French Black and White Cookies

FOR THE DOUGH:
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

FOR THE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons high quality unsweetened cocoa powder

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla on medium speed. Add the salt and flour, mixing on low until just incorporated, adding a tablespoon or so of cold water if the dough does not come together. Cut into 2 balls, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bring the dough almost to room temperature and roll out into a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters about 3 inches across. Put on the cookie sheets, leaving about an inch between the cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly golden brown on the edges, rotating the sheets halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a medium bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and 3 tablespoons water in a bowl, adding more water a teaspoon at a time if needed to make a smooth, spreadable but not too runny frosting. Spoon about half of the frosting in a small bowl and stir in the cocoa powder, and a teaspoon or so of water, to make a spreadable frosting. Add the remaining teaspoon vanilla to the other bowl.

4. Once the cookies have cooled, using an offset spatula or a kitchen knife, spread half of each cookie with the white frosting and the other half with the cocoa frosting.

Yield: About 20 black and white cookies

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