Black and White Cookies
If you were unable to cook for a solid month, having to eat questionable restaurant food the whole time, what’s the first thing you would cook when you came back?
My response to this question is, obviously, something with chocolate. And not just because I love baking, but because during the month I was gone I had chocolate three times. For someone who considers chocolate a food group, this is quite a feat, not to mention a tragedy.
But then another tragedy struck. I got the worst food poisoning I’ve seriously ever had in my life and when I came home I was unable to eat all the chocolatey wonderfulness that I’d been dreaming about for so long. Nate made brownies from scratch that were sitting on the counter, waiting for me, no, beckoning me, when I came home and I was able to eat one bite. One small bite. It was pure torture.
Eventually my digestive system came around and I was able to indulge myself, however the first thing I cooked wasn’t chocolate cake, as I’d been planning (I had a recipe picked out and everything. I was that excited.). Rather, I made chocolate chip pancakes. I had to ease my system back up to functional capacity slowly, and I’d been doing okay with bread products so I decided to keep that trend going. Hence, pancakes.
This week, I am happy to report, I officially felt “normal” again and I wasn’t going to let my dreams of chocolate die completely. I opted for black and white cookies because they contain chocolate, they’re frosted, and I’ve never had a black and white cookie before. And they’re actually kind of cake-like (I was not willing to let go of my dreams entirely. And this weekend I am making a chocolate cake, in case you were wondering…).
I’m not going to say my food poisoning was a blessing in disguise because that would be blasphemous, but if I hadn’t gotten sick I would have made that chocolate cake and who knows when I would have made these wonderful black and white cookies? I’m glad I had a reason to make these, even if I had to push my chocolate cake back a week or two… better late than never!
(From Baking Illustrated)
Supposedly makes 26 large (as in enormous) cookies, although I got 22. I didn’t fill the 1/4 cup measuring spoon all the way for each cookie, so maybe I ate more dough than I thought?? Who can say? Also, use the icing sparingly– I barely had enough vanilla icing for all 22 cookies, and I ran out of the chocolate after 20 cookies. Don’t be afraid to reheat the chocolate or add in hot water to get it thin enough to be “glaze-like.”
4 cups plain cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1 cup milk
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
5 cups (20 oz) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE COOKIES: Adjust the oven racks to the lower- and upper-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter at medium speed until creaming, about 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract and beat at medium speed until combined. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternately add the flour mixture in 4 additions and the milk in 3 additions at low speed until just combined.
Using a 1/4-cup dry measure and a spoon, place six 1/4 cup-mounts of dough a generous two inches apart on each baking sheet. With moistened fingers (or a spatula), gently press each mound of dough into a disk 2 1/2 inches wide and 3/8 inch thick. Bake until the centers of the cookies are firm and the edges are just beginning to turn light golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cooking to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
FOR THE ICINGS: Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water. Remove from the heat and set aside. Bring the corn syrup and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan form the heat and stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until combined. Transfer 3/4 cup fo the vanilla icing to the bowl with the melted chocolate and stir to combine.
TO GLAZE THE COOKIES: Place 2 or 3 wire racks on top of parchment or waxed paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 2 tablespoons of the vanilla icing on half of each cookie. Tilt the cookie and run the spatula around the edge of the cookie to scrape off excess icing. Place the cookies on the wire rack and allow the icing to harden, about 15 minutes. If the vanilla icing begins to thicken, stir in hot water, teaspoon by teaspoon, until the icing is fluid enough to coat the cookies. Alternatively, if the icing is too thin and runny, whisk in additional confectioners’ sugar, teaspoon by teaspoon, until the proper consistency is attained. Using the spatula, spread the chocolate icing on the other half of each cookie, tilting the cookie downward and scraping away the excess icing. If the chocolate icing thickens and cooks, reheat it over a water bath until it is fluid enough to coat the cookies. If the icing is still to thick, stir in hot water, teaspoon by teaspoon, until the proper fluidity is reached. Place the cookies on the wire rack and allow the icings to harden, at least 1 hour. The cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper, for up to 3 days.