Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. Your favorite chefs & Food People have opened their kitchens to share their best cookie recipes. From mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pies to Chuck’s Maple-Pecan Shortbread, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to FoodNetwork.com for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.
The first time I came across Schwarz-weiss Gebäck cookies, I thought they were gorgeous — and slightly intimidating. The German cookie, otherwise known as the checkerboard cookie, seemed like the sort of thing that master pastry chefs or factory machines created (not your average person). I mentioned my curiosity to a friend, who scoffed at my hesitance. They are quite easy to make, she insisted, and she often bakes them as her zone-out-in-the-kitchen “zen” project. I was still incredulous: She also happens to be a professional food stylist who has worked for celebrity chefs and on TV shows.
After attempting the cookies myself, I realized she’s actually right. Making two doughs might be a little fussy, but the cookies themselves are quite easy to assemble. Don’t believe me? Follow my step-by-step photos below for the easy how-to and you’ll be impressing your friends and family in no time. To give the classic black-and-white checkerboards a holiday riff, I subbed lemon dough for vanilla and gingerbread dough for the traditional chocolate, which yields a sweet-spicy-tart cookie that tastes, quite simply, like the holidays.