Lots of times you get recipes for things that are aphrodisiacs. But this little number is based on that classic riddle.
What’s black, white, and red all over?
It’s not even remotely healthy. When I offered it last night a baker friend was appalled because it had red food coloring. Did I mention that we were at a dessert exchange? Not exactly a bastion of good health when the primary offering is beautiful and delicious sugar.
The answer to the question is…
16 oz. cake flour (yes it makes a difference if it’s weighed & yes, cake flour is specialty flour)
½ t baking powder
½ t. salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
10 oz. sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 oz. red food coloring
1 T. cocoa
For the icings
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (not diet chocolate, not bittersweet), finely chopped
¼ c. light corn syrup (I know it does seem like the devil’s food, but what are you gonna do?)
16 oz powdered sugar
½ t vanilla extract
Cookie Baking Time
Pre-heat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (trust me far less mess).
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
Make a paste by mixing the cocoa with 1 oz. of the food coloring. Set aside.
Beat butter, with a mixer, until creamy (it’s already soft so this should be a whiz). Stir in sugar, mixing until the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Scrape down bowl, including the bottom. Add 1 oz of food coloring and the cocoa paste. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk until just mixed.
Don’t worry; this will have a texture far more akin to cake batter versus cookie batter.
Use a ¼ c. round dry measure, put six mounds of dough two inches a part on each baking sheet. Moisten your fingers, you can wear a thin food service glove if you like, and press each cookie into a big disk, apx. 2 ½ inches wide. Bake for 10 minutes. Then rotate the sheets with the front of the sheet going to the back and the top sheet switched with the bottom sheet (get it, even distribution). Bake for another 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Tip: I cleared the dining room table, spread parchment across the table and used an oven rack (who has that many wire racks?) to cook the cookies.
Cooking the Icings
Put bowl of chopped chocolate over a simmering pot to melt. Keep a bit of low heat on this; otherwise it’s going to be a hot mess. At the same time (yep, use 1 of your other burners) boil the water with the corn syrup in a different sauce pan. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Scoop ¾ c. of vanilla icing into the bowl of melted chocolate & whisk it until smooth. Both of these icings should be thinner than frosting, but thicker than a glaze. That’s the elusive texture you are striving for.
Painting the Masterpieces
Have the vanilla icing close to hand and using a spoon; ladle a couple of tablespoons of the icing onto half of the cookie. Tilt the cookie and using a small offset spatula scrape off the excess icing from the edge of the cookie. Work fast! Place the vanilla iced cookies on the wire rack and let them rest for 20 minutes so that the icing can harden.
Now take your thin hot chocolate icing and ladle a couple of tablespoons of chocolate icing onto the other half of the cookie. Again, you are going to tilt the cookie and run the spatula around the edges to remove the excess icing.
Walk away from these beauties for at least two hours so that the icings can set.