Lime Checkerboards

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 4 hr 15 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: about 36 cookies
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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 large egg

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon lime extract or lemon-lime extract (optional)

Green food coloring


  1. Whisk the flour and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, lime zest and extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the flour mixture. Transfer half of the dough to a separate bowl; tint with food coloring.
  2. Dust the dough with flour; roll out each color separately on floured parchment into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Freeze until firm, 15 minutes.
  3. Trim each piece into a 4 1/2-by-7 1/2-inch rectangle, reserving the scraps. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into nine 1/2-inch-wide strips. Lay 3 strips side-by-side on a baking sheet (white, green, white). Set 3 more strips on top, alternating colors (green, white, green). Top with three more strips (white, green, white). Build another log starting with green-white-green. Chill the logs.
  4. Gather the scraps, keeping the colors separate. Roll out each on floured parchment into a 5-by-8-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Wrap the green rectangle around the log with the white corners and wrap the white rectangle around the log with the green corners; trim the excess. Wrap the logs in plastic; chill 2 hours.
  5. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Slice the logs into 1/3-inch-thick cookies; arrange 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until set, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to racks to cool completely.
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