Growing up, in the weeks leading up to school, my Mom would have marathon baking sessions. She’d ask each of us four kids to pick our favorite lunchbox cookie. Then, she’d bake a double (or triple) batch of each to freeze for our school lunches. She was so smart to think of that idea because our cookies were always the highlight of our lunches – and the envy of our classmates!
Most of the cookies we chose were drop cookies but one of us was sure to pick Zebra Cookies. This was a recipe we discovered in the All-Purpose Flour Alpha Bakery Cookbook. We sent away for it when it was free with proofs of purchase. We made several of the recipes, but Zebra Cookies are our favorite.
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The recipe said that you were supposed to use a cookie cutter to actually shape them like zebras. We decided that wasted too much dough so just left them as the sliced cookie.
My siblings and I used to see who could pull apart the most layers as we ate them. It made a delicious cookie even more fun to eat. To this day, I still try to peel apart the layers of my Zebra Cookie as I eat it!
Without further ado, here is today’s chocolate recipe for Zebra Cookies.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa
Use a mixer to cream sugars and margarine. Add egg and vanilla. Add in flour, mixing until dough forms. Divide dough into halves. Mix cocoa into one half of dough.
Pat or roll each half into 9-inch square. I recommend doing so on waxed paper. Cut each square into 3-inch strips. Cut strips crosswise into halves.
Lift 1 brown strip with large metal spatula onto plastic wrap. Top with 1 white strip. Press firmly together. Top with remaining strips, alternating colors and pressing firmly to form a bar. When finished the bar should be about 4 1/2 inches long, 3 inches wide, and about 3 inches high.
Wrap bar in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut bar into quarter-inch thick slices. Cut each slice crosswise into halves. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.
This recipe makes 36 cookies.
These cookies freeze well. Just like my Mom, I like to wrap them in twos for a quick yet homemade lunchbox trip. Taken straight out of the freezer, they will be thawed by lunchtime.