These striped disks are not only showy, but also yummy. I think shortcrust pastry is the most perfect and most delicious dough for cookies, other types of dough can’t be a match to it. The basic recipe for short pastry is based on a 3:2:1 ratio – 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. As the amount of shortening is significant, kneading must not last too long, otherwise butter will melt. Quickness is very important to get an easy-to-handle dough.
Rolling the short pastry is another critical point, its flaky and sticky texture tries your patience. But the task is not impossible, especially if you use parchment paper (or plastic wrap). It’s much easier to roll out your pastry between two pieces of parchment paper or wrap than on a floured board. Just lift the sheets often, so that they don’t fold into the dough and create deep creases. And one more tip: if your dough is too sticky, flour both sides of the dough before you start rolling.
- 600 g (~4 3/4 cups) flour
- 400 g (~1 3/4 cups) cold butter, cubed
- 200 g (~1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
- seeds of a vanilla bean
- zest of a lemon
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Put flour, sugar, salt, egg and egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest in a bowl. Add cubed butter and quickly knead the ingredients into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Add cocoa powder to one of them and knead in thoroughly. Cool the dough for 20 minutes.
On a floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll out first the brown dough, then the yellow ball into a thin rectangle. Place the pale layer on top of the brown dough, and roll them up. Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
Cut the roll into 1/2 inch thick disks, and place them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.