Trying to make butter-rich icebox cookies in a warm lab was an interesting exercise this week. We started with the pinwheel dough. After it came together in the mixer, we took half out and kneaded in some orange oil which Chef brought in herself. The original recipe called for peppermint extract but who can resist the intense citrus flavour paired with chocolate? The other half of the dough was combined in the mixer with cocoa powder. Working with a small piece at a time, we rolled the dough into a thin rectangle, which proved to be a difficult undertaking. Many people had cracks and tears, or formed rough circles instead of an oblong. After brushing off excess flour, we moistened the surface of one rectangle with a bit of water, placed the other rectangle over top, then rolled it into a log lengthwise. Keeping the two layers together was key to ensuring the pinwheels would stay together. We quickly moved the logs into the refrigerator to firm up. Our next cookie featured a healthy amount of zest from two huge oranges, a little bit of coconut and chopped pecans. This dough was even softer, and we had to work fast to avoid melting it with our hands as we rolled it into a log.
After chilling in the refrigerator, we sliced the pinwheel logs into rounds. The pressure of the knife caused the log to flatten somewhat, resulting in oval shapes. A longer chilling time would have helped to keep its shape. That's the problem with these classes, we end up having to accelerate certain steps and end up having to compensate. For the orange pecan cookies, we eggwashed the firm logs and rolled them in very finely chopped pecans before slicing. I took these ones home and baked two of the logs the next morning, as I didn't want to spend any additional time in the hot lab!
Both of these cookies were very tasty, with a strong orange flavour. I didn't like the texture of either though, kind of chewy. If I had to choose, the pecan ones win out for their nutty flavour, but the pinwheels sure are purdy.
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