January 6, 2013

New York Black & White Cookies

Until I met my husband, black and white cookies had never appealed to me. I'm not sure why it took a Chicago guy and his family to endear this New York area girl to black & whites, but that's how it went.

And now I'm into the chewy, cake-like cookie with the delightfully toothsome, split-personality coating of sweet sugar and deep cocoa.

This Christmas, my husband baked them as part of our Christmas cookie tradition with my grandmother. They turned out perfectly. Large, soft, golden... with beautiful, firm frosting. Eating one is like an instant transplant to the streets of New York, and they're just as stunning and delicious as that city itself.

New York City Black & Whites

For Cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large eggs

For Black or White icing
1 1/2 cups icing sugar or 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon clear corn syrup
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water ( approx)
1/4 cup cocoa powder + more to darken as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. In small bowl or cup, mix together buttermilk and vanilla.

Beat butter and white sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or until it's evenly distributed. Add egg to butter and sugar mixture, and beat until blended.

Gradually beat in flour mixture one cup at a time, and add in buttermilk mixture between each cup of flour, and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing.

Spoon batter in 1/4 cup size servings onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake on middle rack for about 15-17 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. Place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before icing.

Stir together icing sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1/2 Tbsp of water in bowl until smooth.
Place half of mixture into separate bowl and add cocoa powder, and remaining water bit by bit until it is the same consistency as the white icing. Add more icing sugar to thicken, until it is smooth and spreadable.
Turn cooled cookies flat side up, and spread icing with pastry spatula or butter knife, putting white over one half and chocolate over the other. Allow the icing to firm up before storing in an airtight container or wrapping individually in plastic wrap.

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