Today is the U.S. Marine Corps’ 236th birthday — a day of ceremonies, parades, balls and lots of bad sheet cake all over the world. We are going to our Marine Corps ball tonight (where I’m sure the dry cake will still be better than whatever they serve us for dinner), but I wanted to bake some scarlet and gold Marine cookies to spread a little Semper Fi spirit to our Navy neighbors.
I used the same recipe and method as the Go Navy swirl cookies, but I added some lemon zest to the gold part. It gave the cookies a nice lemon fragrance and a hint of lemon flavor.
Just mix the lemon zest in with the yellow/gold food coloring.
Also, please note that while it’s quite obvious the Marine colors are red and yellow, I am just assuming the official names of the colors are “scarlet and gold” because there is a bar in J-actionville called “SywanykS Scarlet & Gold Traditions” (the inside is covered/full of Marine memorabilia).
Another fun fact: Toby and I were set up by a couple that wanted me to go to the Marine Corps ball with them. We did actually meet and go out before the ball, but the ball was the reason we were set up at all. I wanted to post a photo of that first ball, but I couldn’t find one in our disaster of a study. Instead, here is a photo retrospective of the balls since then (the dress I wore in 2005 was the same as I wore at our first ball in 2004).
I could have sworn I got my hair done for one of the Jacksonville balls, but I guess not.
Anyway. Back to the cookies.
I didn’t chill the dough again after I rolled it up into a log/before I slice the cookies, and I think that’s why they don’t look quite as perfect as the other ones. Try to make some time to chill the dough that one last time.
Still not in the Marine Corps birthday spirit? Watch the commandant’s birthday message.
Happy birthday, Marines!
Scarlet and gold swirl cookies (Idea and method from Sprinkle Bakes, recipe adapted from Wilton. Makes about 40 cookies)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
red and yellow/gold food coloring (gel preferred)
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture about 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
When dough is just combined, separate it into two equal parts. Add lemon zest and yellow/gold food coloring to one half and red food coloring to the other half.
Roll yellow dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness on a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking sheet — don’t flour the surface. Shoot for a rectangle about the size of a piece of notebook paper, or slightly longer and narrower. (I did this by forming the dough ball into a rectangle shape before rolling it, then nudging the dough into shape with my fingers as I rolled it out.)
Slide the parchment paper, with the dough rectangle, onto a cookie sheet. Wipe off the rolling pin and repeat with the red dough, making the second rectangle the same size as the first.
Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or until it is firm enough to handle but not hard. If it does become too stiff, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes, until it is easier to handle.
Place one rectangle of dough, still on parchment paper, on a hard work surface. Place the other rectangle on top, lining it up to the bottom color as closely as possible. You can use the parchment paper to lift and flip the second rectangle. Use your hands and the rolling pin to press the two rectangles together. Trim off uneven edges, if you’d like.
Slowly roll the dough into a long tube shape (like a jellyroll), starting with one of the long sides and keeping the roll tight. Make sure to press together any cracks or tears as they happen. Pour sprinkles on a plate or one of the pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough log over it to completely coat the outside edge with sprinkles.
Wrap the dough log in plastic and put it in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while the dough is chilling.
Take dough out of the fridge when it has firmed up a bit, and use a very sharp knife to slice cookies.
Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 6 to 7 minutes, until the cookies are firm and not shiny on top anymore. Cool completely before storing.