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Christopher Greaves

Marbelous Cookies

Yum! In a word.

Oh, no. I’m supposed to say that at the end. Sorry!

Here’s the gist:

Orange Dough

Mocha Dough

Gingers

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 tsp orange zest, finely grated

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp instant espresso or coffee

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

2/3 cup fancy grade molasses

We use a basic cookie dough recipe, and then dump in different ingredients.

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Here’s the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, egg, butter all laid out ready for use. That’s the mixing bowl peeking coyly from the sink. I’ve located a jar of pureed ginger , some oranges, some coffee beans in a coffee grinder, and a 2-liter tub of cocoa powder.

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The butter goes in a bowl atop the stove, over the oven vent, to melt.

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The recipe calls for 2 ½ cups of this, that. I decide to double everything except the egg, and make a quantity of the basic dough.

Into the mixing bowl goes the flour, sugar, soda and salt. I mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.

If you’ve ever watched me mix flour, you’ll know why I mix it in the kitchen sink!

Yes, that’s my “finger bowl”; I like a place to rinse goop from my fingers.

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When the basic dry mixture is thoroughly mixed, I portion it equally into four plastic tubs.

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I peel an orange.

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And pulverize/pulp it in an electric chopper with a half-cup of water.

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Each of the four tubs gets its own unique flavoring. Today I’m doing two whites (orange and ginger) and two browns (coffee and cocoa)

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Here’s the butter with the egg and vanilla stirred in.

This too gets portioned equally between the four tubs.

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Each tub takes its turn in the mixing bowl, starting with the lightest and ending with the darkest. I like my “whites” to be “white”!

If the mixture is too dry, I add a soupspoon of water and continue mixing.

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Once each batch is mixed it goes into a plastic bag and sits in the refrigerator for two hours or two days until I’m ready to bake cookies.

Two hours is what usually elapses.

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From two bags I extract a palm-size chunk of dough. Here I have a chunk of orange-flavored and a chunk of coffee-flavored dough.

Potential combinations are always white-with-brown, thus:

Orange

Coffee

Orange

Cocoa

Ginger

Coffee

Ginger

Cocoa

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Each chunk is rolled or pressed flat. That’s my wine-bottle rolling-pin in the background.

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Lay one on top of the other.

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Roll ‘em up, like a Swiss Roll.

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And slice them like thick salami.

Onto the traditional greased baking tray and into the traditional oven at the traditional 375 degrees for the traditional 15 minutes.

Whatever.

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And then sample a couple of them.

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Instead of Swiss Rolling them, you can mix the two chunks of dough ever-so-slightly, flatten them and hence produce marbled cookies.

You can roll them into thin sausages and then braid or twist them.

I see no reason why one should not weave a mat of braids, flatten it and cut through it before baking it en masse into a chunk of cookie off which bits can easily be broken.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Here is another batch, made quickly from dough which has been stored in an air-tight plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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I rolled out the ginger (white) sheet and stored it on the as yet un-greased cookie tray while I rolled out the chocolate (brown) sheet.

Each sheet is dusted with flour (see below) to facilitate rolling.

You get an idea of the thickness of the sheets by the way the orange sheet has molded itself to the corner of the bread board.

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I lay one sheet atop the other. In shape and size they are a close match, but do not need to be perfect.

(Below) Rolled as-is, once baked, the layers will separate and you can nibble your way around the spirals. However, if at this stage you brush each layer with water, they will adhere during the baking process and then you’ll be able to nibble right into the center, disregarding the spirals. Myself I prefer, childlike, to nibble the spiral arms and dream of galaxies.

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I have rolled the two sheets from my bottom-left corner to the top-right, making a roll like a Swiss Roll.

That’s my rolling-pin wine bottle waiting to be cleaned off.

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I have sliced the sausage into half-centimeter slices. I’ll place them on the greased tray and bake at, of I don’t know, say 375 for 20 minutes.

Quantities may vary.

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And here is the finished product.

Yes. A few seem to have gone missing in the time it took me to re-locate my camera!


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Toronto, Friday, August 14, 2015 1:12 PM

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