Monday, February 11, 2013

Berger Cookies

I love a day when I learn something new! And I particularly love a day when I learn something new about food, obsessive that I am. (Really, truly - if you only knew how my brain spins ....)

So, in making plans for my Super Bowl array last week, I started out by thinking of where the game was being played - New Orleans, one of the great culinary cities on the planet. And I looked at the two football cities being represented by the Harbaugh brothers, the head coaches who were raised in Ann Arbor (we're so proud!) before meeting up in the biggest game of their careers: Jim, former quarterback for the University of Michigan, and John.  Their teams hailed from San Francisco and Baltimore, respectively. I started to pore through recipe ideas from each place.

And that's when I learned about a new cookie - whee! Apparently Berger cookies are a Baltimore classic ... who knew? I sure didn't. But now I do.

According to Wikipedia:

"Berger Cookies are ... vanilla wafers topped with a thick layer of chocolate fudge that derives from a German recipe, and are a cultural icon of Baltimore."

Well, what better dessert to go with my California-inspired sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches??? Both coasts found a home at the party!

Simple and delicious, Berger cookies are perfect for any occasion. The cookie base is very tender; the chocolate glaze is stellar - shiny, rich, smooth. And the cookies are very easy to make, with a tremendous reward awaiting you once they're ready to eat.

The entire batch of these cookies - all 60 of 'em - was devoured within 48 hours. They are really, really good!

Berger Cookies
(adapted from a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website)

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups + 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
4-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, salt, vanilla seeds, and 1-1/2 cups sugar. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in 2-1/2 cups flour, then stir in milk; stir in last 2 cups flour.

Roll dough into golfball-sized rounds. Place 2" apart onto prepared baking sheet.

Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl. Dip a glass into the sugar, then use the glass to flatten one of the balls of dough. Repeat dipping glass and flattening dough with remaining cookies.

Bake for 12 minutes until cookies are set. Cool on a rack and repeat with remaining dough.

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Place chocolate, corn syrup, and half-and-half into a small saucepan; melt chocolate over low heat and stir until smooth.

Whisk in half of confectioners' sugar until icing is smooth; whisk in remaining confectioners' sugar, and let cool to room temperature. Whisk again when ready to spread icing onto cookies.

One by one, generously spread icing onto cookies. Let icing set, then serve.

Makes approximately 60 cookies.


Unknown said...

What? A cookie I haven't hear of before? Well, at least I've heard of them now... I will be making these soon! I never pass up a chance to try a new cookie!! YUM!

Chris said...

I'm with Jenn, never heard of these cute little guys. Maybe it's because I have never been to Baltimore.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

This is so incredible. I grew up in Houston (not far from LA) and my grocery store as a kid sold these. I was JUST telling my husband I couldn't get them out of my head but also couldn't find out what the heck they were called either and boom - here you've posted them! This is so amazing - truly makes me love food blogs. Thanks so much for sharing - can't wait to make!!

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