Cucina Casalingo's Note:
Baltimore’s storied Berger cookies, a product of that city’s DeBaufre Bakeries, are a close relation to New York City’s Black and Whites (a.k.a. Half and Halfs). These cake-like, jumbo-sized cookies are piled with thick, rich chocolate icing—the thicker the better, up to ½" of icing atop each ½"-thick cookie. Note that the cookies themselves are rather dry, so the over-the-top amount of icing—rather than being too much—ends up being just right.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
Rich Chocolate Icing
- 1Preheat the oven to 400°F
- 2Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- 3To make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder.
- 4Beat in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- 5Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
- 6Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter.
- 7Using a muffin scoop, or a 1/4-cup measure, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- 8Flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 3" across; wet your fingers or a knife, or grease the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to do this. Leave 2" to 2 ½" between each cookie, for expansion.
- 9Bake the cookies for about 11 minutes, or until they’re a mottled brown on the bottom (carefully tilt one up to look), but not colored on top.
- 10You may see the barest hint of browning around the edges, but these cookies are supposed to be soft and cake-like, so don’t over-bake them. Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- 11To make the icing: Place the chocolate chips, baking chocolate, corn syrup, butter, and cream into a large microwave-safe bowl, or into a large saucepan.
- 12Heat the mixture till it’s very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles.
- 13Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.
- 14Let cool to room temperature; this will take at least a couple of hours, so plan accordingly.
- 15When completely cool, beat with an electric mixer for 6 to 7 minutes, until the icing lightens in color just a bit, and thickens just slightly.
- 16Spread each cookie with a generous 3 tablespoons icing (about 42g, about 1 1/2 ounces), leaving ¼" bare around the outside edge of each cookie.
- 17A heaped tablespoon cookie scoop works very well here.
- 18It’ll feel like you’re piling on a lot of icing; that’s precisely the point!
- 19Allow to set, then store airtight in a single layer.
- 20Yield: 2 dozen 3 ½" cookies.
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Nutritional Facts for Baltimore’s Berger Finest Cookies
Serving Size: 1 (2673 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 5202.5
- Calories from Fat 2829
- Total Fat 314.4 g
- Saturated Fat 190.4 g
- Cholesterol 883.9 mg
- Sodium 2602.8 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 597.8 g
- Dietary Fiber 34.5 g
- Sugars 318.6 g
- Protein 67.1 g