Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Black and White

When I make Black and White Cookies, I don't mess around. I make enough to fill my freezer so that in a moment of weakness (which incidentally is often), I have no stress in knowing I have a secret stash! I wrap them individually with plastic wrap. Black and White Cookies are a New York City trademark. They're highly publicized, talked about, and advertised by characters on shows like Seinfeld and Sex and the City.

The perfect Black and White Cookie is moist, cake-like, and not too sweet. I think that's why I love them so much. They're iced but the recipe I like the best calls for real chocolate instead of cocoa powder, and I use the very best 72% bittersweet chocolate I can find so the icing comes out very rich and glossy.

I have tried many recipes for these cookies from many sources and the one I find the closest to an authentic NYC Black and White is the recipe from Glaser's Bakeshop on 87th Street.


1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp. light corn syrup


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter. Mix by machine or by hand until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla and lemon extracts until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking powder and salt. Stir until blended. Add dry mixture to the wet in batches, stirring well after each addition. Using a soup spoon, place heaping spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Place confectioners' sugar in large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in enough boiling water to the sugar to make a thick, spreadable mixture.

Put half the frosting in the top half of a double-boiler. Add the chocolate and corn syrup, and set over simmering water. Warm the mixture, stirring, until chocolate is melted and frosting is smooth. Turn off the heat, but leave chocolate frosting over hot water to keep it spreadable. With an offset spatula, ice half of each cookie with the chocolate frosting, and the other half with white frosting. Let dry, and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 2 dozen large cookies.

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