The mixer is back in the cupboard. The baking sheets are taking a rest. I’m ready for a martini—but it’s only 7 am. Okay so maybe some baileys in my coffee since I’m a lightweight.
The final count for the Cookie Challenge came in at 889 cookies, with 13 different batches. The lowest cookie yield was the Coconut Pyramids (27) and the highest was the Gingerbread Cookies (118).
So, the “best guess” cookies go to Mercedes, whose “final answer” was 864. Her next challenge will be to eat all the cookies before she heads off to New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Thanks to all who submitted a guestimate.
I’m wrapping up the cookie recipes with Checkerboards. There’s always a bit of curiosity about how they’re made. I’ve always claimed that I piece each one together by hand . . . now you’ll know the truth.
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate , chopped
- 1 cup softened butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or grease; set aside.
In bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring often. Let cool to room temperature.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in 2 of the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; stir one-third at a time into butter mixture, using hands if too stiff to stir.
Remove half of the dough for vanilla dough. Stir chocolate into remaining dough, using hands to blend thoroughly.
Divide vanilla dough in half; flatten each half into square. Place dough, 1 square at a time, between waxed paper; roll out to 7-inch (18 cm) square. Straighten edges with ruler. Repeat with chocolate dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Using ruler and sharp knife, cut each square into nine 3/4-inch (2 cm) wide strips.
Place 12-inch (30 cm) long piece of plastic wrap on work surface. Alternating vanilla and chocolate strips, place 3 strips of dough side by side (close but not touching) on plastic wrap. Whisk remaining egg; brush over sides and tops of strips. Gently press long edges of strips together to adhere. Repeat, forming second and third layers and alternating flavours of strips, to create checkerboard effect. Repeat to make 3 more logs, reversing colour pattern. Fold plastic wrap up to enclose logs; refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 1 month.)
Using serrated knife, trim ends of each log; cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Arrange, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on prepared pans. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pan on rack for 3 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.)
Source : Canadian Living Magazine: December 2003
- I find it hard to get the height of the chocolate and vanilla dough the exact same height because the chocolate is a different consistency. If my checkerboard is slightly uneven after being sliced, I just cut off the uneven bits.