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black & white cookies

3.24.2010

Last weekend I attended a 5th Anniversary picnic for my friends Anna & David. I wanted to bring them something home baked and decided on classic black & white cookies. These cookies are a favorite bakery treat of mine, but this was my first attempt at making them at home. This recipe worked great, but things got amusing when my husband (who is a die hard east coaster) insisted that they didn't count as true black & white cookies unless they were BIG. So when my palm sized cookies didn't meet his standard of excellence, he took the remaining batter and made some giant cookies. And I mean giant... which of course didn't fit in the cute box I'd designed & labeled for the party. Admittedly though, the giant cookies were just as delicious and way more fun to eat, so feel free to experiment with the recipe for yourself.



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Black and White Cookies

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
makes about about 12-24 cookies depending on size

Ingredients
Cookies
4 cups (16 ounces) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup whole milk
Icings
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
5 cups (20 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2-4 tablespoons water

Directions
1. For the cookies: Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture, and the remaining milk. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until combined.

4. Scoop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Use the back of a spoon or your finger dipped in water to smooth the tops of the cookies. Bake the cookies until the edges are just beginning to turn light golden brown, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking.

5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Repeat with the remaining dough using cooled, freshly lined baking sheets.

6. For the icings: Bring the corn syrup and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Measure half of the icing into a separate bowl and whisk in the melted chocolate and 2 to 4 tablespoons of water as needed until the mixture is smooth and spreadable.

7. Place 2 large wire racks over parchment paper for easy clean up. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate icing over half of each cookie with a small spatula, then let sit on the wire racks until the icing has just set, about 15 minutes. Spread the vanilla icing over half of each cookie and let sit until the icings have hardened, about 1 hour before serving.

Kelley at My Island Wedding (March 24, 2010 at 1:19 PM)  

love this post! did you ever see the Seinfeld episode about them??? too funny!

hope you had fun at the party...
-kelley

Save the Date for Cupcakes (March 24, 2010 at 5:26 PM)  

I love how the tag matches the cookies! So cute!!

article (March 25, 2010 at 6:58 AM)  

These are dainty cookies. I must agree the tag is cute. I'm sure these cookies taste yummy. These are instant hits in picnics.
traditional picnic baskets

Bank On (March 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM)  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cornflake (March 25, 2010 at 4:26 PM)  

Trust boys to make things bigger! So funny.

Lovely cookies, they look yum. What a thoughtful gift.

Mrs. P (April 1, 2010 at 5:40 PM)  

love B&W cookies! thanks for the reminder :)

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