Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Black & White Cookies

Maybe it’s because my parents both grew up in Brooklyn, maybe it’s because as a child the black & white cookie was enormous and thus exciting, or maybe it’s because they stare me down at every local deli, bodega or market in NYC; but whatever the reason, the black and white cookie is truly a NY staple.

William Grimes of the NY Times said “Today's black-and-white cannot compare with the black-and-whites of yesteryear, of course, just as no mayor will ever be as good as La Guardia and no team as beloved as the Dodgers. It is now the stuff of legend, even though a truly impartial adult judge might say that, as cookies go, the black-and-white is nothing special. That argument does not get very far in New York.”

So, of course, the illustrious black and white, is one of the most requested cookies. And while they are usually huge, and shareable, I prefer to make them a more manageable mini-size.

For the record, these “cookies” are more like cakes. This cake-like consistency contributes to their short shelf life, so do yourself a favor and avoid those pre-wrapped bodega versions that will certainly be stale and whip up a batch of these instead.

Happy Brooklyn Reminiscing!

Cookie Ingredients:
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup shaken buttermilk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tbls light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice*
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbls. water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
*I like this flavor but some have commented it is a little too citrusy, you can always add more water or vanilla instead.
Directions:Preheat the oven to 350

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir buttermilk in vanilla in a cup. Beat butter and sugar, then add egg until well combined. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately (begin and end with flour).

Spoon onto a buttered baking sheet. (I recommend using parchment paper instead). Cook for 15-17 minutes. (Only about 7-9 for mini cookies – until golden and cookies spring back to touch)

For icing, stir confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and water until smooth. Divide mixture in 2. Add cocoa and additional water to one half of mixture.

Turn cookies over, flat side up and frost with half vanilla and half chocolate icing.


*This particular batch of cookies was made for my dear friend's birthday. She only likes "whites" so here they are with a few big ones for good measure...


  1. Best cookies ever! So happy these finally made the blog!

  2. Whites, Whites, Whites