Baby Black and Whites

black and white cookie w stripe towel

Baby Black and White Cookies

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.

black and white closeup2.jpg

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)

mini black and white

Baby Black and White Cookie compared to an iPhone

frosting black and whites

Vanilla glaze on half of cookie

Baby Black and Whites
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 21 baby cookies
Black and White Cookie recipe, smaller in size than the classic cookie but fresher and tastier than the average store-bought
  • 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)
Chocolate Glaze
  • 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
Vanilla Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare cookies by spraying with vegetable oil or cover with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
  2. Second: Sift together flour, soda and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. Add flour mixture alternately with the yogurt mixing gently just until mixed.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Chocolate Glaze
  1. 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.
Vanilla Glaze
  1. 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.
The lemon oil can be purchased online, at health food stores, or specialty grocery stores like Central Market or Whole Foods. Leave it out if you wish or use anywhere from a few drops to ½ teaspoon depending on your taste for lemon. I personally like ¼ teaspoon. Substituting lemon extract gives a different flavor I'm not all that crazy about.


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)

Share Follow me on Pinterest

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue May 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Hi Paula,
These are the most BEAUTIFUL Black & White Cookies I have ever seen. I can’t wait to make them. Thank You so much for taking the time to post all your recipes. I have pinned alot & will try them soon 🙂


lara kim November 9, 2010 at 6:41 am

yummy. and if having problems with weight used medifast coupons


Melanie Baby November 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Yummy! It looks so good. My kids should bring these cookies for their snacks. Thanks a lot for sharing your recipe. I think adding chocolate syrup all over the cookie is yummier.


Melanie Plush October 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm

It is greater if the inside is also milk and chocolate flavor. White bread and chocolate brad is better to make than just on the outside.


Dina October 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

good idea! they look yummy.


the urban baker October 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

these are executed perfectly! i have made my own version, but they were not as pretty as these. i am going to give yours a try!


Medifast Coupons October 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Those cookies look delicious! And you’re right, I think 5-1/2 inches is HUGE…no wonder so many of us are fat! I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing it.


Karen October 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm

These look fabulous! I just found your lovely blog – love your beautiful photos and food presentation. And you have so many yummy recipes. Can’t wait to see more! 🙂


Suzanne October 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Wow, these look gorgeous so black tie affair, thanks for sharing your recipes with the rest of us!


Sally October 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

I grew up in Ithaca, NY. We called them half-moons, and you could choose between chocolate and white cookies. There is nothing like the taste of a soft, chocolate cookie with the chocolate and vanilla icing on top. One of my favorite memories. I am a vegetarian now who only eats free range eggs, so I can’t just go out and buy one. I have not been able to replace that chocolate cookie with my own. sjb


Other Sis October 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

Your Black and White Cookies look fabulous! And what a clever and fun idea to have “Brett’s Birthday Picks” on the sidebar!!!

Thanks for the tips to make our cookies look as perfect as yours. 🙂


mike October 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

Uptown Girl. 🙂 They’re so chic – I love them. And totally agree on the spectacular opening photograph – stunning! I’ve made those ridiculous bullseye, and checkerboard and striped shortbread cookies (chocolate and vanilla dough), but these look somewhat easier (and more fun)! Just remember, bigger ISN’T better. Here’s to petite b&w’s!


Cristie October 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

Your cookies are stunning! I love a good black and white cookie- and there are as you said many recipes out there to choose from. Thanks to Daphne for urging you to post the recipe. I’m going to give it a try, I can almost taste the chocolate side now . . .


pamela October 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I’m a HUGE fan of B & W cookies. They are definitely one of my favorites. I love that the frosting dries up on these. That’s the way it should be! I am definitely gonna save this one!


Paula October 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm

You have every business being in the Black and White cookie area! These are beautiful and so evenly frosted on each half!


Susan October 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm

The biggest difficulty I’ve read about making Black & Whites is how to get the frosting perfectly spread. Everyone here is right, your version looks like a work of art! @hat technique did you use to get the icing divided and spread so perfectly? Do tell!


Paula October 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Several tips: 1. Always use an offset knife. It’s so much easier than a straight knife. Not sure why. 2. After you glaze one side, turn your knife on edge and run it down the middle up next to the icing to straighten the line. 3. Let first side dry completely before spreading icing on the other side. Minor mistakes are easier to wipe off this way. 4. Be sure your icing is not too thick. It should smooth out on its own once you put it on the cookie. Let icing drip down the sides and use knife around the underneath side to “wipe” away the excess


Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen October 11, 2010 at 11:22 am

Hi Paula ~ I have an award to share with you! Please stop by my blog when you’re able =)


Paula October 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

So good to see you again Nancy! Glad you had a safe trip home.


Nancy Collins October 10, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Ladies….I hate to brag, but I actually was treated to these cookies when I was visiting Paula’s house! What can I say? YUMMY!!!


Mimi October 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I’m no expert on black and whites but they look pretty fantastic to me.


Paula October 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

The chocolate glaze is one of the best I’ve ever found. Refrigerates well too. Both vanilla and chocolate would probably taste great on a sugar cookie but can’t say I’ve tried it personally.


Der October 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I laughed all the way through your post as you got me thinking about one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes….Thanks for putting me in a good mood!!
These look DELICIOUS! The lazy girl in me is wondering if I could try your glaze on cookies from a tub of sugar cookie dough.
Now, off to find the Seinfeld episode on the internet.


TheKitchenWitch October 10, 2010 at 8:22 am

Laughing at “the portion control police”–I think we Americans need more of those!

Your little black and whites are stunning! Like the above commenter said, they are little works of art.


Paula October 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I agree about the portion control police. Need one following me around, especially when these cookies are sitting on my kitchen counter.


ldh October 10, 2010 at 6:46 am

Dear Paula,

These cookies look like a work of art. I could see the first photo hanging in a museum of modern art and not in the cafeteria!

I know why your recipes are ones I can always count on for being delicious… because you work so hard at trying and perfecting each one. And then you are kind enough to share!

Thank you!


Paula October 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm

What kind words Lorraine! Considering the gorgeous photography on your own blog, I take that as a high compliment.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: