Black and White Cookies are an iconic treat made famous in New York City. There are multitudes of articles and opinions of who makes the best. Russ and Daughters, Zabar’s, Glasers, the opinions are as numerous as the number of black and whites in NYC. In doing some research I saw that one theory of origin is that it was was first made in Utica, NY and called “the half moon” (my hometown) at Hemstroughts Bakery (my families favorite bakery). You can see reference to the black and white on one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes and it is thought to be “the New York snack”. History aside, these are some seriously delicious cookies, or really they are small cakes. The cookie part is like a sponge cake, soft and voluptuous and the glaze is sweet and the perfect topping for this substantial cookie.
I thought I would try my hand at making the “black and white” and studied some recipes and my favorite was one from Epicurious. It seemed very easy to make and the cookies looked wonderful. The recipe makes eight large cookies, now they say to put about 1/4 cup batter 2 inches apart on a large sheet pan, maybe mine was not large enough because some of my cookies ran together. I don’t really care that they are not perfectly round, as long as they taste good. Let me tell you, this is a really good recipe, the cookies are delicious. The cookie came out exactly as it should, flat on the bottom and domed on the top, it has a tender crumb and is very cake like. The glaze is wonderful as well. This recipe is a keeper.
I made these cookies with 2 things in mind, first of all my young cousin who lives in NYC just had surgery and I am going to see her tomorrow, her favorite thing is the black and white so I am bringing some to her. Next I am lucky enough to be co hosting Fiesta Friday #127 this week with the lovely and uber talented Jess @Cooking Is My Sport. You are all invited to the party!!
Black And White Cookies
Recipe on Epicurious
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk so I thinned some creme fraiche, worked great)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degree’s. Whisk together or sift the flour, baking soda and salt. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine well. Mix the vanilla with the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk ending with the flour mixture. The batter is quite thick and I used a heaping 1 1/2 tbs scoop for each cookie. Line your cookie sheet with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray. (In retrospect I would not bake all 8 cookies at the same time because some of them ran together slightly) place the scoops about 2 inches apart and bake for about 15 minutes (I took them out at 13 minutes). Place cookies on cooling rack and make the glaze.
Vanilla and Chocolate Glaze
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbs clear corn syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbs water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
1/4 tsp vanilla
Mix the sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice and vanilla together. Add water as needed until it’s spreading consistency, it will be thick. The recipe said to divide into two bowls, I didn’t do that. When the coolies were cool I spread the white part with a small offset spatula, when that was done I added to the remaining glaze the chocolate, 1/2 tsp corn syrup and another tbs of water and spread that on the other half of the cookie (it saved me from getting another bowl dirty). Make sure the glaze is set before storing them.