You know… I’m from NY. I’ve never once had a Black & White Cookie. I don’t think I’ve ever run into a place that sells them. Talk about killing a stereotype, huh?
Well, I’m not being completely fair to the NY Black & White Cookie. I’m from Upstate NY. Most of us consider ourselves an entire different entity than folks from NYC. So I guess that I can see why the Black & White Cookie hasn’t made it’s way up here yet, I am 4 hours North afterall… I’m sure food that is popular in Southern California can’t always be found in Northern California. Oddly enough, I saw some Black & White Cookies in a bakery over here the other day now that I think about it. Funny how it can’t travel 4 hrs North, but has made it’s way all the way over to Germany. Since I am from NY though, I have always wanted to try one. I mean, what makes these guys so special that they’ve become a re-known NY specialty? Curiosity got the better of me. I finally whipped up a batch in my little German kitchen, so very far removed from my hometown state.
And they were so good!! They definitely don’t rank as my “all time favorite cookie”, but they were pretty darn delicious. They turn out to be these over-sized vanilla cookies with a cakey interior. And that’s the thing about these cookies- they are a cakey cookie. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not as cakey as a whoopie pie, they just aren’t chewy like a chocolate chip cookie. That’s why they didn’t rank as the ultimate for me. I’m a chewy cookie kind of gal. I’m sure you understand. Despite my prejudices, I thought these turned out to be just great. And fun too! I thought it was kind of a neat technique to serve the cookie upside down so that you could make the rounded top the bottom and then have a flat surface to glaze as the top. The bottom made for the perfect palate to paint the signature black and white frosting. I was pretty nervous about how difficult it was going to be to frost these… I wanted to have nice straight lines differentiating the colors, and I was almost certain I would make a mess of the task. I didn’t do too bad though if I say so myself! I found that the trick was to use a small off-set frosting spatula and to NOT make your frosting too runny. If it’s too runny you won’t be able to control it. If you get the consistency right and you take your time, there is no reason you can’t make nice straight lines on top of each cookie!
I did run into ONE problem though. The white frosting. It’s not going to be white if you use regular vanilla extract. I mean, it will be, but it’s going to be more cream than anything else and it won’t look as sharp as a pure white frosting would next to the “black”. I found this out the hard way. You need to use a clear vanilla extract. You can find those in baking aisles of stores like Walmart, where the cake decorating stuff is. I had to use my concentrated, super white Ameri-gel food paste to kind of offset the cream color a bit. If you don’t want to buy a special extract, use a food gel, or just don’t care too much how they look, that’s totally fine- your cookies will just be cream and black- but they will still taste good! : )
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 14 Tb (1¾ stick) unsalted butter, cool but not cold
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 Tb pure vanilla extract
- For the Frosting:
- 3¾ cup confectionary sugar, sifted
- 4 to 5 Tb whole milk
- 3 Tb heavy cream
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus 2 Tb cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating briefly after each addition.
- Add the vanilla to the measuring cup with the buttermilk.
- Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in two parts (end with flour).
- Using a ¼ cup scoop, drop dough onto prepared sheets, leaving 3″ around each (6 to a sheet). Bake about 17 minutes, rotating sheets between oven racks halfway through, until edges are golden brown and tops spring back when gently touched. Cool on sheet pans for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the Frosting: In a large bowl, whisk together confectionary sugar, 4 Tb milk, cream, ad vanilla. If the mixture is too thick, add milk by the teaspoonful until he desired consistency is reached. Pour ¾ cup frosting (half) into a separate bowl and add the cocoa powder. The chocolate frosting should be about the same consistency as the vanilla and may need additional milk or water. Use an offset spatula to spread white frosting on half of the flat side (bottom) of each cookie. Let stand until almost set, about 20 minutes. Spread remaining halves with chocolate frosting. Let frosted cookies set completely before serving, about 1 hr.