Baltimore Berger Cookies & Chocolate Fudge Gelato... Week 39!

What do you do when your 39 weeks pregnant, it's summer vacation, the kids are stuck inside cause of the rain and if you lay on the couch you just know you'll fall asleep? Bake!

So, that's just what I did. I got up off the couch, and I walked to my shelf full of cook books and I looked for something to make. I felt like having something chocolately...

I let the kids turn the living room into their house/tent for the day - they got all the blankets and pillows they could use for that - and while they played, I baked.

I have a friend that has been posting a lot of links related to Baltimore Berger (Bergers) cookies on facebook lately, and I found a recipe for them some time ago, so I finally decided to make some. Luckily, I even had all the ingredients on hand (as long as I cut the recipe in thirds - which I did)... then I also decided to make some chocolatey fudge gelato as well.

If you are not familiar with Baltimore Berger cookies - let me just tell you - they are piled high with a fudgey frosting... so this is going to be a very chocolatey fudgey post. I'll include my recipe adaptations, too!

Baltimore's Berger Finest Cookies*

I found a recipe for these with this *title at (now about 2 years ago... and it has taken me this long to try it out. The recipe author Cucina Casalingo says that "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."

I'm not sure if I'd compare them to the Black and White cookie - another cookie that I loooove! But they are delicious because of that piled high amount of fudgey icing. I think the recipe Cucina Casalingo gives might be a bit off though - because I had to add quite a bit of powdered sugar to the fudge icing to make it stay together and hold up like I remembered it being... of course, it's been probably more than 10 years since I've had an actual Berger cookie. Please someone... send me some?!

The recipe Cucina Casalingo gives makes 24 - my recipe version makes about 7 to 8 large:


200 g Pure chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons apple syrup (use corn syrup if you have it)
4 teaspoons (19g) butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
200-250 grams powdered sugar

1/3 cup (75g) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup milk

To make the icing: Place the 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. Add powdered sugar and mix again - taste and adjust to your liking. Set aside - bake cookies.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees-C (400°F). Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one baking sheet. To make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder. Beat in the sugar, then the egg. 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 1/8-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 are 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 do not over-bake them. Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Top each cookie with a generous amount of icing - using all of the icing up - is a good idea. Pile it high, then store airtight in a single layer.

They taste even more amazing the second day - I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator when you are not eating them.

Chocolate Fudge Gelato

I read somewhere once that the difference between ice cream and gelato is that ice cream is made with cream - like whipping cream or half n half and gelato is made with egg yolks - slighty heated, etc. So this recipe is made with regular milk, pure chocolate, egg yolks, sugar and just a bit of vanilla. It's also the only chocolate frozen treat that my husband will eat. I personally enjoy both chocolate ice cream and chocolate gelato.

Last summer, my husband and I went on regular friday night dates. We always paid our babysitter so we didn't always have a lot extra to spend. So one night we went to the public library. I love that place. And my favorite section is the cook books. I found an awesome cook book - The Encyclopedia of Chocolate. I highly recommend that book! It's just so fun to look at. I quickly photo copied several recipes to try... and the only one I've actually made is the chocolate ice recipe - you see above. I'll try and give the recipe below in simple terms - the book was in Dutch so I think I made the recipe correctly - my best Dutch is actually all food related - if you ask me any other Dutch language - like "law" related words or anything like that I'm lost - but I know how to read a Dutch cook book :)

Chocolate Fudge Gelato:
Serves 4-6

750 ml milk
1 vanilla stick
4 egg yolks
115 grams granulated sugar
225 grams pure chocolate, chopped

1. Warm the milk together with the vanilla stick in a pan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Do not let the milk boil. Pour milk into sieve over a can/bowl.
2. Put the egg yolks in a bowl together with the sugar and whip or blend with hand held blender until light in color and thick. Then add a bit of the warmed milk and continue to mix until all milk is together and well blended with the egg yolk mixture.
3. Set the bowl over a pan with a little boiled water and put the chocolate pieces in to melt, then set the flame or temperature a bit higher and let the mixture thicken a bit. Then take off heat and let the mixture cool a bit, while stirring until everything is well mixed.
4. Put this mixture in an ice cream making machine and follow manufacturer's instructions. Can also just freeze in a metal pan and after a few hours mix in food processor fitted with metal blade, then return to freezer again till hardened. When ready to serve, cut up in blocks and again with food processor chop/whip until creamy and color lightens and then freeze again or serve. It will be much softer, smooth and creamy after you follow this process.


Kay Heritage said…
Chocolate lover's dream! I am not much of a dessert eater but these look scrumptious! Wow, you are due any day! Hang in there! And let us know when the baby arrives! Boy or girl?

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