Copycat Chessmen Cookies

Copycat Chessmen Cookies

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Chill Time: 60 mins
Total: 102 mins
Servings: 30 servings
Yield: 60 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
126 Calories
7g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 92mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 24mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The classic Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies are described right on the bag as "sweet and simple cookies." Chessmen cookies are so good because they are simply delicious butter cookies baked to a melt-in-your-mouth golden brown. They are square-shaped cookies embossed with classic chess shapes year-round and holiday shapes during the winter months.

To make a copycat version of Chessmen cookies at home, the recipe is a simple butter cookie cut out in a special shape. A butter cookie is slightly different from shortbread but with a higher ratio of sugar to butter. This allows a butter cookie to hold its shape rather than having a tendency to crumble.

When shaping copycat Chessmen cookies there are several options. You can use a cookie stamp to create a textured surface on the rolled-out cookie dough, and then slice into the classic square shape. It is also possible to use a springerle mold or cookie mold to shape the cookies. Start by brushing a very light coating of flour onto the dough and your springerle mold. Press the mold firmly into the dough, then remove and cut around the design with a knife or a fluted pastry wheel. The easiest way to shape Chessmen cookies is by using a textured rolling pin called a springerle pin. This is the fastest and most efficient way to recreate the look.


Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For Dusting:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

For Glaze:

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Copycat Chessmen cookies ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.

    butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.

    Adding egg and vanilla extract

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Mix in the flour.

    Flour is added

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Divide the dough in half, shape both halves into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    Dough divided in half, shaped into rounds, and wrapped in plastic

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. When shaping the cookies using a springerle rolling pin, in a small bowl combine the flour and powdered sugar for dusting. Sprinkle a very light coating of the flour mixture onto the springerle pin.

    Rolling out cookies with a flour-dusted springerle rolling pin

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one disk at a time, flour the work surface and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick using a standard rolling pin. 

    Rolled out dough for copycat Chessmen cookies

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Slowly roll the springerle pin over the dough, pressing down hard enough to leave an impression.

    Springerle rolling pin impressions in cookie dough

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  9. Cut the cookies apart along the lines made by the textured rolling pin.

    Cut out copycat Chessmen cookies from dough

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  10. Transfer the cut cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Carefully brush with the whisked egg yolks only on raised edges of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.

    Copycat Chessmen Cookies brushed with egg wash

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  11. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

    Copycat Chessmen cookies cooling on a baking rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni