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FAB – Checkerboard Cookies

In Baking, Friday Afternoon Baking, Recipes on April 24, 2010 at 1:35 am

The difficulties in studying food choice behavior is very much due to how food takes on a multitude of meanings that differ from situation to situation, individual to individual. If eating food were as simple an equation as hunger and satiety, then I believe that with the amount of research done thus far, solving the world’s eating problems should be as easy as pie. But that’s apparently not the case, because when food looks like this:


it is no longer just food for the mouth. LOOK at these butter cookies. Just one GLANCE at these cute squares and I bet you would ignore all hormonal signals of fullness… and despite knowing that there’s probably a 100kcal in each of these evil thingies, you still can’t resist eating 5 of them at one go. Am I right? Am I right?? 😀

Here, food assumes another purpose that is beyond that of satisfying the body and the senses. The only way it can then fulfill its purpose in existence is for it to be given away to others… to bring about as much joy as possible to as many people as possible. Yes, that must be its mission.

I made these cookies with L and M in mind, two lovely architects whom we (6 of us sensory science students) have been working with for the past two months to conceptualize and realize an odour menu as part of an experimental theatre production (unfortunately the link is only in Danish) at the Temporary National Theatre. Looking back on the two months and six shows, I feel a happy fuzziness inside me that justifies each of those times I dragged my feet to lab to mix odorous chemicals and smelling like I’ve been brewed in beef broth for 24h…. and each of those times I cycled in the cold to get to the Skuespilhuset 45min away from home….I wanted to make something for them that was both delicious and simple (butter cookies) and attractive (definitely not the typical butter cookies), but at the same time embodies some element of drama and incomprehensibility of the Kafka theatre concept. I hope they like it. 🙂 Now I shall divulge the secret of how-to-make-a-checkerboard cookie on this FAB session (okay, alright, you can easily find this on the internet lol)!


Checkerboard Cookies recipe from Martha Stewart

  • 225g butter, unsalted
  • 110g sugar*
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 300g flour (2.5 cups)
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder (13-20g)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then mix in extracts and salt.
2. Combine with flour (I rubbed in with my fingertips)
3. Knead into a dough after all the creamed butter and flour have been combined
4. Divide into 2 equal portions, knead in cocoa powder into one half (careful, the powder tends to spray all over)
5. Roll out into 20cm squares, slightly less than 1 cm thick. (from here you can start referring to the photo below)
6. Cut out nine 1-1.5cm wide strips of each dough and set the remainder aside for the meantime.
7. Stack it up in alternate colours and brush edges with egg wash as you stack them together to help the strips stick together.
8. Roll out the remainder till it’s wide enough to wrap completely the stacked up strips.
9. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30min to chill and firm up. Meanwhile heat up the oven at 175˚C.
10. Unwrap and slice the cookies with about 0.5-0.7cm thickness. Bake on a cookie sheet for 12min. They will still be soft when warm. I transferred them to kitchen towels to soak up the excess fat. Cookies are crisp when cool (but not crunchy) like normal butter cookies.
*Cookies weren’t sweet enough so I coated the base by melting some chocolate in the microwave, mixing in a few drops of almond essence into the chocolate, coating the base and leaving them to cool on baking paper. You might want to add 50-100g more sugar to avoid having to use chocolate to sweeten the cookie up, but more chocolate is always good 😉

*Note to self: try stacking out new designs! 🙂

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  1. Love love love these! gotta make them.. though I keep thinking of new designs. And I agree with the mission, in all I think all really good food is meant to be shared anyway 🙂 So, because most of my friends are biotechnologists, the only thing I could come up with -which I might try- is a cell shaped design. If I can manage it, I’ll take pics! 🙂

  2. Wow, I think these are really cute. Not a huge fan of butter cookies in general but I would definitely like to make something like this in the future. 😀

  3. what is the conversion from grams to cups, I don’t have a metric scale.

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