Washington, DC & Red and Blue Velvet Cookies


All eyes are on Washington, DC this weekend with President Obama being sworn into office for his second term today and the public ceremony and celebrations of this 57th Presidential inauguration tomorrow.

Crowds of people will surround the Capitol Building, monuments, and the President’s house. My favorite time to visit and photograph these sights is the evening. The White House just seems whiter against the night sky,

and the view of the Washington Monument from the grounds seems even more magical.IMG_3924

Soon, our gaze will shift to the West Wing to see who’s coming and going, and how our elected officials will govern over the next four years. IMG_3927If you’re feeling patriotic, try a batch of these Red and Blue Velvet Cookies! I loved this recipe from Cooking Classy and tweaked it to get the cookies just the right color and chocolatey taste.

photo 2

Click Here to Print This Recipe.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies, per color


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce royal icing color, red and/or blue
  • 1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips, divided


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter cookie sheets.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.


  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, mix butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add egg and egg yolk; mix until combined. Add vinegar, vanilla, and royal icing color and mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients in two parts; mix until just combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup white chocolate chips.


  • Form rounded balls of dough (using 1 to 1/2 tablespoons dough); place on buttered cookie sheets.
  • Gently press additional white chocolate chips on top of each cookie (be careful not to flatten the cookie).


  • Bake 8-9 minutes. Cool for 3-5 minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Note: You can use traditional food coloring for these colors, but they may not be as vibrant. One ounce of royal icing color is approximately the equivalent of two tablespoons of food coloring.



7 responses

  1. Aw – this weekend I was totally missing DC. It’s so much fun to be there around inaguration time, but patriotic cookies are a good substitute for those of us who are far away!

  2. Thanks for all of the kind comments! I think these cookies are super versatile. Surely, there are lots of patriotic occasions to bake them, but I even think the red ones would be great with peppermint extract at Christmas or as a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day! And for those of us NY Yankees fans, the blue ones will be perfect for playoffs in the fall. :)

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