Monday, February 14, 2011

Cherry Checkerboard Cookies

This month was my turn for hosting my book group.  I was feeling the need for some fun party planning and thought it would be fun to have a red and white theme.  Seeing as my book group was meeting on the 10th of February, I jumped in.  I found these little beauties while searching online for red desserts.  I must admit they took quite a bit of time but they weren't hard.  They were perfect for a ladies group.  They were originally made by Womens Day Magazine

Cherry Checkerboard Cookies
1 1⁄2 sticks (3⁄4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
1⁄2 tsp almond extract
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup maraschino cherries (8 to 10), finely chopped
Red liquid food color
1 white of 1 egg, slightly beaten

1. Beat butter, sugar, egg, extract and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until blended. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in 2 cups flour.

2. Remove and reserve 1 cup dough. Divide remaining dough in half. Roll each half between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 6 x 3-in. rectangle. Slide onto a baking sheet; refrigerate.

3. Put reserved dough in bowl; add remaining 1⁄4 cup flour and the chopped cherries. Beat until well blended, adding red food color (about 14 drops) until dough is bright pink. Divide in half; roll out as above; refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Remove paper from top of each rectangle. Brush tops of each white rectangle with egg white; top with a red rectangle. Wrap stacks separately; refrigerate 1 hour.

5. Cut 1 stack in half lengthwise (keep other stack refrigerated) to make two 1 1⁄2 x 6-in. strips. Brush top of 1 stack with egg white; place other stack on top, alternating colors. Rewrap and freeze 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

6. Cut each stack in thirds (1⁄2 x 6-in. strips); turn strips on their side. Brushing egg white between each strip, stack strips, alternating colors. Wrap in plastic wrap; freeze 20 minutes, or refrigerate longer until ready to bake. Repeat with remaining stack.

The sides don't come out all even.  So I just trimmed off the edges.

7. Heat oven to 350ºF. Cut square logs into 1⁄4-in.-thick slices. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until set and edges are slightly golden. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool completely.


Andrea said...

Oh my, were these ever GOOD!

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

They look pretty cute.

Sue said...

I love checkerboard cookies, and yours look especially appealing! They are so perfectly square and the cherry version looks so pretty!

Kimmy said...

These are SO pretty and they look really yummy!

Jane said...

Hi Julie,
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love this cookie! So cute!

Betsy said...

Beautiful! I make a raspberry pink and white checkerboard cake that reminds me of this! Thanks for sharing...I'm marking this in my favorites to try!

Julie said...

How cute are they?! can't wait to try them!

Shelly said...

Um...this looks like I may need a private lesson. Will you show me how? I've never mastered checkerboard cakes or cookies; never been able to weave the top of a pie, etc. Help!

Meaghan Luby said...

so so fun! glad to have found your blog!

Farrah said...

Found your blog on Sweet as Sugar cookies. I love the pictures and even though I'm not a cherry fan, I'm adding these to my list of things to make. They look adorable!


Thanks so much for linking up to This Week’s Cravings! I did a Diet Cherry Coke Cake recipe! It was amazing, but your cherry recipe looks delicious too (looks really hard, but AWESOME!)!

Don’t forget to come back next week for our theme of “kid-friendly recipes”.

Amy said...

This is lovely..what a good looking cherry shortbread cookie! :) Thanks for sharing.


Meesh said...

They were both cute and delicious!

cindy said...

Such a fun springy cookie.

karen lawson said...

These look so yummy and easy to make. Beach Cakes

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