I love making cookies, but one of the coolest kinds (and most common to find an any Asian bakery) are the checkerboard cookies. Typically, they’re chocolate and vanilla, but I wanted to do a different spin on them. So I went with
the two most mainstream Asian dessert flavors I know matcha and black sesame, which compliment each other really nicely. So the thing about this kind of cookie is that you have to prepare the dough, and then form it into square shaped logs, bind them together with egg white, and then freeze the dough solid. From there, you cut it into slices, and those slices become the cookie. Honestly, checkerboards are the simplest thing you can do with this, as you could go as far as to make almost any pattern imaginable with this technique, given you have the patience to shape each roll of dough and to press them together into the shape of your choice or desire.
When it comes to baking cookies, they tend to lose their color since they brown
and shit in the oven, thanks to the sugar. I cut down the sugar content of the cookie slightly to alleviate part of that issue, and on top of the flavorings of matcha and black sesame powders, I used spirulina powder for the matcha cookie to naturally lock in that green color, and activated charcoal powder in the black sesame cookie dough to ensure that the black sesame is actually black like my heart.
For the base dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg yolk (reserve egg white)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 tablespoon matcha powder
*1 teaspoon spirulina powder
*3 tablespoons black sesame powder
*1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder
With all of the base dough ingredients, mix together. Split the dough in half and add the matcha and spirulina to one batch, then the black sesame and charcoal to the other. Place both doughs in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Split each dough in half and roll out into logs, pressing each side of the dough to form rectangular prisms (you want each piece to be 1 inch by 1 inch thickness). Using an egg white, brush the logs and press together, alternating in colors, to create a larger log. Freeze for 1 hour. Then slice across the grain into 1/4 inch thick pieces, and bake at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes.