Wednesday, June 11, 2008


If you'ver never lived in or visited Baltimore, you may not have heard of or tasted Berger cookies. They're a product of that city's DeBaufre Bakeries and are a close relation to New York City's Black and Whites (aka Half and Halfs). These cake-like, jumbo-sized cookies are piled with thick, rich chocolate icing -- the thicker the better, up to 1/2" of icing atop each 1/2" thick cookies. Note that the cookies themselves are rather dry, so the over-the-top amount of icing -- rather than being too much -- ends up being just right. At first -- tasting the freshly set iced cookies -- I disagreed. They just seemed too rich, too overly sweet chocolatey. But the next day was a different story. I gobbled down 3 of them and had to stop myself from eating more. Once that chocolate frosting sets, it thickens up and perfectly complements the cakey vanilla-flavored cookie. You can order Berger Cookies online, or you can make the King Arthur copykat version. They're not hard to make. At about $5/lb., it's worth it to make them.

King Arthur has covered these cookies both on their regular website, and on their blog, They call these cookies "Baltimore's Finest." This is one recipe that you can duplicate as is, with no changes, additions or deletions. It's perfect. Just don't eat them right away. They need to set.

P. S. The grand opening of my friend's photography studio is tomorrow, so I won't be posting a recipe tomorrow. Guy and I are heading to the opening, then on to Morehead City for a shopping day and a nice fish dinner at Atlantic Beach's top-rated Island Grille Restaurant.
King Arthur's Copykat Berger Cookies, aka Baltimore's Finest
Rating: 8 out of 10
Rich Chocolate Icing:
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup (6 oz.) heavy cream
1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) confectioner's (10X) sugar, sifted

1/3 cup (5-1/3 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup milk

To make the icing: Place the chips, corn syrup, and cream into a large microwave-safe bowl, or into a large saucepan. Heat the mixture till it's very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Beat in the 10X sugar. Let cool to warm room temperature while you make the cookies.

To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix till smooth. Combine flour and baking powder and add to wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there's no need to beat the batter. Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2" -
2-1/2" between cookies. Using wet fingers, slightly flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 1-1/2" across. The cookies will look ridiculously small; don't worry, they spread and puff up.
Bake cookies 9-12 minutes, or until they're a mottled brown on the bottom, but not colored on top. You may see the barest hint of browning around the edges, but these cookies are supposed to be soft and cake-like, so don't overbake them.
Carefully tilt one of the cookies up to look at the bottom -- see the mottled brown on the bottom? Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using the now-cooled frosting, you're supposed to dip the flat bottom of each cookie into the icing, swirling the cookie around to really give it a good coating, then you put extra icing on top of that. You can see photos of how to do this on the KA blog. I decided to just use a spatula to put the icing on top of the flat side of the cookie, and found this much easier. Store airtight in a single layer. This frosting is soft and will not harden completely, so you can't set the cookies one on top of the other. Yield: 28 2-1/4" cookies. (I got 43 1-3/4" - 2" cookies, and mine took 9 minutes to bake.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: Thenk you very much