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Marble Cookies Recipe & Video

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I love a good bakery. You know, the kind that has the perfect chocolate chip cookie, or makes their baguettes just the way you like them. Sometimes when I go to the bakery I have a craving for a particular cookie, while other times I simply like to browse the pastry cases until something catches my eye. On a recent trip, one cookie that stood out was these Marble Cookies, also known as Zebra Cookies. It's hard not to notice them with their pretty swirls and lines of vanilla and chocolate batter. They are wonderfully sweet with nice crisp edges, while their centers are soft and chewy. Perfect cookie when you can't decide whether you want a chocolate cookie or a vanilla flavored cookie.    


Looking at this cookie, you may think it's hard to make. But it isn't. You start by making one batter, a vanilla batter. Once made, the batter is divided in half and to one half you fold in a little melted chocolate. Next, the two batters are simply kneaded together, just until they are marbled. That's it. Form into a log and refrigerate until firm. Perfect do ahead cookie.

This is a 'slice and bake' cookie, or you may know them as a 'refrigerator' or an 'icebox' cookie. All these names aptly describe this cookie. Because you form the batter into a log and then 'slice and bake' the cookies. And the log needs to be refrigerated (the term icebox refers to an early form of a refrigerator) until firm, before slicing and baking.

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Marble Cookies: In a heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel), placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate (can also melt the chocolate in the microwave). Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) the flour with the baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. 

Divide the batter in half (260 grams each) and place one half of the batter back into the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated.

Place the vanilla batter on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Shape it into a log that is about 6 x 2 inches (15 x 5 cm). Next, place the chocolate batter next to the vanilla batter and shape into a 6 x 2 inch (15 x 5 cm) log. Then  marbleize the two batters by gently kneading the two batters together (see video). Finally, shape the batter into an 8 x 2 1/2 inch (20 cm) log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the log until firm (3 to 4 hours or overnight). (The log can also be frozen for about two months.)

When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the log from the refrigerator and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut the log into 1/4 inch (.50 cm) thick slices. Place on your prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the cookies are just firm around the edges but still a little soft in the center. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. 

Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container about five days or they can be frozen.

Makes about 30 cookies.

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Marble Cookies:

1 ounce (28 grams) unsweetened chocolate

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 large egg (55 grams), at room temperature

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