I use these for gifts during the holidays because I like the elegant flavor combination of chocolate and orange. The shortbread texture melts in your mouth, and the walnuts add a nice crunch.—Sandy Paige, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
- 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1-1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- In a large bowl, cream butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in pecans.
- Divide dough in half. Mix baking cocoa into one half; mix orange peel and extract into remaining half.
- Shape each portion into a 5-1/2x2x2-in. block. Wrap each block in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Unwrap dough; cut each block lengthwise into quarters, making four 5-1/2x1x1-in. sticks. Switch two of the chocolate sticks with two of the orange sticks, forming two checkerboard blocks. Gently press sticks together to adhere. Rewrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap and cut dough crosswise into 1/4-in. slices. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Chocolate Orange Checkerboard Cookies in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014
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