This is a miniature version of a New York favorite – a cakey cookie with sweet halfmoons of vanilla and chocolate icing.

For the cookies:

1-1/4 cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup well shaken buttermilk

½ teaspoon vanilla

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

For the icings:

2-3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon vanilla

4 to 6 tablespoons water

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

Special equipment:

a small offset spatula


1.   Make cookies:  Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350*.  Butter 2 large baking sheets.

2.   Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

3.  Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beating until just smooth.

4.   Drop rounded teaspoons of batter 1 inch apart onto baking sheets.  Bake, switching positions of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed, edges are pale golden and cookies spring back when touched, 6 to 8 minutes total.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

5.   Make icings while cookies cool:  Stir together confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until smooth.  If icing is not easily spreadable, add more water, ½ teaspoon at a time.  Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, ½ teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as vanilla icing.  Cover the surface with a dampened paper rowel, then cover bowl with plastic wrap.

6.   Ice cookies:  With offset spatula, spread white icing over half of flat side of each cookie.  Starting with cookies you iced first, spread chocolate icing over other half.

NOTE:   Once icing is dry, cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature for four days.

from Gourmet Magazine, December, 2005

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