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Friday, March 30, 2012

Black and White Cookies

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Rumor has it, black and white cookies are famous in the delis of New York. On my trip to New York last October, I was too busy gorging on Levain Bakery cookies to seek out any black and white cookies, so I have yet to experience the real version. Therefore, I can’t really vouch for the authenticity of these. Based on votes from Ryan and me, I can assure you that we would gladly pay money for these in a deli or bakery!
You can probably tell from the pictures that these are giant cookies. I used a ¼ measuring cup to portion out the dough and it made cookies the size of a cocktail napkin. Although I typically prefer to make smaller cookies, so that I can eat several at once and not feel too guilty, I wouldn’t change a thing about the size of these. I loved breaking off a piece at a time, first a bit of the chocolate half and then the vanilla half. The texture is soft and cakey—truly reminiscent of a “bakery-style” cookie.
A few tips, for when you make these (because it should be a matter of when, not if)…I recommend shaping the dough into well-formed rounds if you want perfectly round cookies. My drops of dough were kind of crazy and it made for a few odd looking circles. Also, let them dry completely before covering them up. You might notice some funky air bubbles on the icing in my pictures, which I think was the result of covering them up too soon. Odd shapes and air bubbles were the least of my concerns when I took my first bite—I can’t wait to make these again!

By the way, I wanted to let you guys know about a new feature here at The Sweets Life. You’ll notice that I've added a Save Recipe button to each recipe post (right below the title of the recipe), so you can now save your favorites to your own personal recipe boxes, along with any other recipes you find across the web. You can also save the recipe ingredients to your online shopping lists with one click. If you're an obsessive list-maker like me, you'll find this incredibly useful!

I’ve teamed up with ZipList to make this happen. They power the online recipe boxes and shopping lists you see at MarthaStewart.com, Simply Recipes and Joy of Baking, as well as tons of food blogs (see a list here). You can save recipes from any of these websites, including mine, and they'll all be saved in one place...again, super convenient! Read more about how it works and what additional features they have (like saving your lists and being able to access from your phone here!). 

One Year Ago: Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa

Black and White Cookies
seen on Christine's Cuisine, from Cook's Country Magazine

-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/8 tsp salt
-10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-2 tsp vanilla
-1/3 cup sour cream

for the glaze-
-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
-7 tbsp milk
-2 tbsp corn syrup
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. With the mixer on low, add the flower in three additions, with two additions of sour cream. Scrape down the bowl as needed and given the dough a final stir by hand.
4. Using a greased 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop balls of dough three inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges of the cookies are lightly brown (switch and rotate the sheets halfway through baking). Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
5. To make the glaze, whisk together the sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Transfer 1 cup of the glaze to another bowl. In the remaining glaze, add cocoa and 1 tbsp milk, whisking until smooth.
6. With one cookie at a time, spread 1 tbsp of vanilla glaze over half of the underside (flat side) of the cookie with an offset spatula. Refrigerate cookies until glaze is set, about 15 minutes. Frost the other half of the cookies with 1 tbsp of the chocolate glaze and refrigerate cookies for 15 minutes to set. Store cookies at room temperature for 2-3 days.