You might be wondering why these are called Checkerboard… but are layered? Well, because I misread the instructions so my cookies ended up layered instead of checkered like this:

(Picture credit: Better Homes and Garden)

Nonetheless, these are oh, so good!! I really love the combinaison of peanut butter and mocha in a shortbread-like cookie! Simple, and flavourful. A great addition to a Christmas platter!

This recipe is from the Christmas Cookies magazine by Better Homes and Gardens, and also available online here.

Peanut Butter and Mocha Checkerboards

1/2 cup butter, softened (I used stick margarine)
2 Tbsp shortening
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp freshly brewed strong coffee, cooled
1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a large bowl combine butter, shortening, and peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add sugar. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the one egg, the coffee, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt until combined. Gradually beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Stir 2 ounces melted chocolate into one dough portion. Cover and chill both dough portions about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Place each dough portion between two sheets of waxed paper. Roll each portion into a 5-inch square. Remove top layers of waxed paper. Brush the top of the chocolate dough with beaten egg white. Carefully invert peanut butter dough on top of the chocolate dough. Remove waxed paper. Trim edges to make a 4-1/2-inch square. Wrap dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Cover and freeze about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Cut dough square into six 4-1/2×3/4-inch strips. Working carefully, but quickly, lay one strip, cut side down, on a work surface and brush with egg white. Top with another strip, cut side down, so that the opposite colors/flavors meet; transfer the stack to a baking sheet or tray. Repeat with the remaining strips to make three stacks total. Cover and freeze about 30 minutes or until dough is firm enough to slice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each stack crosswise into about 1/4-inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and cookies are set. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

6.In a small saucepan heat and stir 2 ounces chopped chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Place melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag. Snip a small hole in one corner of the bag. Squeeze the bag, piping bows or desired designs on cookie tops. Let stand until chocolate sets.


Shared at Secret Recipe Club’s cookie party!