Sunday, September 11, 2011

Orange-Chocolate Checkerboard Cookies

These officially marked the start of the fall season for me. I'm not sure if it was the brown and orange colors, the warm and soft combination of flavors, or the checkerboard look that reminded me of the University of Tennessee's football end zones (Yes, I married a football enthusiast :)), but I couldn't get enough of them. These cookies do take a little more time then your regular drop cookie, simply because a lot of refrigeration is required between making dough. Even though they look very complicated, they are actually extremely easy - the most difficult part is waiting for them to harden in the fridge! I couldn't get over how soft these were. Even after sitting in a Tupperware for a day or two, they were still chewy and had the perfect texture. If you love orange flavor, I would recommend adding in a little orange juice or orange extract and cutting the vanilla amount in half. I also think this dough would be great frozen. Just thaw it out for 24-hours in the fridge, slice into cookies and bake. (Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Our Best Recipes" Cookbook)


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel

  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

Divide dough in half. Stir in orange peel into one half of the dough; stir in melted chocolate into the other half of the dough. If necessary, cover and chill about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. Shape each half of the dough into a 10-inch long roll. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill about 2 hours or until firm.

Cut each chilled roll lengthwise in half, then cut each half lengthwise again - you will have 4 pieces of each roll. Reassemble into 2 rolls, alternating chocolate and orange quarters. Wrap and chill about 30 minutes more or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are slightly browned. (Cookies will still be very soft to the touch - don't overbake!) Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes about 60 cookies.


  1. Your food photography is beautiful! I made the Hazelnut Rounds from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and it reminds me of this recipe. There are so many recipes in that book that I never know where to start; I'm glad you tried this one so I know it's a goodie!

  2. I am so excited to try this one!!! Thanks little darlin'!!