Choco-Berry Checkerboard Cookies

Many people find the process of baking to be calming. The process, after all, takes multiple steps that require attention to detail. This necessary attention to detail forces you to rid your mind of any other thoughts, especially the troubling ones, so you can focus on your baking. These choco-berry checkerboard cookies require effort and is time consuming, but it is a pretty zen recipe.

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Making these choco-berry checkerboard cookies can be a zen experience. It’s a very calming and relaxing process. It requires two separate cookie doughs, a lot of time refrigerating these doughs, then assembling them to their checkerboard form before baking. The process needs painstaking effort, but it’s worth it. This lovely recipe is from Irvin of EatTheLove.com.

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Dough:
226 g (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
115 g (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
70 g (1/3 cup) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
14 g (2 tablespoon) freeze dried strawberry powder
1 teaspoon ground sumac or lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
1 egg
350 g (2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour

For the Chocolate Dough:
226 g (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
115 g (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
1 egg
280 g (2 cups) all purpose flour
35 g (1/4 cup) black onyx cocoa powder
225 g (1/4 cup) natural cocoa powder
10 g (1 tablespoon) instant coffee
1 teaspoon freshly ground fine black pepper

Instructions

1. Make the strawberry dough by placing the butter, sugars, salt, strawberry powder, and sumac in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, about three minutes on medium. Add the vanilla extract and split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into the batter. Add the egg and beat to incorporate.

2. Add the flour in three portions, beating to incorporate between additions, scraping down the sides with a large spatula. Once the flour is blended in, divide the dough in half and pat the dough down into a 6 x 6 x 1/2 inch square. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 20 to 30 minutes). Repeat with the second half of the dough.

3. Make the chocolate dough by placing the butter, sugars, and salt in the same bowl (don’t bother cleaning it) of the standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, about three minutes on medium. Add the vanilla extract and split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into the batter. Add the egg and beat to incorporate.

4. Place the flour, cocoa powders, and instant coffee in a small bowl stir vigorously with a balloon whisk until well blended. Add these dry ingredients in three portions, beating to incorporate between additions, scraping down the sides with a large spatula. Once the flour is blended in, divide the dough in half and pat the dough down into a 6 x 6 x 1/2 inch square. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate (about 20 to 30 minutes). Repeat with the second half of the dough.

5. Take the doughs out of the refrigerator. Brush the top of one of the strawberry dough 6 x 6 squares with water completely. Place one of the chocolate dough squares on top of it, and press down firmly to adhere the dough. Brush the top of this chocolate dough with water and place the remaining strawberry dough square on top of that, pressing down firmly. Finally brush the top of this strawberry square with water and place the remaining chocolate dough on top of that, pressing down firmly. You should have a 2 inch thick stack of 6 x 6 square dough, alternating in layers. Wrap with plastic wrap and place back in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes until firm.

7. Once the dough has firmed up, trim the edges of the square to make a completely square piece of dough. Set the trimming aside for marbled zebra cookies (instructions to follow). Cut a 1/2 inch strip from the square. Place one strip flat, and then brush it top of it with water. Cut another 1/2 inch strip from the square and rotate the strip 180 degrees so it alternates with the bottom strip. Place on the strip brushed with water and press firmly down. Wrap with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Chill until firm (another 20 to 30 minutes).

8. To make marbled zebra cookies, brush the top of one trimming with water and place another trimming on top, alternating dough strips. Repeat until all the trimmings are placed on each other. Flatten and twist the trimmings together, turning clockwise with one hand, while counterclockwise with the other. Roll out the dough to a 12 inch length, and fold over once. Form the dough into a thick 1 1/2 inch roll pressing firmly down to make sure the different doughs stick together. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until firm (another 20 to 30 minutes).

9. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Once the dough has firmed up, slice the dough into 1/2” thick cookies and place on the baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake in the oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown ever so slightly. Cool on the sheet for ten minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack.

Makes 60 checkerboard cookies and 12 marbled zebra cookies

 

Check out the original source for this recipe with step-by-step photographs and helpful tips as well as many other delicious recipes at: EatTheLove.com.

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