A few days ago, I packed up my apartment in Baltimore, stuffing my car to the brim, and drove away from the place that’s been my home for the past four years. I graduated on Thursday and the day was everything they said it would be – full of pomp and circumstance and pride, but also overwhelming emotion when it finally hit me that my time at Hopkins was over. I said goodbye to my friends on Friday and made the drive home up I-95 to my house in New Jersey. It was harder than I thought it would be, and I’d be lying if I said these past few days haven’t been really sad. It feels almost like a break up and I’ve done my share of wallowing, crying at unexpected times, and shutting myself away in my dark basement with Netflix.
It’s a time to celebrate, yes, but it’s also a time for me to be nostalgic and sad for a city that, as quickly as it became mine, is already fading in my rearview mirror. I couldn’t have asked for a better city to go to college. Even from my Baltimore college tour (more like my Baltimore love letter) it is easy to see how much I’ve enjoyed this city.
So, in honor of my Baltimore, a place I’ve loved and in a way, I’ve lost, I bring you these cookies. Berger Cookies are a Baltimore classic, and if you’ve never had one, your life is about to get just a little bit better. They’re almost like a whoopie pie, with a cake-like, vanilla wafer bottom and a gooey fudge top. I made these quickly and hurriedly the other night, when I was so homesick for school that I didn’t know what else to do other than make something that reminded me of the place. If you, too, are mourning the end of your college years this graduation season, this is a cookie for you.
Katie Brossman is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University where she studied creative writing.
Adapted from Blue-Eyed Bakers
Makes 24 cookies
For the cookies:
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup milk
For the icing:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare two greased baking sheets.
In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, salt, vanilla and baking powder. Add the sugar, and then the egg. Finally, alternate adding the flour and milk until just blended.
Drop teaspoon sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets about 3 inches apart. With the bottom of a greased glass, press each cookie flat until they are about an inch in diameter
Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown. Let them cool for five minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing. In a microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate chips, corn syrup, vanilla and heavy cream and heat and stir every 30 seconds until the chocolate begins to melt and the mixture is smooth. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and stir until blended and smooth. Let the icing cool to room temperature.
Dip the bottom of the cooled cookies into the icing and place icing side up on the baking sheets. After they have all been dipped, spread the remaining icing on top – you want these to be really fudgey! Spread the icing evenly with a knife.