Almond Chai Checkerboard Cookies

184

Almond Chai Checkerboard Cookies

Servings 36 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 260 g Unsalted butter, cold 18 tbsp or 2 sticks + 2 tbsp
  • 160 g Granulated sugar ¾ cup + 1 tbsp
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 4 Large egg yolks *save 2 egg whites for dough glue

Almond Dough

  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 150 g All-purpose flour 1¼ cups
  • 56 g Almond flour ½ cup

Chai Dough

  • tsp Vanilla extract
  • 180 g All-purpose flour 1½ cups
  • 1.5 tbsp Instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp Ground allspice
  • 2 tsp Chai masala
  • *or 2 tsp total of your favorite spices for chai – I recommend ground ginger cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Lemongrass, star anise, fennel seeds, and black pepper are also popular chai spices.

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined and the mixture becomes fluffier and lighter in color.
  • Add the egg yolks and mix until smooth.
  • Split the mixture approximately in half and move one half to a medium bowl.

Almond Dough

  • Add the almond extract to the butter mixture in the medium bowl and mix until smooth.
  • Add the 150g portion of all-purpose flour and the almond flour and mix until everything just comes together and no dry spots remain.
  • Shape the dough into a rough square and wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Smooth out the surface with a rolling pin and refrigerate.

Chai Dough

  • Add the vanilla extract to the large bowl and mix until smooth.
  • In the now empty medium bowl, whisk together the 180g portion of all-purpose flour, the instant coffee, allspice, and chai masala.
  • Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and mix until everything just comes together and no dry spots remain.
  • Shape the dough into a rough square and wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Smooth out the surface with a rolling pin and refrigerate with the other block of dough for 15 minutes.

Assemble the cookies

  • In a small bowl, whisk the saved egg whites with 1/4 tsp water until foamy.
  • Roll each of the doughs into a roughly 6” square (15 cm) about ½“ (1.25 cm) thick.
  • Lightly brush the beaten egg whites on the almond dough square. Place the chai dough square on top and press them together without warping the squares.
  • Cut the stacked dough squares in half to make two 3” by 6” strips. Lightly brush one of the halves with the egg whites and place the second one on top to make an alternating pattern of almond and chai dough.
  • Trim the edges so they’re even. Wrap the trimmings in plastic wrap and set aside but don’t knead them together.
  • Mark the short edge of the dough stack into 8 even sections, about ⅜” (1 cm) each. Using the marks as a guide, cut the dough into 8 strips with a large sharp knife.
  • Lightly brush the side of one of the strips with the egg whites and place a second strip on top with the colors alternating. Gently press the strips together. Repeat with an additional two strips in the same alternating pattern to make a square-edged log. Trim any excess dough from the ends and add to the wrapped trimmings.
  • Repeat the same assembly process to make a second log with the remaining 4 strips of dough, adding any excess to the wrapped trimmings. Wrap and chill the assembled checkerboard logs.
  • Meanwhile, unwrap the trimmings, lightly flour a clean work surface, and gently knead the trimming together until they form a marbled pattern. Shape the dough into an even cylinder, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate.
  • While the three logs of dough are chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets.
  • With a sharp knife, carefully cut the logs into cookies about ¼” (6 mm) thick. Place them onto the prepared baking sheets with about 1” of space between them. These cookies don’t spread much, but they will puff up and expand a little bit, so make sure they are not too close together.
  • Bake the cookies for about 12 to 16 minutes, until the bottoms of the lighter dough squares are a light golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Cookies can be stored in the fridge for longer or frozen to be thawed for later use.

Notes

If you don’t like almonds, you can make vanilla dough instead. Substitute the almond extract for 1½ tsp of vanilla extract and use 180 g (1½ cups) of all-purpose flour instead of mixing all-purpose and almond flour. Follow the same instructions to make the dough. If you want to halve the recipe, when you are beginning to assemble your checkerboard logs, start with each dough in a 3” by 6” rectangle before stacking and then cut it into two 3” by 3” squares to make the alternating pattern.
You can make the checkerboard dough logs in advance and freeze them for up to 3 months before slicing and baking.
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