Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Childhood Calling, Checkerboard Cookies

I just had the urge for easy cookies - I mean easy like...easy recipe, not a Fancy Shmancy recipe - just something that I can make it with what ever I already have in the cabinet.

And this is my version of easy cookies for Sunday afternoon which also reminds me of my childhood cookies.

I don't like too sweet cookies and this recipe is perfect for me. The cocoa powder really makes a different for these cookies. It gives the real taste and smell of chocolate - dutch process cocoa powder is used for the recipe.

- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. pure orange extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 large egg

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until well blend then add the vanilla extract, orange extract and salt.
2. With mixture on low speed, gradually add the flour. (scraping down the side of the bowl if needed) Mix until all incorporate. The mixture will be loose and crumbly.
3. Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead the dough by using the heel of your hand pushing small amounts of the dough away from you for 2 - 3 minutes.
4. Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle cocoa powder over one of the halves. Knead until the cocoa powder has been fully incorporated.

Making checkerboard pattern

1. Put each half of the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin to shape the dough into 7 inches square - about 3/8 inch thick then cut the dough into long strips - 3/4 inch wide using the sharp knife and ruler for a perfect cut.
2.Whisk together the egg and 1 tbsp. of water.
3. Cover the work surface with plastic wrap, place three trips of dough on plastic, alternating white and chocolate strips.
4. Brush tops and in between strips with egg wash. Gently press strips together. Repeat, forming second, third or fourth layers to from the checkerboard pattern.
5. Wrap the assembly log with plastic wrap. Put it the the freezer for 15 minutes or 30 minutes in the fridge.
6. Repeat the same process to finish the second log.
7. Heat oven to 350F, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 1/4 inch thick slices. Bake until done - about at least 12 minutes.
8. Remove the cookies from baking pan, transfer to wire rack to let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container.

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