Checkered cookies have been a love of mine for years now, ever since a friend and I made pink-and-yellow ones to mimic slices of Battenburg back in sixth form. I’ve tried to make them a few times since, but as the recipe was in the friend’s recipe book, I’ve had mixed levels of success in recreating them. Over the Christmas break, though, I finally managed to make some that looked and tasted delicious.
I found the recipe on 17 and Baking, where it is credited to Baking Obsession, so I’d like to credit and thank both those authors for helping me make something so tasty. Both of the recipes linked give measures in cups, but I’ve converted to grams here for the sake of having a recipe I can use without getting a calculator out. And a warning for people like me who skim-read – this recipe involves overnight refrigeration, so leave at least two days for it!
Ingredients – makes around 100 cookies
683g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
453g (1lb) butter
402g granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
64g unsweetened cocoa powder
Sift together flour, baking powder & salt.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, then the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mix to the butter and mix well. Finish with a wooden spoon or your hands, being careful not to overmix.
Split the dough into halves, and knead the cocoa into one half. Divide each half in two again, making 4 balls of dough overall.
Shape each ball of dough into a cuboid, wrap them individually in cling film, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Take one portion of chocolate and one of vanilla out of the fridge and leave for 15min to soften.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion out into a 12″ x 5″ rectangle. Cut each into 9 strips 1/2″ wide.
With these strips, form 3 wider strips of a chocolate-vanilla-chocolate pattern, and three of vanilla-chocolate-vanilla. Stack these into 2 logs, so that one log is c-v-c / v-c-v / c-v-c, and the other is v-c-v / c-v-c / v-c-v. Wrap the logs in cling film and refrigerate for another 2 hours. (Baking Obsession has a diagram illustrating log creation.)
Once the 2 hours are up, take the unused portions of dough and roll them into rectangles about 12″ x 6″, 1/3″ thick.
Wrap the c-v-c / v-c-v / c-v-c log in the vanilla portion, and the v-c-v / c-v-c / v-c-v log in the chocolate portion. Press in the sides to shape them squarely. Wrap them in cling film (yet again!) and refrigerate, this time overnight.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to about 175C. Remove the logs from the fridge and cut them into 1/4″ slices with a sharp knife.
Place the slices on a baking tray with 1″ space around each (you will have to bake them in batches if you made the full amount!). Bake them for about 12 minutes. (Don’t leave them in too long, or the colour contrast will be lost.)
Cool, and enjoy!