Ok - these are pink because I took liberties with my own rendition of famed New York Black and White Cookies. This recipe is in The New Best of BetterBaking.com, Marcy Goldman, Whitecap Books, 2009. I like the Black and White Cookie concept but I am not fond of soft cookies – which classic Black and White cookies usually are. Instead, my version is a crisper, butter cookie – not quite as sandy as shortbread but crisp, crunchy and dense. In honor of Sex in the City (which once captivated me), these are half black and half….pink. But make them black and white of course – for the real deal if you like or a variety of half this and half that. Orange tinted, orange flavoured fondant alongside chocolate would be terrific.
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup boiling water
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted
Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper. Line a third baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
For the dough, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl or bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, half-and-half, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir into the wet ingredients to make a firm dough. On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut into rounds and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gather up the scraps once and reroll. Place the doubled baking sheets on the bottom shelf of the oven and the single sheet on the middle shelf. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until deeply golden and slightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough disk. The scraps can be gathered together, wrapped, and chilled, then rerolled.
For the glaze, put the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Gradually stir in the boiling water until smooth. Remove half of the frosting to another bowl and stir in the melted chocolate. With a frosting spatula, decorate one cookie half with white frosting, the other half with chocolate frosting. Let set on the wire racks until thoroughly set.
Makes 11/2 to 2 dozen large cookies
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