Tropical Checkerboards

Just slice and stack flavored doughs to make these tropical plaid cookies. Rolling the logs in coconut and chopped nuts adds flavor and texture.

Tropical Checkerboards
Prep Time:
40 mins
Bake Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 dozen cookies


  • ½ teaspoon rum extract

  • Orange paste food coloring

  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

  • Yellow paste food coloring

  • cup flaked coconut

  • cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

Basic Pattern Dough

  • ¾ cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Divide Basic Pattern Dough in half. Knead rum extract and orange food coloring into one dough portion. Knead coconut extract and yellow food coloring into the other portion.

  2. Shape each dough portion into a rectangular log that is about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. Wrap logs in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. With a sharp knife, cut each log lengthwise into four slices. Alternating colors, stack the slices to form two four-layer logs. Press dough together to seal layers. Wrap logs in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until firm.

  3. Place logs on a cutting surface with a solid color facing up. Using a sharp knife, cut each log lengthwise into four slices. (Each will have four layers in alternating colors.) Stack four slices of dough, alternating colors placement for a checkerboard effect. Repeat with remaining slices. Trim edges to straighten. Combine coconut and macadamia nuts; roll logs in mixture to coat. Wrap and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 4 dozen.

Basic Pattern Dough

  1. Beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the all-purpose flour as you can with a mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Makes about 2-1/2 cups of dough.

Place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.