January is named for Janus, strangely the god of both beginnings and endings, transitions, and change. In Ancient Rome, he was said to have two faces to look back on the previous year and forward to the next. It makes sense that this season is a time of reflection.
As I reflect, I like to bake, and this year I interpreted the faces of Janus literally and created these two-faced cookies. Dutch-processed cocoa chip for the darkness of the last year, and blonde chocolate chip for the light to come. The two distinct layers melt together in a way that creates a truly unique pattern on each cookie and a slightly different bite. I like to add a sprinkle of Maldon salt right after baking to elevate the chocolate flavor even more. —Kelli_Epicurie
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Cook time 15 minutes
- makes 36 large cookies
sticks of butter
packed brown sugar
vanilla bean, scraped
semi-sweet chocolate chips
Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
Maldon salt, to taste (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs and vanilla bean.
- Add the flour and baking soda and mix again. Scrape down the sides again and mix until everything is combined. Then add the chocolate chips and mix for another minute.
- Split the dough in half. Chill the one half in the freezer and mix the sifted Dutch cocoa into the other half. Chill separately.
- Line a 9x9 baking pan with plastic wrap. Remove the light half of the dough from the freezer and press it into the pan first. Use a spoon or an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Take the dark half of the dough and spread it out on top. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the freezer and remove it from the plastic wrap. Using a knife, cut the cookie block into 6x6 inch cubes. Don’t worry; despite being square, each cookie will be more or less round when they come out of the oven.
- Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets with the cookies spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes at 350°F.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and sprinkle with Maldon salt if using. If they aren’t as round as you’d like, take a biscuit cutter that’s slightly larger than cookies and swirl it around the edges while they’re still warm. Let them cool slightly on the sheet before moving to cooling racks. Each cookie should have a somewhat unique swirl of light and dark.