Baltimore’s Berger Finest Cookies

"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."
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Ready In:
2 dozen




  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  • To make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder.
  • Beat in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter.
  • Using a muffin scoop, or a 1/4-cup measure, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Flatten 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.
  • Bake 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.
  • You 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.
  • To 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.
  • Heat the mixture till it’s very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.
  • Let cool to room temperature; this will take at least a couple of hours, so plan accordingly.
  • When 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.
  • Spread 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.
  • A heaped tablespoon cookie scoop works very well here.
  • It’ll feel like you’re piling on a lot of icing; that’s precisely the point!
  • Allow to set, then store airtight in a single layer.
  • Yield: 2 dozen 3 ½" cookies.

Questions & Replies

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  1. cUte Kitty pUnk
    I agree, the fudge topping needed something more - I added about a half pound of powdered sugar to them (and I more than halfed the recipe... so take that into account) I just felt like the powdered sugar would help the icing stand up better and sweeten it a bit. I just wish someone could send me a box of Berger cookies - I'd much rather eat the real thing than bake them... luckily I did make the icing before I started the cookies as it says it takes several hours for the icing to cool - take that into account, too.
  2. jnp3211
    Doesn't quite match up tot he Berger but the cookie part actually tastes better but the fudge topping is not the same. Great recipe but not the same.
  3. Cdubs
    King Arthur Flour recipe


The picture above is of my daughter and me, taken about 35 years after the photo she posted on her Zaar page (WeBees); I’m the one in the goofy hat in her picture and she’s the one on the left in my picture. Most of my pre-married life was spent in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area with all the wonderful produce, sea food and wines that the region offers. Five of my teenage years were spent in West Africa with my family (medical missionaries). On our way back to the US we traveled extensively throughout Europe and after marrying my Navy husband, we were moved to Asia. All this said because these travel experiences greatly influenced my interest in cooking and willingness to try new foods. I’ve been with Zaar for about two years and have enjoyed trying new recipes and learning about the person who posted it. There are some crazy, wonderful and talented people out there, not to mention knowledgeable and gracious. It’s been great fun participating in the “Tag” and “Swap” games. <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"><a href="¤t=tish3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Recipezaar Challenge 2008"></a><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=""> Like many other Zaarites, I’ve collected hundreds of cookbooks. My favorites are from places that I‘ve visited around the world as well as my first, given to me by my mother when I went off to college - “The Graham Kerr Cookbook” by the Galloping Gourmet. My oldest cookbook was given to me by my grandmother – “The Boston-School Cook Book” by Fannie Merritt Farmer circa 1896. I’m an Interior Designer but also taught Weight Watchers for about twenty years. It’s tough loving to cook and bake and still keep at a healthy weight!
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