A couple weeks ago, while trying to take a shortcut through the parking lot of a partially constructed car wash, I found myself sitting in my little car facing a large hole in the ground where the car-washing equipment will eventually live. With a massive void in front of me, curbs on both sides and a narrow dirt path full of pot holes behind me, I came to the realization I was in a place where I had no business.
Posting about Black and White Cookies may be another place where I have no business. After all, I’m a Texas city girl from an Indiana farm. I’m not a New Yorker where these cookies are most popular. I have no childhood memories to draw from and I haven’t even seen the Seinfeld episode that made them even more famous.
After reading about them, I became obsessed with finding the best recipe I could to add to my frosted cookie collection. I tried several formulas looking for something better, fresher and tastier than most store-bought Black and Whites.
My co-workers, acting as official taste-testers, declared this version a winner. My friend Daphne remembers eating them in California and got very excited about them. I think you’ll like them too. The glaze, both vanilla and chocolate, dries to create a glossy, smooth frosting with a thin, barely-there crust that covers the cake-like, vanilla/lemon flavored cookie hiding underneath. Note the glaze goes on the bottom of the cookie, not the top. If you are a Black and White aficionado and think I have missed the mark, feel free to set me straight. But I could so totally get fat on this version the way it is, I’m not sure I would change a thing.
So here’s the final recipe, Daphne–as promised.
One word about the size. The classic Black and White cookie is 5 inches across according to Wikipedia. That’s gotta be illegal according to the portion control police! I choose to make mine smaller which is still plenty big. (See picture below)
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon lemon oil (See note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup buttermilk (I use my unflavored fat-free Greek yogurt thinned with milk to the consistency of buttermilk)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 teaspoons butter
- ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons hot milk
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare cookies by spraying with vegetable oil or cover with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
- Second: Sift together flour, soda and salt.
- Beat butter until smooth and light in color about 3 minutes. Add sugar and continue beating another minute. Add in egg and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon oil and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture alternately with the yogurt mixing gently just until mixed.
- Drop by large spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet or sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. I use an ice cream dipper for uniform size that holds approximately ⅛ of a cup. Use ¼ cup for the large size.
- Bake in oven preheated to 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. (Longer for classic size.) Remove slightly cooled cookies from cookie sheet after 2-3 minutes. Leaving on the sheet too long will cause the bottom to absorb moisture and roll into crumbs when removed from the tray. I know from experience this will mess up your smooth glaze.
- Make glaze while cookies bake. Apply vanilla glaze to one half of cookie and let it dry before spreading chocolate glaze on the other half for the neatest application. Allow glazed cookies to dry for several hours.
- Microwave chocolate and butter for 1 minute. Stir to enable complete melt without scorching. Add in sugar, boiling water, syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If glaze gets too thick to spread evenly, add a few drops of boiling water.
- Add hot milk to confectioners’ sugar and stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, stirring again until smooth. If glaze gets thick, add a few drops of hot milk.
Black and White Cookies have many interpretations. Check out these links:
(If you have a favorite not listed, please leave me a link in the comments)