I have made checkerboard cookies before, but this recipe from The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson has a different method and doesn't use egg. Both turned out well. I was a bit lazy in my food colouring skills, just squirted red and yellow food gel into the dough without measuring, hence the dough became more red than orange. The orange taste comes through though - all good!

Makes about 50

200g butter, cold and diced

300g / 2 1/2 c flour (I used a mix of rice, tapioca and gluten-free leftovers)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum, if using gluten-free flour

90g / 1/3 c + 2 Tbsp sugar (I used organic golden)

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

zest of orange

1 tsp orange essence

red and yellow food colouring

Put butter, flour, xanthan if using, and sugar in a food processor and blitz until combined and makes a crumbly mixture. You could also do this by hand or with a handheld electric beater.

Divide mixture in half and put in 2 bowls. Stir cocoa into one bowl and bring together as a dough, adding 1-2 Tbsp water or milk if needed. In the other bowl mix in zest, orange essence and orange food colouring. Best way is to put 6 or so drops each of red and yellow food colouring into a separate little bowl or cup and mix together before adding to the dough.

Divide each coloured dough in half and roll each half into a log about 35-40cm long. Straighten and pinch the sides as necessary to form a square rod. Press a brown and orange rod together, then place the other orange and brown rod on top, to form a chessboard pattern. Press together and square up as much as possible. Cut in half and wrap each one in cling film and chill in fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 175C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Take out one log and cut into 5mm thick pieces (about 25) and arrange on 2 trays. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating trays halfway through. Leave to cool on the trays for a few minutes. Repeat with other log or leave in the freezer to make the batch another day.
Once you've made the dough you can colour any shades you like to suit a theme, e.g. reggae, traffic lights, rainbow, flag. I might even try to make record cookies one day (black with a white centre).