Recipes: Lemony Slice-and-Bakes and Black and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Although I’ve enjoyed the quiet of my own house for the past couple of days (did I mention my last day of work was Monday and I don’t have to do back until January 3rd? That’s right. I have two weeks off. It’s been awesome.), it’s really a lot more fun to bake with someone else. So, I  headed over to my aunt’s house this morning, where we cranked up the Christmas music, drank some coffee, and got to work.

Side note. My aunt has the most adorable dog. She’s named Sally and she’s awesome. I mean, look at this face. It’s the reason why we couldn’t get mad when she stole a butter cookie right off the table. She also gives really good hugs. Seriously. This dog is a hugger.

Sally in her holiday best

Now to the cookies.

My aunt had made all of her dough in advance for chocolate chips, butter cookies and nut balls which were a special request from my mom (I’m sure I could make some kind of joke here about my mom. But it’s Christmas and I don’t want her to take my presents back. (I love you, mommy)). So, she just had to roll and/or cut and bake.

Aunt's Cookies

In the meantime, I worked on lemon and black and white cookies.

The lemon cookies were a new recipe I found Bon Appetit magazine. They are a slice and bake variety, which I have decided I kind of don’t like making. I can never roll the dough the right way so the cookies invariably end up with squared off edges when they should be round. And, I’m kind of terrible with a knife so they end up with varying degrees of thickness, which results in some getting burned. Anyway, the majority of them turned out just fine in this case and are pretty delicious in spite of the fact that they look absolutely nothing like the picture in the magazine. Appearances aren’t everything, right?

The cookies themselves have texture similar to shortbread and have just a subtle hint of lemon, since the zest is incorporated into the batter. The powdered sugar/lemon juice icing really punches up the flavor. These would be a great summer cookie, too.

I’ve made these black and white chocolate chunk cookies a million times before, since they are Chester’s favorites. I got the recipe from somewhere on the Internets, but I wrote it down so long ago, I can’t remember exactly where I found it. The best part is that they are drop cookies, which means I can use my cookie scoop to make everything a nice, uniform size.

Chopping up the three bars of white chocolate that the recipe calls is a bit time consuming, but you should not be tempted to take a shortcut by using white chocolate chips. I’ve tried gone this route the end result was just not the same. The chips made everything just a little too sweet for my taste and something was off with the texture—the chips almost seemed to get lost, whereas the chunks of chocolate add a bit more substance to the fudgy batter (You could also add pecans, if you would like, but I skip this).

It was a productive day, overall. Thanks, Aunt, for letting me assist in making a mess of your kitchen. It was fun!

With three more days until Christmas, what have you made so far?

Lemony Slice-and-Bakes

From: Bon Appetit

Makes about 50 cookies (if you cut them all evenly and don’t burn any. Not everyone is this skilled).

What you will need

Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks

Icing

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Sanding sugar (optional)

What to do

Cookies

  1. Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add egg yolks; beat just to blend. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat, occasionally scraping down sides, just to blend.
  3. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 10″-long log about 1 3/4″ in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap 1 dough log. Using a sharp, lightly floured knife, cut log into 1/4″-thick rounds. Transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1″ apart.
  5. Bake until cookies are firm and golden brown around edges, 16–18 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough log.
  6. To prepare icing, whisk sugar and 2 Tbsp. juice in a small bowl, adding more juice by 1/2-teaspoonfuls if too thick. Spread or drizzle icing over cookies. Decorate as desired. Let stand until icing sets, about 10 minutes.

Black and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

From: ?

Makes about 3 dozen

What you will need

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz chopped white chocolate for baking

What to do

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
    3. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars, shortening, and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
    4. Add dry ingredients a little at a time until incorporated.
    5. Add white chocolate chunks
    6. Drop by tablespoonfuls on baking sheets. Bake until just set, about 13 minutes

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