Chocolate orange and Christmas go hand in hand for me. These checkerboard cookies are fun to make and look so pretty! Plus if you have a mini chess set you could probably play a game or two on these. They’re buttery biscuits that taste a bit like shortbread but with loads of flavour.
Makes approx 25 cookies
Prep time: 3 hours (including chill time in the fridge)
- 250g butter, at room temperature
- 200g granulated sugar
- 1 egg, plus one egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 teaspoon orange food colouring (I find the ‘gel’ or ‘paste’ food colourings work best – I used Sugarflair)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 385g plain flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- Beat together the butter and sugar, either with an electric whisk or stand mixer.
- Add in your egg, egg yolk, baking powder and salt and beat again. Add in your flour and beat until combined.
- Divide your dough in half and place in separate mixing bowls. Ideally weigh your mixture and divide accurately.
- To one mixture, add your orange food colouring and orange extract and beat until combined.
- To the second mixture, add your cocoa powder and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Place both mixtures in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes, this is just to make the batter easier to handle ahead of the next few steps
- Shape each mixture into a rectangular log (roughly 5cm tall and 15cm long) and cover in cling film. Make sure the logs are the same size. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour (or the freezer for 30 minutes)
8. Using a sharp knife slice the dough into thirds, longwise. Then turn the dough one turn and cut into thirds again. You will have 9 strips. Repeat the process with the other dough. You will have 18 strips total.
9. Lay 1 piece of orange dough, one piece of chocolate, and another piece of orange on a flat surface next to each other. Top the 3 strips with alternating colours. Repeat this in 3 layers so you have a square log. Press the dough strips together tightly, keeping the square shape. Repeat this with the remaining dough, you will end up with 2 logs looking like the photo below. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge again for 30 minutes (or the freezer for 15 minutes)
10. Preheat your oven to 180c.
11. Slice your cookies into squares around 1.5cm thick and lay on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 9-10 minutes.