A great Checkerboard Cookie recipe for a cookie exchange. Makes about 8 dozen cookies .
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Vanilla Cookie Dough
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.
Scrape the bowl and beat in the flour. Cover and chill the egg white until needed.
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.
Chocolate Cookie Dough
In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir well with a whisk to mix.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a fork until well mixed and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla and egg until the mixture is very smooth, about 2 minutes longer. Mix in the flour mixture until well combined.
Form the dough into a ball and press into a 1-inch-thick square. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, several hours.
Take the chocolate and vanilla doughs out of the fridge. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften.
On parchment paper or a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out the vanilla dough into a 12″ by 5″ rectangle. Using a pizza wheel, knife, or bench scraper, cut the rectangle into nine strips, each 1/2″ thick. Repeat the process with the chocolate dough.
Form two checkerboard logs: delicately alternate chocolate and vanilla strips to form a three by three square. One log should go: vanilla chocolate vanilla, chocolate vanilla chocolate, vanilla chocolate vanilla. The other log should be chocolate vanilla chocolate, vanilla chocolate vanilla, chocolate vanilla chocolate. Press into the sides to make it as even a square as possible. Wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
When youíre ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the cookie-dough log into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place on the prepared baking sheet leaving about 1 inch all way around them. Bake the cookies, in batches, for about 12 minutes until firm and golden brown on the bottom. Donít let them bake for too long, or the color contrast between the chocolate and vanilla dough will be lost. Cool on the baking sheet on a rack for 15 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.