There are two reasons I prefer to grocery shop by myself. The first is that Dan has a bad case of parking lot rage. He can’t even be passenger in a car that’s in a crowded parking lot without getting all cranky. The second reason is that he compulsively sneaks treats into the shopping cart when he thinks I’m not paying attention. When we first started living together, the closest grocery store carried a cookie that is unique to Maryland, more specifically Baltimore.
Every week as I unpacked our grocery bags, I was (un)surprised to find a box of these cookies, Berger cookies. Berger cookies are a Baltimore tradition almost 150 years old. It’s a cakey white cookie (not unlike a black & white cookie) topped with a thick, rich chocolate icing. These cookies are well known throughout Maryland and well loved by my husband. I would pull out the box, glance over at him, and I always got the same sheepish look in response.
Dan’s favorite holiday is Halloween, so I try and go above and beyond to make it special. He doesn’t really like barhopping, so we do a whole day in, usually with festive drinks, an appetizer based dinner, lots of queso, and scary movies. This year’s roster includes Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, fuzzy navels, and a halloween edition of the Berger cookie. I added red and yellow food coloring to the dough so when it is paired with the rich chocolate icing it is perfect for this most ghoulish of holidays.
Halloween Berger Cookies
Source: Adapted from The Washington Post
2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whole milk
4 1/2 cups flour
Red & yellow food coloring
3 1/2 cups chocolate chips
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 stick butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
Cream butter on medium high until fluffy. Add in salt, vanilla, b. powder, and continue beating. Beat in sugar. While beating, add in food coloring, alternating red and yellow, until you get the desired color orange. Add in eggs, one at a time. Beat in flour and milk, alternating, beginning and ending with flour.
Heat oven to 400. Bake for 11 minutes on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Microwave another 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk until fully incorporated. Let cool to room temperature. Beat for five minutes to incorporate air into the icing.
When cookies are cooled, dip in icing and place on a rack so the icing can set.
After they’ve cooled, they’re best refrigerated.