Happy Valentine’s Day! Part Two: Black and White Cookies

February 14, 2011

There has been a lot of pink and red floating around this week, on the interweb and beyond. Don’t get me wrong! I love pink and red with an outrageous girly passion, but wanted to switch it up and treat my friends to something a little different this Valentine’s Day. I’ve been looking forward to making black and whites for the last two weeks, because they are one of my all-time favorite desserts, they act as a kind-of shout out to my partner-in-space living in New York City, AND they look so darn cool.

After perusing a whole lot of recipes and resisting the temptation to take a recipe straight out of Baked Explorations (my obsession with that book is getting ridiculous), I decided to mash some recipes and throw authenticity out the window. These black and whites are tuned to my preferences, a rich and sturdy but still airy, cakey cookie with a ton of glaze, using melted dark chocolate for the black and tons of sugar for the white.

If you like taking pictures of your food, you’ll have a field day taking pictures of black and whites. I didn’t realize just how crazy I’d go with the camera and just how photogenic the black and white glazes are. Originally I planed to write initials with royal icing, or use a stencil to create powdered sugar hearts, but black and whites need no adornments.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Again!

Black and White Cookies

(Recipe forged from Joy the Baker and Baked Explorations)

Yields 15 cookies using a ¼ cup scoop

Ingredients

Cookie:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup buttermilk, or 2/3 cup milk with 1-2 teaspoons vinegar and left to sit for 5 minutes

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

11 tablespoons, roughly 2/3 cup, unsalted butter, cool but not cold

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

Vanilla glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Chocolate glaze:

4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Method

For the cookies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cut butter into tablespoon-size pats and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating and scraping the bottom of the bowl after each addition. Add egg yolk, and beat until combined.

5. Stir vanilla extract into buttermilk.

6. Set mixer to “stir” or low speed, and add sifted flour mixture alternating with buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the addition of flour (3 additions of flour and 2 additions of buttermilk) and mixing just until smooth between each addtion. Scrap the bottom of the bowl and stir at a low speed for about a minute after all ingredients are combined.

7. Using a ¼ cup ice cream scoop, or ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, making sure there are at least 2 inches between each cookie, because they spread big time. I only got 4 cookies to a sheet.

8. Bake sheets one at a time for 15 to 17 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown, rotating sheets halfway through baking time.

9. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, before moving them to a rack to cool completely.

For vanilla glaze:

1. Combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and one tablespoon milk. Mix. Glaze will be thick, but if it is still lumpy, add another tablespoon milk. Use immediately.

For chocolate glaze:

1. Chop or break chocolate into 1-inch pieces.

2. Cut butter into pats.

3. Combine all ingredients and melt, either in a double boiler or microwave.

4. Let cool to room temperature, or cool in fridge for 15 minutes before using.

To assemble cookies:

1. Turn cookies over, so you are frosting the bottom side of the cookie.

2. I usually frost using white first, because that is the glaze that sets fastest. Ice one half of cookie with vanilla.

3. Ice other half of cookie with cooled chocolate glaze.

To store cookies, glazed or unglazed, keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

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