So for those of you who don't know, my husband grew up in New York. Specifically the Bronx. So when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday this year, he said he wanted me to try to make authentic New York Black and White Cookies. Not exactly what I had in mind, but hey, it's his birthday after all.
So I started to think of where I might find a recipe. I picked up my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and low and behold, there was a recipe! Not to mention wonderful tips and pictures (thank you Martha!) That's what I love about this book. Awesome step by step instructions and pictures for every single recipe. That being said, this is actually the first recipe I've made from this cookbook (that I received from a friend in December) I'm not very good at remembering to look through my cookbooks! I normally use online websites or recommendations from friends. Anyway, I've been meaning to bake something from this book since the day I got it and this was a perfect inaugural recipe :-)
Anyway, as I suspected, Martha did not disappoint me, or my New Yorker husband. These cookies were incredible. I'm considering making just the cookies again, without the frosting. They were just so sweet and cakey and delicious! One teensy adjustment that I would make next time is to not use lemon juice in the frosting. It was a bit overpowering. I think next time I'll just use milk. Martha says these cookies are better the next day and she is right. They were good the day I made them, but after sitting on the table wrapped in plastic overnight, they were even better. Well, the ones that were left anyway. See, my lovely dog ate all but 3 while we were sleeping. Argh! All that hard work. Oh well, I definitely learned my lesson about leaving the dog and the cookies out overnight :-)
Black and White cookies (source: Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup plus 3 tbsps sugar
2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
Black and White Icings ( recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of and electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add whole eggs and egg yolk, one at a time; beat until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the cream. Beat until just combined (do not overmix).
Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop dough 3 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the edges begin to turn golden and the centers are cakey and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from parchment and let cool completely.
On the flat side (bottom) of each cookie, use a small offset spatula to spread chocolate icing over one half of the cookie, creating a straight line down the center. Spread white frosting on the other half. Set cookies aside until icing is set, about 30 minutes. Makes about 18 cookies.
Black and White Icings
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
Whisk sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tbsp water in a bowl until smooth. Add more water, if needed, until mixture is slightly thicker than honey. Set aside half of the sugar mixture (for white icing). Stir cocoa into remaining sugar mixture to combine (for black icing); thin with water if needed. Use immediately.
Maura approves :-)