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Chocolate Mint Checkerboard Butter Cookies

December 12, 2012

I’m not a big fan of sprinkles. There! I said it! I don’t really like food that looks like it came from the Crayola factory either. My cookies tend to be understated in appearance but all there in taste. Taste, after all, is the most important thing, right?

 

This holiday season I’m adding some new additions to my cookie smorgasbord.  This is one of those additions: Checkerboard Butter Cookies – chocolate and vanilla with a hint of mint. No icing, no sprinkles and no food coloring – just pure unadulterated cookie Nirvana.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 1/2 cups white sugar
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
    2-1/2 cups all purpose flour

 

For the Chocolate Dough:

  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
    8 – 12 Mint chocolate candies, chopped fine

 

What’s the first step to making a majority of baked goods?  Say it with me now “Cream butter and sugar!”  Just so.  Tired of cleaning up the mess made from microwaving butter to soften it? Do what I do, leave it on the counter the night before you’re going to bake. Keeping it corralled in the fridge is a decidedly American thing anyway. Everyone else leaves their butter at room temperature all the time. That’s neither here nor there though I suppose.

 

After the butter and sugar have lightened in color and have a nice fluffy appearance, add your room temperature egg. Get the egg out an hour before… best not to leave it on the counter overnight. Or for a short cut, put it in a bowl and let hot tap water run over it for 1-2 minutes. Voilà, you have a room temperature egg.

 

Beat until combined. Add vanilla and do the same. Toss in the salt followed by the flour a bit at a time so you don’t get “foofed” by your mixer. (when you pour in the dry ingredients too fast and they fly back out the first time the paddle comes around again, covering you and your counter- always when I’m wearing black too). Mix just until combined. Remove half your dough and form it into a flat strip/log. See photo. Mine is 2” wide by about 18” long and half an inch thick. It’s easiest to roll out a snake and flatten it, in my opinion anyway.

 

The half of the dough still in the mixer bowl gets the tablespoon of cocoa (get the good stuff, your burgeoning  gastronomist will thank you) and the chopped mint chocolate candies. You can melt these if you want for a more homogenous look. You can see the chopped pieces in the finished cookies which I don’t mind. Make another log out of the now chocolatized dough.

 

Place both thick strips in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Cut both strips into 4 even half inch wide strips. Stack together in a checkerboard pattern. Cut ¼ inch thick slices and place on a cookie sheet roughly an inch or so apart. These don’t spread much. You can go for a 4×4 cookie but I wanted to serve more people so I went with the 2×2.

 

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 9 minutes or until vanilla pieces are just lightly browned.  I made 80 2×2 cookies out of this recipe. They were a big hit at the cookie exchange and hold up well to packaging.

Halve Dough

Halve Dough

Chocolate Mint Candy Pieces

Chocolate Mint Candy Pieces

 

Chocolate Dough

Chocolate Dough

Dough Logs

Dough Logs

 

Stack Dough Together

Stack Dough Together

 

Set up for 2 2x2 cookies

Set up for 2 2×2 cookies

 

Cut Cookie Dough

Cut Cookie Dough

 

Finished Mint Butter Cookies

Finished Mint Butter Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2012 10:10 AM

    Such cute cookies ❤

  2. Alex-Marie permalink
    December 22, 2012 8:07 PM

    First time I made checkerboard cookies I said… NEVER AGAIN. Hah. Good job Adrienne! Love anything minty.

  3. heatherinsf permalink
    January 2, 2013 3:00 PM

    These are so pretty! Now I want cookies and Battenburg cake!

  4. January 5, 2013 8:09 PM

    You know what? I’m not a big fan of sprinkles either. I’d rather have chocolate chips or nuts to decorate my cookies instead of compressed, colored sugar…
    Anyway, your checkerboard cookies look great! They kinda remind me of Alice in Wonderland 🙂

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