and donating everything to the Ula Cafe location in Jamaica Plain, MA. If you live near one of the many locations, please drop in to buy some goodies and/or make a donation. All  proceeds go to Peace Winds America.

We'll be baking a bunch of goodies tonight (much of which will look familiar to regular visitors), and I'll be taking lots of pictures along the way, so stay-tuned for that post in the next day or two. On the list so far: Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes with Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Frosting; Orange-Glow Chiffon Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Ganache Frosting; Double-Decker Brownies (aka Congo Brownies); Chocolate-Vanilla Zebra Cookies; Stained Glass Sugar Cookies; and Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake (probably).

Now back to regular programming...

In the Avid Baker's Challenge this month, we're baking Zebra cookies. For some reason - even though, yes, the cookies are striped chocolate and vanilla - I find the name of these cookies really funny. Anytime I read it, say it or write it, I think about the animal and not it seems a little incongruous to me and definitely not the name I would have chosen for a food item (unless it was zebra burgers). Anyway, we're on page 277 of Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions.

The dough part of these cookies was an absolute breeze to make. My only concern was whether the crumbly dough would actually come together with just the tiniest  bit of vanilla as the only liquid ingredient...I shouldn't have worried. It came together beautifully and, because there is no egg, it left me quite free to sample the raw dough without worrying...yum. I made a measuring mistake with the chocolate dough  - didn't decrease the flour to compensate for adding the cocoa powder - but I added a tablespoon or two or water and it came out fine.

It took me a while to visualize how to assemble and cut these zebras, but I worked it out in the end. They are very cute in their little triangle shape, but truth be told, I like them swirled together into a log and sliced a lot better. Most of the cookies went the way of the Zebra, but as I had some dough left over, I stacked, swirled and rolled the rest into a log (again, even the swirling-method instructions in the book left me a bit stumped - IMO, this book would be miles better with some additional pictures!). The other issue I had with the triangle-shaped zebras was that when I lifted them to place on the cookie sheet, the layers started falling apart. I was able to piece the layers back together but it kind of ruined my perfect triangle shapes. But, oh well, they still tasted delicious and were a hit both at home and at work.

I'll be making them again - in log form (it's faster!) for the bakesale tomorrow.

mise en place...chocolate on the right, vanilla on the left

I was way too nervous to add the stick of butter whole - as instructed - so I cut it into pieces.

chocolate dough

done! That was too easy.

the layers for the triangle cookies have chilled and the block is ready to be sliced

so that's how it's done!

they look pretty cute all together on the parchment

they smell so chocolatey...yum!

the triangles are pretty cute, but I think I like the rounds better...

with my leftover dough, I thought I'd go for the swirled log

sliced in half and stacked again, then just flatten and twist into...

...the swirled log

just slice and bake...easy peasy! And these actually look more like a zebra to me than the triangles...
poor misnamed cookies.

where'd I put that milk?

Bye for now...


  1. Alice, I love the swirled log. And it does look more like zebra that way.

  2. Love the swirled ones too!!! What fun!

  3. what temp do you bake it at, and how long???
    this is a great recipe!

  4. Hi Anon,

    Just bake these at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Good luck!!