Checkerboard cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies To make sharper-looking cookies, reserve a portion of vanilla or chocolate dough, roll it to about 1/8 inch thick, brush lightly with water, and wrap around the checkerboard block. Refrigerate, slice, and bake.

Ingredients

Vanilla Dough 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/3 cup granulated…

CIA FOODIES


Checkerboard Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

To make sharper-looking cookies, reserve a portion of vanilla or chocolate dough, roll it to about 1/8 inch thick, brush lightly with water, and wrap around the checkerboard block. Refrigerate, slice, and bake.

Ingredients

Vanilla Dough

  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Dough

  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Make the vanilla dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, salt, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Reduce the speed to low. Add the egg, mix for 30 seconds, scrape down the bowl, and mix for 30 seconds more.
  3. Gradually add the flour, mixing just until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the vanilla dough to a 6 × 6 × 1/2-inch square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill.
  5. Make the chocolate dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the egg and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  7. Sift the flour and cocoa together into a medium bowl. Add to the creamed mixture all at once and mix on low speed just until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chocolate dough to a 6 × 6 × ½-inch square. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until firm.
  9. Begin to assemble the cookies (see diagram below). Brush the square of vanilla dough with water and place the chocolate square on top. Wrap the slab of dough in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
  10. Carefully cut the slab of dough into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Assemble the blocks by stacking three slices, brushing with water between layers and alternating the colors to form a checkerboard pattern. You should have four blocks, 1 1/2 inches high by 1 inch wide by 6 inches long. Wrap the blocks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  11. While the blocks of dough are firming up, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Slice the blocks 1/4 inch thick and transfer the finished cookies to the prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  13. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Rotate and switch the baking sheets as necessary for even baking.
  14. Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the baking sheets then transfer, using a spatula, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  15. Store the cookies in an airtight container.

Zebra Cookies: Divide the chocolate and vanilla doughs into three equal pieces each. Roll each piece into a rope about 1 inch thick. Place a chocolate rope on top of a vanilla rope and gently twist the two pieces together, pushing forward with your right hand and pulling backward with your left. Roll the twisted dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches thick. Fold the dough over on itself and roll out again to 1 1/2 inches thick. Chill the dough before slicing and baking.

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