Saturday, March 16, 2013
Gluten Free Black and White Cookies
My sister Rachel has lived in New York several different times (for internships and things) and she would usually come back bearing gifts . . . usually Black and White Cookies. Black and White Cookies are a New York City specialty. (Well, my brother spent a couple of years in upstate New York, and he said they were also sold there . . . but they certainly don't sell them anywhere in Utah.) They are . . . amazing. It's almost like someone cut the top off a cupcake, flipped it upside down, and covered the flat part with smooth, smooth vanilla and chocolate deliciousness. Okay, that doesn't sound nearly as yummy as it really is. I tell you, these things are FABULOUS. The cookies are really good on their own, but (for me, anyway) the fondant icing pushes them over the edge of good into spectacular. (Have I used enough superlatives yet? Probably not. I don't think there ARE enough superlatives to describe these cookies!)
There are all sorts of recipes for Black and White Cookies floating around the web. Rachel and I tried a couple a few years ago and then gave up in despair. They were never right . . . especially not the icing part. Most of the recipes tell you to combine powdered sugar and stuff to make a vanilla glaze. DON'T DO IT! IT'S VILE! Blech! Blech! Yucky! Shudder! Ewwwww. It may be easy to do, but it's so gross to eat that it's just plain pointless. Plus, it ruins the cookies underneath. Those icing recipes dissuaded Rachel and me from trying to make Black and White Cookies from scratch. Ever.
Well, Rachel went back to NYC in January and I almost immediately started craving Black and White Cookies again. Unfortunately, I knew that she would not be coming back for at least 4 months. So I decided to do a little more research. I looked on YouTube for videos about making B&W cookies. I googled recipes. I discovered that the topping that was really needed was a poured fondant. I also discovered that poured fondant takes a little time and effort to get it right - but it's SO worth it. I have made these cookies about a dozen times in the last 3 months. I have also eaten WAY more of them than I ought to have. But they are SO good, they're practically irresistible. Besides, look how cute I made them look on Valentine's Day:
So . . . recipe. I'm going to put the fondant recipe in its own blog post because it really is its own thing. (I'm going to use fondant to make lemony petit fours as a birthday treat this afternoon . . . just because I can.) I'll link it back here, though, so you can easily find it when you are making these.
Gluten Free Black and White Cookies
3 3/4 c. EGF all purpose flour mix
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (dried or fresh)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl (or measuring cup . . . whatever). In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and lemon zest and mix well.
Alternately add flour and buttermilk to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix well after each addition, scraping sides occasionally. Mix until smooth.
Place 2 - 4 Tbs of cookie batter on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. (The cookies that you buy in New York are really big . . . probably four inches in diameter. If you want to make them that big, you'll need to use 4 Tbs. of batter. I usually make them smaller so I can spread the joy farther.) Bake 13 - 15 minutes (smaller cookies bake faster), or until the edges are starting to brown. (The undersides of the cookies should be a golden brown, but the tops of the cookies will still be rather pale. They shouldn't collapse if you lightly touch one, though . . . being careful not to burn yourself, obviously.) Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool.
Once cookies are cool, ice the first half of the cookies with Vanilla Poured Fondant. After you've finished icing the vanilla halves of all the cookies, make the rest of your Vanilla Fondant into Chocolate Poured Fondant. Ice the other half of your cookies. Allow fondant to set up. Enjoy!