What are Checkerboard Cookies?
Checkerboard cookies are little squares of vanilla cookie and chocolate cookie rotating in one giant square. A single cookie dough recipe divided in half with the chocolate flavor requiring semisweet chocolate and a white sugar cookie for the vanilla flavor.
The dough may look complicated to make, but it is not. First, I make one cookie dough and divide it in half and add the chocolate to the dough. Next, the two doughs are formed into a long rectangle, chilled in the refrigerator, then sliced into 3 strips. Next, I alternate the 4 stripes, vanilla, chocolate, vanilla, chocolate, and push the doughs together to form one block. Finally, the dough is sliced into square cookies and baked in the oven.
When it comes to holiday baking and hosting, I traditionally go all out for the Christmas. However, it’s always nice to save time on recipes, especially when you’re planning a traditional Christmas Day menu that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Making Christmas cookies has always been a tradition. For decades, we’ve been baking cookies and we make them weeks in advance. Typically, I make a dozen varieties of cookies and these Checkerboard Cookies with vanilla cookie and chocolate cookie in one make the list year after year.
How to Make Checkerboard Cookies
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt in a bowl with beaters or a bowl fit with the paddle attachment.
- Mix in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Slowly mix in flour.
- Divide dough in half.
- Melt chocolate.
- Add half the dough back to the mixer.
- Beat in melted chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Form each dough separately into a 9-inch by 2-inch rectangle.
- Stack on top of each other. Cover in plastic wrap.
- Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Slice each dough block lengthwise into equal pieces.
- Cut each slice into strips.
- Assemble the strips, alternating vanilla and chocolate. See photos for directions. Slice each dough block lengthwise into equal pieces. Cut each slice into strips. Assemble the strips, alternating vanilla and chocolate. See photos for directions.
- Press doughs together to form into one dough.
- Cut into cookie squares. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in 325°F oven for 12-15 minutes.
Checkerboard Cookie Ingredients
Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter in the recipe and add salt. Each brand of salted butter contains different amounts of salt so using unsalted butter allows the perfect amount of salt to balance the recipe. However, if using salted butter, no additional salt is needed in the dough. In addition, make sure the butter is softened or at least a room temperature. To determine if the butter is ready to use, simply press your pointer finger into the butter slightly. It should only be slightly indented and not mushed. If baking these during summer months or if you’re in a hotter climate, use butter within 30 minutes of setting it out on the countertop. Also, the butter in the mixed cookie dough will need to firm up in the refrigerator for at least two hours prior to baking. Allow for this time. It helps the cookies to not spread while baking.
Flour: All-purpose flour works well. Scoop the flour into a measuring cup and level it off with a butter knife. For the best results, weight the flour using a kitchen scale.
Egg: I use two egg yolks when making these cookies. Using egg yolks in place of a whole egg with the egg white and yolk results in a richer flavor of the cookie. Use two large egg yolks.
Sugar: A combination of powdered sugar and granulated sugar is perfect in this recipe. The powdered sugar contains a little cornstarch which adds texture and structure to the flavor which will prevent the cookie from spreading in the oven when baking. The sugar in the recipe adds sweetness to a basic cookie dough recipe. In addition, it sweetens the chocolate flavor.
Chocolate: Two types of chocolate make the chocolate flavor in this cookie. First, I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder. It gives a deep, rich flavor. Years ago, I made this recipe with just cocoa powder. The gamer changer has been incorporating a little melted chocolate to the cookie batter. I like to use a chocolate baking bar and have scaled back on the cocoa powder. The chocolate flavor is deeper, and more rich in flavor. Simply melt 1 ounce of semisweet chocolate in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring until its melted.
Checkerboard Cookie Reader Tips and Questions
Can I make these cookie in advance? Yes. The cookie dough can be prepared up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Be sure to form the dough first before wrapping in plastic wrap and storing.
Can I freeze these cookies? Yes. The cookies can be baked and stored in the freezer. Be sure to flash freeze the cookies on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes after they are done cooling then place them in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag. To defrost the cookies, leave the bag or top sealed until they are done coming to room temperature. If it’s unsealed, the cookies may condensate and become soggy.
Other Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Raspberry Ribbon Cookies
- Almond Crescent Cookies
- Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies
- Pecan Snowball Cookies
- Shortbread Cookie Bites
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Checkerboard Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup powered sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 oz semisweet chocolate melted
- 2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy; about 3-5 minutes.
- Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract until combined.
- Gradually add flour on low speed until combined.
- Divide dough equally in half.
- Add ½ of the dough back to the mixing bowl. Mix in melted chocolate and cocoa powder until combined. This will be the chocolate dough. The remaining ½ dough will be the vanilla dough.
- Transfer chocolate dough to countertop and form each piece into a 9 by 2-inch rectangle. Make sure your edges are all flat by pressing them against a cutting board. Form vanilla dough into a 9 by 2-inch rectangle.
- Stack dough on top of each other. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice each dough block lengthwise into equal pieces. Cut each slice into strips. Assemble the strips, alternating vanilla and chocolate. See photos for directions.
- Slice dough into ¼-inch thick squares. Space cookies about 1-inch apart on prepared sheets.
- Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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