Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
(177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Bake hazelnuts for 15
minutes or until skins start to blister. Remove from oven and wrap in a
clean towel so the nuts can 'steam' for 5 minutes. Rub the towel briskly
in a back and forth motion to remove the skins from the hazelnuts. Set
aside to cool. When cool, place the hazelnuts in a food processor along
with the cocoa powder and process until the hazelnuts are finely ground.
a small bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
In bowl of
your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat
the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add
the egg, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat until well blended. Add
the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and
place one half of the dough back into the bowl of your electric mixer. Add
the cocoa and hazelnut mixture to the dough and beat until incorporated.
Lay out two large sheets of
parchment paper (about 10 x 12 inch) (25 x 30 cm) and on one sheet of parchment
roll out the white dough into a 6 1/2 inch by 10 1/2 inch (22 x 26 cm)
rectangle, making sure both sides of the dough are smooth. Wrap dough and
place on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until dough is
Meanwhile, take the chocolate
dough and remove 1/2 cup (used later for wrapping the checkerboard log) and
cover with plastic wrap. On the second sheet of
parchment roll out the remaining chocolate dough into a 6 1/2 inch by 10 1/2 inch (22 x
26 cm) rectangle, making sure both sides of the dough are smooth. Wrap
dough and place on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until
dough is firm.
When both the white and
chocolate dough are firm, remove from freezer and lay the white dough on a
cutting board, removing the parchment paper. Lightly brush the top of the
white dough with a little water (this helps the layers to
stick together). Remove the parchment paper from the chocolate dough and
place it evenly on top of the white dough. Trim the edges of the two doughs so the rectangle now measures 6 inches by 10 inches (21 x 25 cm). (Take the chocolate dough trimmings and add to the 1/2 cup of reserved chocolate
dough.) Lengthwise cut the rectangle into thirds (3 - 2 inch by 10 inch
stripes) (5 x 25 cm). Place one strip on a piece of plastic wrap.
Brush the top of the dough with water and place the second strip on top of the
first (alternate colors so you have white, black, white, black pattern). Brush the
top of the second layer with water and stack the third layer. Press down
lightly on the top of the dough and then wrap and freeze for 15 minutes, or
When firm, remove from freezer
and unwrap, placing the dough on a cutting board. Using a sharp long
knife, cut the layers lengthwise into 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide and 10 inch (25 cm)
long strips. (You will end up with 4 strips). Stack the layers,
turning every other strip so top faces down and bottom faces up, to produce the
checkerboard effect. Rewrap stack and place in freezer again to firm up.
Meanwhile, take the reserved
chocolate trimmings and 1/2 cup of chocolate dough and roll out on a piece of
parchment paper into approximately 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch (24 x 26 cm)
rectangle, making sure the dough is smooth. Cover and refrigerate until
Remove stack of checkerboard dough from freezer and place in center of chocolate
dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the checkerboard layers until you
have a smooth surface that encloses the checkerboard design. Wrap in
plastic and freeze until firm. Can freeze dough for up to a month.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
(177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. Remove dough from freezer and place on a cutting board.
With a sharp knife cut the block of dough into 1/4 inch thick
slices. Place on prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
Bake for about 5-8 minutes or until cookies just start to brown around the
edges. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
Baked cookies can be stored in
an airtight container up to one week.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.