After I finished my holiday baking, I received a fresh set of recipes from the Akron Samaritan. It’s the Akron Beacon Journal Christmas cookie guide for 2013, featuring recipes from local chefs. I was touched by the gesture and wish I had received the guide a few days earlier — but, there’s always next year! This recipe, from chef Roger Thomas, looked particularly interesting:
Ingredients: For light dough: 4 ounces butter; 1/2 cup sugar; 3 tablespoons heavy cream; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 3/4 cup flour; 1 teaspoon baking powder; pinch of salt
For dark dough: 4 ounces butter; 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar; 1 egg; 1 3/4 cups flour; 4 tablespoons cocoa; 1 teaspoon baking powder; pinch of salt
For the light dough, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add cream and honey and mix well. Separately mix dry ingredients together, then mix into butter to make a smooth, firm dough. For the dark dough, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add egg and mix well. Separately mix dry ingredients together, then mix into butter to make a smooth, firm dough.
Wrap light dough and dark dough separately with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Reshape each dough into balls the size of a large grape, then roll each ball into a log about 2 1/2 inches long. Press the ends of the different dough logs together in the form of a circle, with the light dough on top of the dark dough on one side and the dark on top of the light on the other. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before storing in a container with sheets of parchment or wax paper between layers.