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Chocolate Orange Checkerboard Cookies

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    about 3-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 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 zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Directions

  • 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 zest and extract into remaining half.
  • Shape each portion into a 5-1/2x2x2-in. block. Wrap each block in plastic; 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; 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.
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