⭐️Bonus⭐️Holiday Cookie Recipe by Kendall Oberto

Neapolitan Checkerboard Cookies

This is a great recipe from the folks at The New York Times.
These are as beautiful as they are tasty. They are a little finicky to make but certainly bring some extra interest to your holiday cookie platter.

Ingredients
  

Vanilla Shortbread

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, yolk and white separated, at room temperature

Strawberry Shortbread

  • 1 1.2ounce package freeze dried strawberries (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, yolk and white separated, at room temperature

Chocolate Shortbread

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, yolk and white separated, at room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the vanilla shortbread:
    Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides a few times.
    Add the egg yolk (reserve egg white) and vanilla extract, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low until it all resembles coarse pea-size crumbs. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and scrape the bowl and paddle clean. (No need to wash.)
    Prepare strawberry shortbread:
    Pulse freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until powdered (some crumbs are fine). You should have about 2/3 cup ground strawberries. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add flour and salt, and whisk to combine.
    Add butter and sugar to the stand mixer bowl, and mix together on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides a few times. Add the egg yolk (reserve egg white) and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture and mix on low until it all resembles coarse pea-size crumbs. Transfer to a second piece of plastic wrap.
    Prepare the chocolate shortbread:
    Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and sugar to the stand mixer bowl and mix together on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides a few times. Add the egg yolk (reserve egg white) and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture and mix on low until it all resembles coarse pea-size crumbs. Transfer to a third piece of plastic wrap and scrape the bowl and paddle clean. (No need to wash.)
    With your hands, pat doughs into rough 5-by-10-inch rectangles and wrap them tightly in the plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the doughs so they are ½ inch tall. (If they’re larger than 5-by-10 inches, they can be trimmed to size later.). Put all three of the wrapped dough slabs on a sheet pan and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
    To assemble, whisk the reserved egg whites with 1 tablespoon water to break up the whites. Trim any uneven edges from the dough (or if dough is larger, trim down to 5-by-10-inch rectangles).
    Cut each dough into 9 (½-inch-wide, 10-inch-long) pieces (see note below). Once sliced, transfer strips back to the fridge so they stay firm while you work.
    To form the checkerboard pattern, lay a strip of each flavor on a cutting board (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla), brush with the egg white mixture and gently press the long sides together so they adhere. Layer another 3 strips (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate), repeat with egg white and pressing. Repeat with the last layer (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry). You should have a long 3-by-3 square. Repeat with the remaining dough strips until you have 3 logs. Wrap with plastic and transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight.
    When ready to bake, heat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one log at a time and square up any uneven edges, then slice the dough crosswise into ⅓-inch-thick slices.
    Space the squares about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and bake until the edges are lightly golden, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    NOTES
    A few notes from my making of this recipe. When mixing the doughs, I found it better to mix a little past the "pea sized crumb" stage. I mixed until the dough started to come together but was not yet in a ball. Otherwise when I tried to roll it out, it was just a crumbly mess. Also, last time I checked cutting a 5" slab into 1/2" slices yields 10, not 9 slices. As such I cut the final three (one of each color) into thirds and repeated the layering process to create an extra 1/3 size log. Finally, don't try to skip any of the chilling steps. The key to forming the crisp shapes of these cookies is the very chilled dough.
    The cookies can be stored up to 1 week in an airtight container.
    The assembled dough logs can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, then thawed in the refrigerator until ready to slice and bake.
    HAPPY EATING!!

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