These fun checkerboard cookies are easier to make than they look! Vanilla and chocolate sable doughs are combined for this holiday cookie.
Aren’t these so fun? I love the checkers so much that I had to break out the chess pieces for the photo. The dark checkering here is a chocolate espresso dough, and the light is a basic vanilla dough, and I really love eating the two together like this. And just so you know, these whimsical cookies are soft, buttery, and crumbly, so if your crispy tooth is having a craving, it’ll have to wait for another day. Here’s how to make the cookies:
The cookies start out with a shortbread dough.
Add espresso powder, chocolate, and cocoa powder to half that dough.
Square each batch of dough into a rectangular block.
Refrigerate both doughs on a sheet pan for 1 hour.
Cut each block into desired size for checkering. I cut the block into thirds.
Then each piece into thirds again.
Start alternating the pieces with chocolate and vanilla.
Square it off and press together. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 1/4 inch thick slices and place on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
- 15 oz all purpose flour, by weight (3 cups, if measuring)
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 extra large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2.25 tsp instant espresso powder
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate melted
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter to spread around the bowl. With the mixer running, stream in the sugar. Review my creaming article if you have forgotten how to do this properly. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the stand mixer bowl until combined.
- Remove half of the dough, wrap in plastic and put into the fridge.
- Add the espresso powder, chocolate, and cocoa powder to the remaining dough, and mix to combine.
- Remove the coffee dough from the mixer and shape into a squared off block, about 2 inches tall and wide, and 6 inches long. Do the same with the vanilla dough.
- Refrigerate both doughs on a sheet pan for 1 hour.
- Cut each block into desired size for checkering. I cut the block into thirds, then into thirds again (see blog photos).
- Start alternating the pieces with chocolate and vanilla, then square it off and press together. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the dough into 1/4 inch thick slices and place on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
25 Comments on “Checkerboard Cookies”
Outstanding recipe! I used all cocoa powder, no espresso powder. No need to add additional sugar; these are plenty sweet for us! I made sure to use high quality vanilla extract and top shelf bittersweet chocolate, to ensure these flavors are well balanced.
If I would like to use only cocoa instead of espresso powder, do I use the same amount of cocoa for the espresso powder? Will I need to add more sugar?
im trying to make these,but,just a little problem here x-x my dough not becoming a *dough* o.o its way too crumbly to be called a dough 🙁 i dont have a standmixer or something close to that,i use a hand mixer,maybe thats why? or maybe cause i didnt measure the butter with cup,i got it 262 grams o.o?
Maybe it’s because your butter wasn’t room temperature? Make sure it’s just cool to the touch (~65°F or 18°C). Below I’ll put some links about room temperature butter and how to soften it quickly if you need them.
It’s also not too strange for it to be a bit crumbly considering the amount of butter but I’m not too sure.
Hi! I tried making these cookies with my friend today, and they came out awesome!
such a classic! i usually make these but forgot to this year 🙁
suh-weet!! these looks so cool and they are easier to make than one might think!! Merry Christmas to You and yours from Me and mine!! 🙂
Super cute cookies. Just like your swirl cookies, I’ve always wondered how these things were made! Thanks for the great pics. I’ll have to come back to these after I’m done consuming insane amounts of calories from holiday food…I’m trying to avoid the desserts this year, ha! Wish me luck on that. p.s. enjoy your vacation!
These are absolutely picture perfect! I love crispy cookies – and you have made them beautifully! The pictures are terrific for step-by-stepers like me!