for cookies and for kale

eating well to live well

Christmas Checkerboards

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checkerboards 1IMG_7159There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than baking–especially absurdly colored cookies that would be inappropriate all other months of the year. I will admit, these things look kinda freaky but it’s Christmas. Who cares? Now is the time to make cookies more deserving of Whoville than your own kitchen.

And so, with Dr. Seuss in mind, I shaped out the dough for these shortbreads. It took a little bit of play-dough skills and some mental math to get the measurements right but after that it’s just slice and bake! Easy as…cookies. They taste a lot better (or maybe just as good) as they look because after all, butter and sugar can’t really go wrong. If you are more traditionally inclined, I have included the black and white checkerboard recipe as well. Merry Christmas!

Red & Green Checkerboards

adapted from Sweet Maria’s Big Baking Bible

For one color dough (you will need twice this amount to make both colors)

1 stick unsalted butter

1 c. sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 t. vanilla

1 t. almond extract

Food Coloring (I used 20+ drops but it’s up to you)

2 1/4 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

  1. In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light. Add egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts and food coloring. Mix until well blended. Add Flour baking soda and salt and mix on low speed, just until dough forms.
  2. Repeat process with other color dough so you end up with two batches of shortbread dough, one red and one green.
  3. To shape dough divide each color into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each ball into a rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick. One rectangle should be slightly wider than the other. Once you have 4 rectangles, chill them in the fridge for half an hour so they are firm but not hard.
  4. Cut the smaller rectangles vertically into four long pieces and the larger rectangle into five. Shape the dough into square shaped logs by lining three logs up, alternating colors. One log will have 6 green pieces and 3 red, while the other will have 6 red and 3 green.
  5. Wrap the dough tightly in wax paper or saran wrap and chill for about an hour. Once the dough is ready to slice, cut into pieces 3/8 of an inch thick. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, until the edges start to brown.

This recipe yields 2 logs of dough which makes up to 50 cookies.

checkerboards 3

For the Black & White Expresso Checkerboards

1 stick unsalted butter

1 c. sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 t. vanilla

1 t. almond extract

2 1/4 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

3 t. instant coffee granules

 

Since you are not coloring the dough, you will only need to make one batch of the dough listed above

  • Repeat step 1 and take out a little more than half of the dough and set aside. This will be your white checkerboard dough.
  • With the remaining dough left in the mixer add the melted chocolate and coffee granules. Mix to combine.
  • Shape white dough into large rectangle and chocolate dough into smaller. Repeat steps 4 and 5 from above.

 

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Author: For Cookies and For Kale

I'm a 2nd year college student studying french and medicine. I like biking, chocolate and greens. Lots and lots of greens. Here is my blog.

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