Thursday, April 23, 2009

Black and White Cookies

In case we didn't still have chocolate chip cookies left (we did), I decided that my CogSci class needed cookies. Julia decided they needed frosting, so I found:

I altered it a bit, of course, so here's what I actually did (as Lilly looked on):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2/3 c. milk + 2 t. white vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes to make buttermilk substitute
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg, beating until combined well. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Batter will be the consistency of cake batter, NOT cookie dough.

Using a tablespoon measure (or an ice cream scoop!) spoon tablespoons (ish) of batter onto a greased* baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake until tops are puffed and pale golden, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool while you prepare icing.

*Easy trick for greasing pans: use the wrapper from the stick of butter you just used. There's enough butter left on the wrapper to grease the pan if you just smear it around. (Thanks to Carter for passing on that trick.)

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/2 t. orange extract
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 to 2 T. water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Stir together all but cocoa powder. Divide in half, and add cocoa to one half. Add more water, 1 t. at a time, until the two icings are the same consistency. You're going for thick syrup consistency; it should be both spreadable and drizzle-able. It took me a while to get it to that stage, so don't be afraid to play around with it-- if it gets too thin add more sugar and/or cocoa.

When the cookies are cool, it's time to play with icing! (Over parchment or waxed paper!) The recipe tells you to flip the cookies over and ice the flat sides, so I tried that once. But the cookie wouldn't sit still on its curved side, so all the icing just slid off before it was dry. I gave up and just iced the top sides. I made some that were all chocolate or all vanilla, some that were just artfully drizzled with one or both icings, and then a few half and half. Those were the hardest, because if you put the two icings touching too soon they just bleed together. I would ice each side, one chocolate and one vanilla, leaving a small gap in the middle, and then come back a few minutes later with a toothpick to encourage the semi-solid icing to cover the gap. (You can see why I didn't make very many that way, it takes forever!) The first ones I made were really ugly because my icing was too thin and it just ran off the edges and made a big puddle. (No pictures of those!)

Lilly says: Fine, make more cookies. I'm ignoring you.

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