I have loved this cookie for as long as I can remember. Borderline cake really is a good way to describe it. Underneath the layer of dueling glaze lay a pillow like cloud of soft cookie heaven, standing at about an inch thick, at the center point and tapering down toward the edges. When ever I make these cookies I also go big, in homage to what you would find smiling back at you from behind the glass at the local bakery.
When making these most recently, a hot day in July, and in true form to New York summer weather, I made a misstep in creating these confections. With the heat and humidity at a high, along with with my ever present impatience, I frosted those cookies too soon out of the oven and those divided lines between chocolate and vanilla blended together in a lovely ombré of flavor. Yes, it was an error, but a delicious one I promise as my impatience got the better of me again and I didn’t even wait to have one until after the icing was set. Perhaps my mistake will become a signature of future batches as there have been plenty of errors in the kitchen over the years and many of those wrong turns lead me down the path of just right anyway, dare I say even spectacular at times.
Black and White Cookies
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt ½ cup (1stick) butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1/3 cup sour cream ½ cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp almond extract 1 tbsp lemon zest
5 cups confectioners sugar, divided ¼ cup milk 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 tbsp hot water *(more if needed) Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Over a medium bowl and into a hand sifter, measure your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and sift together. Set aside.
In a separate larger bowl, with an electric mixer, blend your butter and sugar until creamy, add eggs one at a time and blend until pale and fluffy. Next add sour cream, milk, vanilla and almond extracts and lemon zest, mixing until smooth. In two additions, add your dry flour ingredients, blending thoroughly between additions. The mixture will appear like thick cake batter.
Scoop 1/3 cup portions of batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet spaced apart. Do not fit more than 5 cookies per sheet, as they will expand. Place baking sheets in the center racks of preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies have risen and set. Remove from heat and cool.
While cookies are baking and cooling, make your glazes. In a medium bowl, measure 5 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 5 tbsp hot water and a pinch of salt, mix thoroughly. The icing should appear thick like school glue. *If the glaze is too thick and having a hard time coming together, add additional hot water, ½ tablespoon at a time. Divide glaze between two bowls, setting one aside.
In a small saucepan, heat ¼ cup milk until it just comes up to a boil. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate, a pinch of salt and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Once melted, stir the chocolate into the hot milk until smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate into one of the divided bowls of glaze and stir thoroughly. Now you have both your vanilla and chocolate glazes.
Once cookies are cooled, with an offset spatula or table knife, frost each side of the flat, underside of the cookies, half vanilla, and the other half chocolate. Place cookies on a cooling rack or tray to set, about an hour. Cookies can be stored and will remain fresh in an airtight container, divided by parchment or wax paper if stacking, for up to five days, if they last that long. Enjoy!
~Makes approximately 10 large cookies.
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