Checkerboard Cookies laced with Orange

by Michelle on July 24, 2009

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at Checkerboard Cookies for a l-o-n-g time now. And finally had slight gap in my schedule so I got to work. But first I had to find a recipe and whenever I’m searching for an adaptable cookie recipe I always start by looking in my handwritten 3by5 family recipe file. It’s fun to go back and look at these recipes. I usually recognize the handwriting of the person who gave me the recipe or the name of a long ago neighbor.

When I was looking for a recipe I knew it was important that the vanilla and chocolate doughs be as close as possible in bulk, so I was looking for a dough that I could easily divide for the vanilla and chocolate doughs. When I came across my Great Grama’s Ice Box Cookie recipe, I knew I had found the right one!

I remember whenever we were at Grama’s house she always had what she called Ice Box Cookies. And she did keep them in a long small bread box container in the refrigerator. I remember whenever we were especially good Grama pulling out the box of Ice Box Cookies and sitting at her small kitchen table and eating them one by one.

Grama’s recipe was easily divided into 2 bowls. I eliminated the brown sugar and because I added vanilla I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup and of course added cocoa powder to the chocolate dough. Also added some orange zest to the vanilla dough because I have a thing for Orange!

Checkcookies2-1

Ice Box Cookies
Adapted from my Great Grandma Will

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c. finely chopped nuts

Mix well in order given one at a time.

Press and shape dough into three loaves, about 2 inches square and 5 inches long on sheets of waxed paper.

Wrap tightly in waxed paper and put in refrigerator.

Chill at least 2 hours.

Place on inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 350 degrees until just lightly brown on the bottoms.

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Checkerboard Cookies
Recipe developed by Big-Black-Dog

Vanilla Shortbread:
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, slightly whipped
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
Optional: Zest of 1 large orange

Chocolate Shortbread:
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, slightly whipped
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. flour

1 egg white, slightly whipped with 1/2 tsp water (for sealing layers of dough)

In 2 separate bowls cream the softened butter and sugar. Add the egg, baking powder, salt, baking soda and vanilla. For the vanilla dough blend in the orange zest. And for the chocolate dough blend in cocoa powder. Add the flour and mix just until all flour is incorporated.

Lay 2 pieces of plastic wrap on your counter. Put the vanilla shortbread on 1 piece of plastic wrap and pat it into a rough 5″ by 8″ rectangle, making sure that it is of even thickness. Now with light pressure roll over the top with a floured rolling pin to smooth the top. Repeat for the Chocolate dough.

Now I’m going to refer you to the below video by Dyann Bakes for an excellent demonstration on the construction of the Checkerboard Cookies.

All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

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Comments

  • TheTinyJEWELBox July 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Luckily, I love you sooo much. If I didn’t you would make me feel so inadequate–I barely have time to eat-let alone cook!

    Love ya, honey!

  • Finsmom July 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I love the orange in these – great twist!

  • Ria Mathew July 25, 2009 at 4:44 am

    I have never made these myself ever!! now you have inspired me!! Your cookies look perfect and the combo of orange nd chocolate is yummm!! BTW thanks for the video it was so so helpful! :)

  • The Quintessential Magpie July 25, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Those cookies are really cute!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  • Danielle July 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    beautiful cookies!! I love that you used your Great Grama’s recipe as the base. That makes them so special :)

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies July 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    They look so perfect!

  • Lori E July 25, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Okay who has a camera inside their ovens? Who?
    The cookies look like they are so complicated but then the video shows how easy it is.
    This will be on my baking list for Christmas.

  • Jane (Frugal Fine Living) July 26, 2009 at 2:19 am

    These cookies look fabulous!

    Jane

  • Julie July 26, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Those are beautiful..look tasty too!

  • Deeba PAB July 26, 2009 at 5:16 am

    These ahve been on my list of cookies to make for LONG too Michelle. Yours are a picture of pretty perfection! WOW!! ♥

  • Megan July 27, 2009 at 1:31 am

    I am dying to try those – but I’m afraid mine will never come close to being perfect squares.

  • Kathleen July 27, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Michelle,, thanks for that..saving for cooler weather.
    They look wonderful!
    I went to a .com addy and lost all my blog list. I am adding you back on..glad you stopped in so I remembered!

  • Kayte July 29, 2009 at 2:20 am

    I remember making these as a kid with my Aunt Peg. They seemed so magical and fun. She would make them all sorts of color combinations and I just thought that was wonderful. It was really fun to see them again, and yours look absolutely perfect!

  • rollininthedough October 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    these are awesome! I had a friend send me some in a care package and I have always wondered how she made them. I must try these one day. Great video!!

  • Shelby February 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    These look great Michelle! I’m very impressed!

  • deeba February 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I have been wanting to make these for a loooooooong time too. Yours are bee-yoo-ti-ful Michelle!

  • Amanda February 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Lovely cookies Michelle!

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