Thursday, August 9, 2012

Checkerboard Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I was browsing the web the other day, learning about making checkerboard cakes, and in the process came across a video on how to make checkerboard cookies. The recipe was a pretty simple sugar/butter type cookie dough. While this recipe may have worked well for molding/building the checkerboard, it didn't seem particularly appealing. This got me thinking... how about chocolate chip cookies? More specifically, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cookies with white chips. Two delicious recipes that would contrast well. The checkerboard procedure I saw made a cookie with a 4 by 3 grid, which I didn't care much for... I wanted something more symmetrical, so I decided to work out a way to get a 3 by 3 grid. Here's how it all worked out...

I started out by making a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a batch of Chocolate Cookies with White Chips. The dough was then placed between sheets of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pressed into a 1/2" thick rectangular slab. They should be the same size or at least close to the same size. At this point the dough is too soft for holding its shape, so these slabs were refrigerated overnight. You could probably get by with an hour or two. The important thing is that the dough stiffens up so it can maintain its shape and thickness.

Once the dough has been chilled, slice the smallest rectangle into three strips of equal width. Then slice 3 strips from the other slab of the same width. Any extra dough can be set aside to make some non-checkerboard cookies.
Next, stack up the strips so you have one stack of light-dark-light, and another stack of dark-light-dark. Press them together so each layer sticks together. These will provide your alternating checkerboard pattern.
Now we start slicing off strips from the long edge of each "dough sandwich". Each strip should be as wide as the thickness of your original slabs. In my case this was about 1/2 inch. With all of the cold, hard chocolate chips in the dough, it was difficult to cut with a regular knife. I found that an electric knife worked well to cut through all the chips and give a consistent straight cut. For each "cookie log" you'll need a slice of one "sandwich" and two slices of the other.
Press your three strips together to form a checkerboard cookie "log". Note: your next "log" should be opposite of this one, so you don't use up one color pattern faster than the other. In the end I had one extra strip that ended up becoming "striped" cookies.
You can now start slicing off your checkerboard cookies from the cookie dough "log" at about 1/2 inch thickness. A regular knife seemed to work best at this stage. Whenever you're not slicing off cookies, place the checkerboard dough back in the refrigerator so it doesn't get too warm and soft.
Place on your ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Once removed from the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes or so to finish baking while the next batch is in the oven.
Enjoy your cookies!