Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Black & White Cookie

Look to the cookie, Elaine.  Look to the cookie.

Ever since that episode of Seinfeld, I've been intrigued by the black and white cookie.  (And chocolate babka, but that's for another time).  Much like snickerdoodles, black and white cookies lack popularity here.  I've never seen one in a bakery, and I had never had one either.  This week it was time to put a stop to that nonsense.

The black and white cookie does not disappoint.  I was surprised by how completely different they are from what I imagined.  I had always pictured them as sort of a glorified sugar cookie, but they're closer to a whoopie pie in consistency.  The cookie is soft and cake-like, with a wonderful vanilla flavour.  The glaze is light with a hint of lemon, which combines perfectly with the cocoa.  They're heaven.

So please, look to the cookie.  The cookie has it right.

Black and White Cookie Recipe:


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add in the vanilla and the egg, beating until combined well.

4. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

5. Spoon a bit less than 1/4 cup of batter about 2 inches apart onto a greased and/or lined baking sheet (make sure that they aren’t too rounded because they puff up quite a bit).

6. Bake until the tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched; about 15 to 17 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing. Makes about 8 large cookies, or 16 if you decide to make smaller cookies (I doubled the recipe).


2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I used honey)
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Whisk or beat together the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth.

2. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.

3. Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.


  1. I think black & white cookies are a regional food. I've heard people call them Half Moon cookies as well. I've had some with soft cake-like frosting and some with hard frosting that is more like a glaze. I'm not sure if one way is more traditional than the other, but both ways are tasty!

  2. Well, we don't have these where I live. I actually had no idea they even existed until I took a trip to New York. I had to have one, I mean, they were literally in every single deli and bakery we passed. When I finally got one, it was better than I expected it to be. I was surprised at the consistency of the cookie; extremely soft. The one I had had the hard, glaze-like icing.

  3. Bread and Beta: I didn't know they were called Half Moon cookies, as well. I'll have to search out some new recipes and try a few kinds. Love them so much!

    Chartreuschalk: That's exactly how I felt -- completely surprised by the consistency. Hopefully I can go to New York one day and try to real deal.

  4. Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony...side by side...something something... but why can't weeee?



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