An entertaining combination two classics: Chinese Checkers + the most delicious shortbread cookie recipe ever = the perfect edible party game!
Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies
The cookie recipe: this is a very old recipe that makes the most scrumptious cookies.
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) of unsalted butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 cups white flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
bag of candy-coated chocolate peanuts, such as Peanut M&M's. You'll need at least 10 pieces each of 6 different colors of candy, plus extras .....yeah, you'll definitely want to buy the big bag if you have 'helpers' in your kitchen.
pizza pan, at least 12" in diameter
round plate 11 3/4" to 12 1/4" in diameter (the one used in this instructable is 11 3/4")
1/2 tsp measuring spoon
*printed Chinese checkers board template from Instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Chinese-Checkers-Board/#step1 by pudtiny
Step 2: Preparing the Cookie Dough
1. Cream softened (room temperature) butter and confectioners sugar together in the mixing bowl until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)
2. Add vanilla and salt, then blend together
3. Add flour, and blend until thoroughly mixed.
4. Line the pizza plate with parchment paper. Spoon the dough onto the parchment paper covered pizza pan, and mound into a flattened ball.
5. Cover the dough with a top layer of wax paper or parchment paper, and then use your rolling pin to roll the cookie dough to a round 3/8" thick circle shape. The dough shape is easier to see through if you are using wax paper as your top layer rather than parchment paper. The surface of the dough should be flat and smooth.
6. Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Shaping the Chinese Checkers Board
1. Go to Pudtiny's Instructable on how to make a Chinese Checkers board, and use your computer/printer to print the board diagram on a full 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Chinese-Checkers-Board/#step1
2. Remove your pizza pan/chilled dough from the refrigerator. Place an 11 3/4" to 12 1/4" round shape (a plate will do nicely) on top of your cookie dough, trace around the edge with a sharp knife, and remove the excess dough. Trim the parchment paper to just slightly larger than your cookie dough circle. Baking the cookie dough on top of the parchment paper liner will make it easier to slide the baked cookie off from the pizza pan.
3. Center the Chinese Checkers Board template paper printed side up on your dough, and place it directly on top of your dough.
4. Use a toothpick or sharp clean object to poke through the paper into your dough at the center dot of each circle on the template.
5. Remove the paper template from your dough. You now have a perforated pattern of dots marking where each of your candy coated peanuts should placed.
6. Press a candy-coated chocolate peanut directly onto each of your perforated dots, firmly enough to leave a nice indent that will hold your candy, but not so hard that you press straight through the dough to the pizza pan. Continue until you have filled the Chinese Checkers Board template with pressed candy marks.
7. Remove the candy from the cookie dough, and return the pizza pan/cookie dough to the refrigerator. Chill for 1-2 hours. The dough should be well-chilled and very stiff before baking in order to hold its shape in the oven.
Step 4: Bake and Play!
1. Pre-heat the oven to 320 degrees.
2. Bake the cookie dough on the pizza pan in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. One of the best things about this recipe is that because you have made candy-shaped indents on your cookie Chinese checkers board, the center of the cookie bakes perfectly! The cookie is done when the color is just beginning to turn a very light golden brown.
3. Remove from the oven, and place the pizza pan on a baking rack to cool to room temperature.
4. Place 10 candy pieces of each of the 6 colors in the outer triangle points of the board.
5. Find at least one hungry opponent, though six can play the game.
To the victor go the spoils!