Recipe: Small black and whites
Cookie exchange tip: You can sprinkle a little red or green decorating sugar on the white frosting to add a festive twist to these already-handsome cookies. Store them in a single layer on 1 or more plates or trays, covered with waxed paper, until serving, then present them in a straw basket with a large red bow tied around the handle for a splash of colour.
- 4 cups cake flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups vegetable shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup water
- 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3 to 4 tablespoons water or milk, as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease or spray cookie sheets.
2 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3 In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the shortening and granulated sugar on medium speed until light, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the dry milk powder and corn syrup. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the water and vanilla. The dough will be firm.
4 Pinch off pieces of dough and roll between your palms into 1 ¼ -inch balls. Set on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
5 Bake in the center of the oven until firm when lightly touched with a fingertip and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
6 Prepare the icing. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Add the corn syrup, 2 tablespoons of the water, and the vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, adding more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to make a smooth, spreadable icing. (Or, you can use a food processor to make the icing, omitting the sifting and processing until smooth and spreadable.)
7 Transfer half of the icing to another bowl and stir in the cocoa powder, adding more water, ½ teaspoon at a time, as needed to thin to the same consistency as the white icing. Cover both icings with plastic wrap until ready to use.
8 To ice the cookies, using an icing spatula, spread a thin layer of the white icing over half of the top of each cookie. Starting with the cookies you iced first (so the white icing has time to dry), spread the chocolate icing over the other half. Let the cookies stand until the icing dries.
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From Very Merry Cookie Party: How to Plan and Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange by Barbara Grunes, Virginia Van Vynct, and France Ruffenach. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright 2010 by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.