Black and White Checkerboard Cookies

by Lynne on July 10, 2011

Post image for Black and White Checkerboard Cookies

Checkerboard Cookies

I have been thinking about making cookies for about a week, because I have been craving a sweet little treat and we had nothing dessert-like in the house. I didn’t feel like making your standard drop cookies either. I wanted to make something special, something different, intriguing and unusual. Something that would elicit a “How in the heck did you do that?” response. Well, I think these cookies fit that description to a tee. It was so much fun to follow the various steps and see those neat little checkerboards appear at the end. And they taste so good, too. Yummy.

Checkerboard Cookies 1

The vanilla and chocolate dough are each rolled out into an 8×12-inch rectangle. One is painted with beaten egg whites and the other dough rectangle is placed on top. This is then cut in half into two 6×8-inch rectangles. Which, again, is painted with egg white and the other half placed on top, creating a four layer block of dough.

Checkerboard Cookies 2

The four layer block of dough is sliced into 3/8-inch slices. These are brushed with egg white and four are stacked together.

Checkerboard Cookies 3

Each slice is turned over so the dark squares alternate and the end looks like a checkerboard. The remaining slices are formed into four layer stacks and wrapped in plastic wrap.

Checkerboard Cookies 4

Then they are chilled for several hours and up to three days. Or frozen for future use.

Checkerboard Cookies 5

Each stack is sliced into ¼-inch slices. I think these look so… cool!

Checkerboard Cookies 6

The dough slices make an excellent pattern on the cookie sheet.

Checkerboard Cookies 7

And then there are beautiful little goodies to eat and share.  This is the best part.
Oh yes.

Print Recipe Print Recipe

Black and White Checkerboard Cookies

Makes about 100 cookies

350 degrees F. 9-11 minutes

1 batch Vanilla Cookie dough (recipe below)

1 batch Chocolate Cookie dough (recipe below)

1 egg white, beaten, for sticking layers of dough together

2 cookie sheets with 2 sheets parchment cut to fit sheets

1. Unwrap the Vanilla Cookie dough and roll it out on a floured parchment sheet on work surface into an 8×12-inch rectangle about 3/8-inch thick with square corners. Slide dough on parchment onto a cookie sheet, cover securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes until firm again. Do the same with the Chocolate Cookie dough.

2. Place the unwrapped vanilla dough on parchment on your work surface. Paint with the egg white and place the chocolate dough on top, parchment side up. Place a cookie sheet on the stack and gently push down so the two layers stick together.

3. Cut the dough rectangle in half through the parchment so you have two 8×6-inch rectangles. Paint the top of one rectangle with egg white and put the second rectangle on top so the four layers are alternating black and white. Press gently with pan to help stick together. With a sharp knife, trim the four sides so they are straight and square. Wrap and chill for several hours, keeping the corners square.

4. Place unwrapped dough stack on cutting board with the 8-inch side facing you. With a sharp knife, cut the 6-inch side into sixteen 3/8-inch-thick slices.

5. Place one striped slice on the cutting board and brush it with egg white. Turn the next slice over and place it on top of the first slice so the stripes are alternating in color. Repeat two more times so there are four layers with alternating colors and the end looks like a checkerboard.

6. Make three more stacks with four slices each. Wrap each stack in plastic wrap and gently press each side with the pan to square it. Refrigerate on cookie sheet for several hours or freeze for future use.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.

8. Slice the cookies ¼-inch thick, turning the stack after each cut so it doesn’t become flat from the knife pressing down.

9. Place cookies on parchment covered pans one inch apart and bake for 9 to 11 minutes until firm to the touch. Slide the parchment with the cookies onto a rack or countertop to cool. Store in one layer between parchment in air-tight container.

Vanilla Cookie Dough


12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk (reserve egg white for brushing)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and salt with a fork until well mixed, light colored and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the vanilla and egg yolk. Keep beating until very smooth, about 2 more minutes.

2. Scrape the bowl and beat in the flour. Cover and chill the egg white until needed.

3. Scrape dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a 1-inch-thick square. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, several hours or up to 3 days.

Chocolate Cookie Dough


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (Dutch process), sifted after measuring
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir well with a whisk to mix.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a fork until well mixed and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Beat in the vanilla and egg until the mixture is very smooth, about 2 minutes longer.

4. Mix in the flour mixture until well combined.

5. Form the dough into a ball and press into a 1-inch-thick square. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, several hours or up to 3 days.

{ 4 trackbacks }

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole @ It's Feeding Time at the Zoo July 11, 2011 at 2:09 am

These look so beautiful. I’m not sure I have the skill (or the patience) to make these, but I love looking at them. Thanks for the step by step process too!

Antonina July 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

look’s perfect!!

kankana July 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm

This is absolute unique creation .. haven’t seen any cookies as different as this. Just too gorgeous. I am saving this to try sometime.

Lentil Breakdown July 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Am exhausted just reading the steps! Thanks, but I will be using my OCD traits to line up my pairs of shoes while you’re making the magic.

Heidi @ Food Doodles July 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Those look awesome! I’ve wanted to make checkerboard cookies for so long. Yours look so good 🙂 Love the step by step!

Monet July 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm

These look beautiful. What an intricate cookie. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost 🙂 Thank you for sharing this recipe with me. I hope you are having a blessed week, my friend. Much love!

Nancy@acommunaltable July 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm


I have a recipe for these cookies and I’ve yet to attempt it – but they are so beautiful that I may just have to try them!!

Kim July 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

These are simply gorgeous – I’m only (THREE) months away from getting my oven back, and I’m already looking forward to trying this. Looks like you’re a very meticulous person. Those lines are precise!!!!


Mica July 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Just tried this and my vanilla dough turned out too wet (they were in the refrigerator overnight). They don’t look like checkerboards but still taste great :]

Nuts about food August 4, 2011 at 2:04 am

Great recipe and instructions!

Vivian - vxdollface August 28, 2011 at 3:41 am

Gosh they look so perfect! Will have to try this recipe!

Anja November 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Is it a mistake that it’s only the Chocolate Cookie Dough that has baking soda in it?

Lynne November 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hi Anja ~ Thanks for stopping by. The recipes are correct, the baking soda is only in the Chocolate Dough. If you make these cookies, I hope you will let me know how they turn out. Lynne xo

Anja November 5, 2011 at 12:35 am

Hi Lynne, this recipe is the plan for the day. I’m off to the supermarket, I’ll send you a pic of the result 🙂

Anja November 8, 2011 at 6:26 am

Hi again,

The recipe was great, although I probably need to practise a little bit – they didn’t come out as perfect as yours. 🙂

Lala December 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

I notice that most of your mixing, you use a fork, can I use a Kitchenaid with this cookie and the others where you’ve used a fork to mix. Thanks.

Lynne December 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Hi Lala ~ Yes, you can use your stand mixer for all of my cookie recipes. They will then look different and have a different consistency, but will taste the same. I like a more dense cookie, rather than fluffy. Most of my cookie recipes are from the 1950’s and we used wooden spoons or forks to mix our dough. If you make any of my recipes, I hope you let me know how they turned out. Lynne xo

BJDJ December 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm

My teenaged daughter made these checkerboard cookies and we put them in Christmas gift baskets for family. They can’t stop emailing and texting about these cookies and how they want more.

AA August 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I wanted to ask … what if you are NOT using chocolate or you ran out, can you make 2 vanilla dough and colour one using food colouring?
Do you use the chocalate dough but skip the cocoa powder
BTW.. they look amazingg!!

Thanks 🙂

DIANA DUQUE May 30, 2013 at 2:26 am


rush May 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Hi, would it still come out great if I use half the ingredients to make the dough ? Should I still use the full egg?

Patricia@Fresh Food in a Flash December 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm

These are so beautiful and perfect. We did some that were green and red in our Cookie Baking Class on Saturday. Not as perfect as yours. I’m impressed.

Charlene December 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

My husband’s mother always made these special cookies at Christmas time. Sadly, she passed away this year. This Christmas my husband and daughter are going to try to make them. They are a family favorite and a “heritage” cookie that will be made in her honor and in remembrance of her. Thank you for the step-by-step directions!

Mixi Maxi June 9, 2014 at 2:08 am

Does the dough have to be refrigerated for two hours (or more)? What if I stuck them in the freezer for half the time? Or is it specifically supposed to be refrigerated?

Because if that has to happen, I doubt I can make it, because I have absolutely no patience! D:

Lynne June 9, 2014 at 2:30 am

Hi Mixi ~ The dough needs to be refrigerated for 2 hours or more so the gluten can relax. This makes it easier to roll out and not shrink during baking. Putting the dough in the freezer would not address the gluten issue. Sorry. How about making the dough in the evening, chill it over night and finish the cookies the next morning. That way you would be sleeping while the chilling was going on. A little easier on the patience issue. Lynne xo

Dewi December 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

I was looking for similar recipe. My mother in law used to make them for us during summer or X’mas. They are my favourite. She passed away this fall :-(. Didn’t get a chance to ask for the recipe, but found this one. My hubby said they tasted like his mom’s! So I was happy. She would’ve been so proud, since she usually made 4 blocks. I did a rectacle 12 blocks! Received so many compliments! Will be the star on our X’mas celebration this year!

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