Holiday Baking is a Christmas tradition in most houses. Since my mother was a business woman and not the cooking type – we did not bake cookies at Christmas. Instead we were given beautiful cookie trays and baskets from her employees as gifts.
As I got older, my mother sold her business and I strived to learn the recipes I looked forward to eating once a year. One of these mysterious cookies was the famous checkerboard cookie. The best of chocolate and sugar cookie all rolled into one! Plus it basically decorates itself with its cool design. (Tip : for nice square edges on your designs use a long flat ruler to help square your logs before assembly.)
I use a recipe from the Christmas Cookies cook book by Monika Romer. I love this particular cookie not only for its nostalgia – but because it can be flexible. Meaning you can freeze the dough for later – do slice and bake style or you can bake now and freeze cookies after they cool. They also work well if you want to sub in Whole wheat. You can sub up to 50% of the regular flour for whole wheat without changing texture. This will lend to a tan and chocolate looking cookie , with a bit more of a nutty flavour. Overall – They are one of the perfect ‘stocking the holiday pantry’ items and make great last minute gift ideas.
Happy Holiday Prepping!
Checkerboard Cookies – Monika Romer
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1cup +2 tsp powder sugar (aka icing sugar)
- Pinch salt
- 2/3 cup cold butter cut into cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tsp quality cocoa powder
- 2 tbs milk for glaze
Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
Cut in cold butter with pastry cutter or fork until resembles small peas.
Add egg yolk and spoon or paddle until a smooth dough forms.
Divide dough in half. Set aside one half in plastic wrap. Return other half to mixing bowl and add cocoa. Mix gently wth paddle or knead until fully incorporated. Wrap chocolate dough in plastic wrap.
Place both dough in fridge for 2 hours.
On floured surface – Roll dough out to 1 cm thick. Then using a ruler cut 1 cm wide strips. Repeat with second dough.
Stack and Assemble your strips into a square log – by pattern – dark light dark- then light dark light – finally dark light dark. (*see photo above) this will create checkerboard style. You may end up with more then one log. If desired square off your log by pressing your ruler firmly on it. Rotate to ensure you have squared all edges.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place on freezer for 10 min. This will help slice better.
Preheat oven to 350 – line parchment on baking trays. Slice log at the end so each slice is checkerboard- 3 mm thick slices and bake approx 12 min.