Yes, this would have been a great post for December with all the cookie exchanges going on but now it’s January and aren’t you missing all the holiday baking? I say, it most definitely doesn’t have to end. Why not keep such a great thing going, right?
With my love of Italian food I decided to add a fancy Italian spin on the traditional black and white cookies. I added salted pistachios, vanilla beans and freeze dried strawberries which not only adds delicious flavors, but bold and beautiful colors to the contemporary black and white pattern. The strawberries are optional, as you can see I didn’t add it to all of mine but it definitely adds one more layer of bold, fruity flavor, which of course is the perfect compliment to any type of chocolate. You can also make some with only strawberries on one half and leave the other half plain, which would be perfect for Valentines Day coming up.
You’ll love all the different textures going on in this cookie. You start with a soft and cake-like cookie base, which is similar to the feel of a spongecake, then it’s coated with two icings, one sweet vanilla, and one dark chocolate and it’s finished with salty and crunchy pistachios and those optional dried berries which add such a nice little, tart zip. Cookies don’t need to be boring and these are proof of that. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon or orange zest
- Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean I sell them! or 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup, divided
- 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped, roasted and salted pistachios (unsalted can also be used if preferred)
- Crushed freeze dried strawberries, to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar, lemon zest and vanilla beans (if using vanilla wait to add) on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending until combined after each addition (and blending in vanilla if using, with second egg). With mixer set on low speed and working in three separate batches, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk and mixing just until combined after each addition. Drop dough about 3 Tbsp at a time (I just left out about 1 Tbsp using a 1/4 cup measuring cup) onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets (I only fit 6 per sheet). Bake in preheated oven until centers are just set, about 14 - 16 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.
- Spread vanilla icing over half of the flat side of each cookie then return to wire rack and sprinkle with pistachios and allow to rest until nearly set, about 15 minutes. Spread chocolate icing over uncoated halves of cookies, sprinkle with freeze dried strawberries if using, and allow to rest at room temperature until set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- For vanilla icing:
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp corn syrup, 1 1/2 Tbsp water, and the vanilla extract. Add additional water to thin as needed 1/2 tsp at a time (should be a thick glaze so it doesn't just run of but should spread easily).
- For the chocolate icing:
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and butter on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Stir in 1 Tbsp corn syrup.
- Recipe Source: Adapted lightly from Gourmet via Epicurious