Makes 4-5 dozen cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
23/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Cream butter, add extracts, then sugar and salt and beat well. Add flour and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be crumbly. With your hands, work dough until it holds together.
2. Divide dough into two equal amounts of 1¼ cups each. Then transfer one tablespoon from one portion to the other, so one has more. Add cocoa to smaller portion and knead until the cocoa is fully incorporated. Divide both the dark dough and the light dough into two rectangular lengths, about a half-inch deep and about 10 inches long.
3. Set all the lengths in the refrigerator to cool for 1-2 hours. After they've cooled, square off the edges of the rectangular lengths. Slice each length into thirds, and transfer the center rope from the dark dough into the middle of the two light outer ropes, and vice versa. Use egg wash to make the ropes stick together. Then layer one length of light-dark-light dough on top of a length of dark-light-dark dough, sticking them together with egg wash. You should have two full logs with six colored squares each.
4. Chill the two logs until firm enough to slice, then cut them into ½ inch slices. Lay the cookies on their sides, with the checkerboard pattern showing, on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Makes about 4-5 dozen.