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Doctoring some of the batter with cocoa powder is the key to the bark-like appearance of these delicate cookies.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2017

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Credit: Louise Hagger

Recipe Summary test

prep:
40 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Yield:
Makes 2 dozen
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Line baking sheets with nonstick silicone baking mats (parchment doesn't work as well). Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg whites with sugar on medium speed until foamy. Add flour and salt; beat to combine. Add butter, cream, and vanilla; beat to combine.

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  • Transfer 1/2 cup batter to a small bowl; stir in cocoa. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, such as Ateco #3 or #4 (you can also use a paintbrush). Pipe small dots and dashes and "knots" sparsely across surface of baking mat, mimicking birch bark. Freeze 15 minutes.

  • Place stencil over "birch" markings; spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons batter into stencil. Spread evenly with a small offset spatula; it will be very thin. (It's okay if some of the markings smear -- they will look more realistic.) Repeat to fill baking sheet (about 6 per sheet). Remove stencil and bake until just set and barely turning golden on a few edges, 8 to 9 minutes. Let cool 30 seconds. Working with one cookie at a time, loosen edges with a spatula and remove from pan. Roll cookies into cylinders and place, seam-sides down, on a tray or counter; let cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies, returning them to oven for a few seconds to warm if they start to get brittle before you roll them.

  • Clean baking mats and stencil between batches, and repeat with remaining batter. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container, with parchment in between each, at room temperature up to 3 days.

Cook's Notes

For the most uniform "logs," you will need a template: Trace a 5-inch circle on a piece of heavy plastic (such as the top of a take-out container). Then trace a 3 1/2-inch circle in the center, and cut out the circles with a utility knife.

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