These New York icons are large, cakey cookies with the tops iced in halves: one side chocolate and the other vanilla.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for your fingers
- 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, plus additional for greasing the baking sheet 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk (regular, low-fat, or fat-free) 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 3 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly grease a large baking sheet and set aside.Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside as well.
Beat the sugar and shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth.
Turn off the beaters, add half the prepared flour mixture, and beat at low speed until the flour has been incorporated but some graininess remains in the batter. Beat in the milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth, then beat in the remaining flour mixture at low speed just until incorporated, just until no rifts of white flour are visible.
Scoop up 1/4 cup of the batter and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Dip your palm in a little flour, then gently press the dough into a 3-inch circle. Continue making more of these dough circles, spacing them about 3 inches apart on the sheet.
Bake until lightly browned at the edges, set on top, but springy in the middle, about 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stirring constantly at first until the corn syrup dissolves and then not at all until the mixture conies to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
Remove the pan front the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar until fully dissolved. Pour half this mixture over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Stir the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla into the remaining sugar mixture in the saucepan.
Frost half of a cookie top with the vanilla icing and the other half with the chocolate icing, making a straight line right through the diameter of the cookies that divides the icings. For color-fast reasons, its best to work with the vanilla before the chocolate. Should either icing become too stiff while you're working with it, put it in a medium bowl that will fit securely over a saucepan with about 1 inch of water brought to a boil over medium-high heat; stir over the heatjust until the icing softens.
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