Lemon and Cherry-Vanilla Cookies

 Oh the omnipresent black and white cookie. A rather simple and elegant dessert. Actually, it brings to mind more than anything else the episode of Seinfeld where the gang is double parked outside a bakery and Jerry throws up after eating a black and white cookie. I have a tendency to remember things is terms of food, which is why I remember this episode so well. The last time I remember seeing it I was about 12, but the black and white cookie stuck in my head. So in honor of that episode, my treasured Baked cookbook, and springtime are these lemon and cherry-vanilla black and white cookies. The cookie is really more of a cake and the icing is merely a mixture of half and half and powdered sugar. But together, they are magic. Make them with a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup and you won't be dissapointed by the size.

Vanilla Cookie

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 sticks salted butter at room temp
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tbl pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and beat in each egg and the yolk, being careful to beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 10 seconds. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 increments, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla until just combined.

Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup scoop out cookie dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Leave about 3 inches around each cookie. You should be able to fit about 6 cookies on each sheet.

Bake for 17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the top springs back when touched. Let cool for 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla, Cherry, and Lemon Icing

4 cups powdered sugar
6 tbl half and half
2 tbl grenadine
couple drops cherry flavoring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp natural lemon extract
yellow food coloring

Divide the powdered sugar among three bowls, put 2 cups in one bowl and one cup in the other bowls.

To make the white vanilla icing: Add 4 tbl half and half and the vanilla extract to the bowl with the 2 cups of powdered sugar and stir vigorously until smooth.

To make the pink cherry icing: Add the grenadine and cherry flavoring to one of the bowls containing 1 cup of powdered sugar and stir vigorously until smooth.

To make the lemon icing: Add remaining 2 tbl half and half, lemon extract, and a couple drops of yellow food coloring to the remaining 1cup of powdered sugar and stir vigorously to combine.

To ice cookies: Using an offset spatula spread vanilla icing on half of each cookie and allow to dry for 20 minutes. Finish by spreading half of the cookies with lemon icing and half with cherry. This does not have to look perfect as it will just look homemade, but if desired use a pastry bag to outline a half moon shape with each icing and then fill in. Sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles.

Adapted from Baked Explorations

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