Monday, June 18, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Black & White Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Black & White Cookies - made dough June 3, 2012 from Chocolatier magazine, Spring 2007 edition

Still on a baking rampage.  I've always wanted to make Black and White Cookies which are normally cakey vanilla butter cookies that are glazed half with vanilla icing and half with chocolate icing.  This recipe goes one step further on the chocolate scale and glazes over a chocolate chocolate chip cookie.  Seemed like a good trial run for Black and Whites.

Unfortunately, this isn't an easy dough to do my usual process: make the dough, scoop into dough balls, freeze, bake later.  The dough came out too soft, more like a stiff batter than a typical cookie dough.  So I had to chill the batter for an hour before they became firm enough to even scoop, freeze the dough balls then put them in freezer bags.  And even then, I could only put them in a single layer or else they would soften and stick to each other.  Even when frozen, they didn't get that hard.  That was only strike one against these cookies.  The glaze was strike two.  It wasn't hard to make but the white icing was just a bit too runny so once it was on the cookie, it became more opaque rather than staying white.  Plus, let's face it, I'm not the best icer in the world and my black and whites didn't turn out perfectly iced.

But here's the kicker - these cookies are amazing.  As in, really, really good.  Had-more-than-1-cookie good.  They were more like little cakes in cookie form, not too sweet, not too rich but just right.  I think I baked the first baked to just done but the second batch which I underbaked was even better.  So shave a minute off the baking time in your oven and take them off the hot cookie sheet as soon as possible so they don't continue baking.  I liked them best when the edges were baked and the middles were just barely past raw-looking.  If you bake them long enough for the middles to puff and look done, they might be overbaked.  If you don't want to bother with the glazes, the cookies are perfectly fine eaten plain.

Chocolate-chocolate chip cookies
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (10 2/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups (about 8 ounces) premium semisweet chocolate chips

Vanilla and cocoa glazes
4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
4 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
10 tablespoons hot water, divided
1 – 1 ½ teaspoons pure almond extract, to taste
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa powder, sifted

1.     Make chocolate-chocolate chip cookies: Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2.    Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Mix well. Set aside.
3.    Place softened butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Beat on medium to medium-high speed just until butter is smooth and creamy.  Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
4.    Turn mixer to low speed.  Add reserved flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.  Mix just until each addition is incorporated, as over-mixing can lead to a rubbery cookie.  Stir in vanilla extract and chocolate chips.
5.    Using 1-ounce (2 tablespoon) scoop, place level scoop of dough about 1 ½” apart on prepared cookie sheets.  Bake about 15 to 17 minutes, or until cookie bottoms are lightly browned and tops are dull (I found the best baking time in my oven was ~12-13 minutes).  Transfer immediately to racks to cool.  Cool completely.  Store in airtight containers at room temperature until ready to glaze.
6.    Prepare plain glaze: (Note: If made too far in advance, glaze can partially set up, making it difficult to smoothly ice cookies.) Prepare glaze only after cookies are cool and when you are sure to have time to complete the icing task.  Combine confectioners’ sugar, cream of tartar, corn syrup and enough hot water (about 5 tablespoons) to make thick, but easily spreadable glaze.  Whisk well to remove any sugar lumps.  (Whisking will also make glaze appear whiter and more opaque.)
7.    Flavor glazes: Stir in almond extract and then divide glaze into two equal portions.  Add sifted cocoa powder to one half and whisk again to break apart any cocoa lumps.  Gradually add hot water (about 5 tablespoons) to cocoa mixture until it is same consistency as plain glaze.  To keep glazes from drying out, cover them flush with plastic wrap whenever they’re not in use.
8.    Decorate cookies: Fill one parchment paper cone halfway with plain glaze and another with cocoa glaze.  Cut small (less than 1/8” diameter) hole in tip of each cone.  Reserve rest of glaze for cookie base-coats.  Working with one cookie at a time, use small offset spatula to paint thin base-coat of cocoa (or plain) glaze over entire cookie bottom (flat side).  Before glaze sets up, pipe contrasting plain (or cocoa) glaze in spiral on top of base-coat.  To create a marbled pattern, immediately draw a toothpick or trussing needle through two glazes.
9.    Let glaze dry at room temperature about 1-2 hours before handling or packaging cookies.  Store at room temperature in airtight containers.  Cookies, glazed or unglazed, are best eaten within a few days.