Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chocolate & Vanilla Checkerboards

Looking for something exciting and easy to bring, (and won't melt at a BBQ) I dug through my cookie books and came up with "Chocolate & Vanilla Checkerboards" (recipe adapted from The Little Guides: Cookies).

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Baking Time: 8 minutes per batch
Yields: ~5 dozen

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and baking powder; beat till combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half.
  2. Knead melted chocolate into half of dough until it's an even color (warning-MESSY!). Shape plain and chocolate halves of dough into 8 inch logs. Wrap each in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours, or till firm. Using a long and very sharp thin blade, cut each chilled log lengthwise into quarters; reassemble logs, alternating chocolate and vanilla quarters. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm. 
  3. Cut dough into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets (I used parchment paper). The cookies won't spread much so you can space 1/2 inch apart. Baked in preheated 375 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes, or till edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies and cool on a rack.
To take this recipe to the next level... I'm thinking it would be fun to make the vanilla and chocolate sections different flavors that play together... like cinnamon chocolate vs vanilla bean or hot chocolate vs marshmallow (not sure how to make that flavor without changing the cookie consistency completely...) or chocolate vs gingerbread or pumpkin latte! ... The possibilities are endless!!

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