I created a tasty centerpiece for a game night by alternating squares of brown- and re-tinted sugar cookies. This checkerboard takes a bit of time to assemble, but it's not tricky to combine all of the ingredients and put it all together.—Awynne Thurstenson, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Red paste food coloring
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- CHECKER GLAZE:
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5 to 6 teaspoons water
- Red Paste food coloring
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
- Divide dough in half. Add red food coloring to one portion; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or heavy saucepan. Stir 1 tablespoon of the remaining dough into chocolate until well mixed. Stir chocolate mixture into remaining plain dough. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll red dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into 32 squares (1-1/4 in. each) and 12 circles (1-in. diameter); set aside. (Return dough to refrigerator as needed.) Repeat with brown dough.
- On a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet, alternate red and brown squares of eight squares. Gently press seams together. Place circles on baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until set.
- Carefully slide parchment with checkerboard onto a wire rack to cool.
- For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and enough water to achieve a thin glaze. Tint with food coloring. Dip 12 red cookies into red glaze; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until set.
- Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave or heavy saucepan, stirring frequently. Dip 12 brown cookies into chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until set. Yield: 1 checkerboard with 24 checkers.
Originally published as Cookie Checkerboard in Country Woman November/December 2000, p36
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