Thursday, June 25, 2009

Black and White

Last night we attended a delightful piano recital at Ellen Johansen's Music Studio in East Hampton. Ellen is one of the most inspired and inspiring teachers I've ever met, and her students play with sensitivity and amazing skill. After enjoying a well-rounded program that included a Haydn Quadrille, a Persichetti March, a Beethoven Sonatina, and a Chopin Waltz, we enjoyed dessert in Ellen's dining room. What to bring to such an occasion? These Mini Black and White Cookies were just the thing.

Mini Black and White Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies

For the cookies:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

For the white icing:
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the black icing:
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
3. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat at medium speed until combined. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, add the flour in 2 additions and the sour cream in 1 addition at low speed until combined.
5. Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. With a moistened palm, slightly flatten each mound. Bake until the cookies are dry and just golden on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, and then transfer with a spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Make the white icing: Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cream, and lemon juice until smooth. Use a small metal spatula to spread the icing on one half of the top of each cookie. Let the cookies stand for 15 minutes to allow the icing to firm up.
7. Make the black icing: Place the heavy cream in a c in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until it just comes to a boil. Add the chocolate chips and corn syrup and whisk until smooth. Spread the icing on the other half of each cookie. Let the cookies stand until the icing is set, about 1 hour.


  1. Sounds like the piano recital was a blast... and those black and white cookies look scrumptious!

  2. It really was wonderful. It helps to have a teacher who is an artist and kids who are so into it.