I have completed the ribbon cookies that I started last night and then chilled. This recipe was clipped from a magazine by my mom, probably before I was born. She made it every year and I have kept up the tradition. With ribbon cookies, the idea is to divide the dough into 3 portions and make them different colors – usually leaving one white. You then layer the colors in a loaf pan, chill overnight, slice the dough in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4 inch slices.
I always had a problem with this because the loaf pans sides went out an angle, thus the cookies always had an odd shape – not proper for an obsessive compulsive baker such as myself.
In the last few years I played around with using straight-sided cake pans, which worked quite well. But my favorite way to create the ribbons is to press the layers into a rectangle on a piece of parchment and roll up to create a swirled log. After the dough is chilled overnight, it is quite easy to cut into uniquely swirled slices.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Food coloring, as needed
Cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Mix next 3 ingredients; add and mix well. Divide dough into 3 equal parts and add desired food coloring to two of those parts.
Either line a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan with parchment paper and layer each color of dough, pressing down on each to even it out before adding the next layer – or – place the first color on parchment paper and spread out into a rectangle. Add each additional color, spreading out to cover the first layer. Carefully roll up the log with the parchment paper, making sure not to get it stuck in the log. For either method, chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the dough from the pan and/or paper and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place about 1 inch apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake 10 minutes – do not allow the cookies to brown.