Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookies Recipe

Black and white cookies and I have not always been the best of friends. To make a long story short, nearly five years ago I was tasked with making black and white cookies for a function for a family member. Easy enough, I thought. Turns out, I thought way, way wrong. The recipe I used at the time was an absolute disaster – the cookies weren’t smooth, the icings were impossible to spread. To say it was a mess is a gross understatement. Just ask my mom and sister, who were up in the wee hours with me trying to salvage cookies. I put myself on sabbatical from black and white cookies for a long, long time, but eventually I decided that I needed to conquer them. Well, conquer them I did!

Black and White Cookies Recipe

Black and whites are such pretty cookies, after all, and I thought they deserved another go-round. I finally mustered up the courage and found a recipe that flat-out worked. I’m talking start to completely finished in less than 2 hours. That’s my kind of recipe! It was exactly what the doctor ordered for overcoming recipe fright.

Black and White Cookies Recipe

If you aren’t familiar with them, black and white cookies are synonymous with New York City bakeries, and I always think of the Seinfeld “Look to the cookie!” episode when I see one. The texture is sponge-like, the cookies have a hint of lemon flavor, and are covered in vanilla and chocolate icings. They’re a fabulous change of pace from the typical chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies that are found in most bakeries.

Black and white cookies are something a little extra-special and they’re proof that with a little determination, baking fails can most certainly be transformed into baking wins.

Black and White Cookies Recipe

One year ago: Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Two years ago: Crunchy Good-for-You Granola Bars
Three years ago: Raisin Bran Muffins
Five years ago: Cheesecake Truffles

Black and White Cookies

Yield: 20 to 24 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Black and White Cookies are a New York City deli classic and not very difficult to make at home!

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
4 cups cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup milk

For the Icing:
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup water
¼ cup light corn syrup
5 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Make the Cookies: Adjust the oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. Beat the butter at medium speed for 30 seconds to loosen it up. Keeping the mixer running, gradually add in the sugar and then gradually increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour in four additions and the milk in three additions (beginning and ending with flour), and mix until just combined. Give the mixture a few final stirs with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the flour has been incorporated.

4. Use a ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about two inches apart. Using moistened fingers, gently press each mound of dough into a 2½-inch circle. Bake until the edges of the cookies are set and light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Making the Icings: Melt the chocolate either in a medium bowl set over a small saucepan over barely-simmering water, or using the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments; set aside.

6. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and corn syrup to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Transfer ¾ cup of the icing to the bowl with the melted chocolate and whisk to combine.

7. Ice the Cookies: Place wire racks over wax paper to catch any drips. Use a small offset spatula to spread about 2 tablespoons of the vanilla icing onto half of each cookie. The icing should move on its own when the cookie is tilted; use the spatula to scrape any excess from around the edges. If the vanilla begins to thicken too much, stir in a teaspoon of warm water at a time until the icing goes back to a smoother, looser consistency. Place the finished cookies on the wire racks and allow to set for at least 15 minutes.

8. Again using a small offset spatula, spread the chocolate icing on the half of each cookie, scraping any excess icing from around the edge of the cookies. If the chocolate icing thickens too much, place the bowl on a small saucepan of barely simmering water so that it can re-melt. If it's still too thick, you can add warm water, a teaspoon at a time, until it returns to the correct consistency. Place the finished cookies on the wire racks and allow to set for at least 1 hour.

9. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you stack the cookies, be sure to place a piece of wax paper between layers.

(Recipe from Baking Illustrated)

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114 Responses to “Black and White Cookies”

  1. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on April 25, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Living in NYC, black and white cookies are everywhere – almost found at every single corner bodega or grocery you go to – always calling my name to come buy one. I love them dearly, thanks for sharing this. :)

    Reply

  2. Holiday Baker Man on April 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Black and White’s are so much better fresh

    Reply

  3. Tieghan on April 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I hate when cookies go wrong!! Lucky you had your mom an sister to help!

    These cookies look perfect! You totally showed those black and white cookies who is boss!

    Reply

  4. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen on April 25, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Lately I have read a lot about black and white cookies and now looking at yours I really want to give them a go! I love baking illustrated- how can you go wrong!?

    Reply

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on April 25, 2013 at 1:45 am

    These look absolutely perfect!

    Reply

  6. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on April 25, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I love fool proof. I’ve never tried a black and white, but I’ve been reading about them for years now. I need to get them done. Thanks for doing all the leg work and providing a great recipe.

    Reply

  7. Ellen on April 25, 2013 at 3:30 am

    I had never eaten a black and white cookie until I recently made the pumpkin version from the Joy the Baker cookbook. I need to make the normal ones now!

    Reply

    • Kim on April 25th, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Wooo Pumpkin B&W cookies.. that sounds wonderful. Could you possibility share that one with me.

      Reply

  8. Vanessa on April 25, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Oh these look great! They remind me a bit of neenish tarts that we have in New Zealand. They are pastry shells with a creamy super-sweet lemony filling & black and white icings on top. Would love to give this NY version a try!

    Reply

  9. Handmade Cheesecake Company on April 25, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Yuuummmm!!! They actually look quite light for a snack when you sse the picture with the bite taken out of it. I would love to try these.

    Reply

  10. teresa on April 25, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I admire your perseverance. When I try a recipe that is a total disaster, if it’s not something I did wrong,and unless it’s something I really, really want, I try to forget about it. But they do look pretty and good, so I’m going to make them for my kids.

    Reply

  11. Kim on April 25, 2013 at 7:10 am

    My favorite cookie!! And one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes :)

    Reply

  12. Marie @ Little Kitchie on April 25, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Yes! I can’t see these cookies without thinking of Seinfeld! Love them both!

    Reply

  13. Jeri Barry on April 25, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and for your candor regarding previous attempts. I too have been frustrated in my own attempts to conquer these. I will definitely give these a try as I have yet to find a recipe that encourages me to make them again. Love your blog!

    Reply

  14. Leah | So, How's It Taste? on April 25, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I LOVE black & white cookies! I never really bothered with them until last year when I went to Philadelphia and a bakery was serving them. They were life-changing. I can’t wait to try and bake my own!

    Reply

  15. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on April 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I’m so excited about this recipe! My dad loves black and white cookies! I can’t wait to make them for him!

    Reply

  16. Tracey on April 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

    You’ve definitely conquered these, they look amazing!! Great pics, they make me want to reach through the screen and grab a cookie :)

    Reply

  17. Mercedes on April 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I have always wanted to make these classic, iconic cookies and this recipe looks so doable! Thanks!

    Reply

  18. Eva @ Eva Bakes on April 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Congrats on conquering these – they look awesome!

    Reply

  19. Rayna on April 25, 2013 at 9:19 am

    These are some of my favorites! I would love it when my parents would bring me back a little present from the deli :)

    Reply

  20. Amy on April 25, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Is there a viable substitute for the corn syrup in the icing? A family member is intolerant of corn and all corn derivatives (we use powdered sugar that is cut with potato starch instead of corn starch) and avoids it at all costs. Black and whites are his absolute favorite cookies, and i’d love to be able to make them for him.

    Reply

    • Jeanne on April 25th, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hi, I have a make it yourself corn syrup substitute recipe 2 c white sugar; 3/4 c water; 1/4 tsp cream of tartar; and a dash of salt Combine all ingredients in a large heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 3 minutes to be sure you don’t have any sugar crystals remaining. Uncover the pan and cook stirring frequently until it reaches the soft boil stage. Cool and store in a covered container at room temperature this makes 2 cups, and it will keep for 2 months

      Reply

      • Michelle on April 25th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

        Thank you for sharing, Jeanne!

        Reply

      • Amy on April 26th, 2013 at 10:09 am

        Thank you!

        Reply

        • Jeanne on April 27th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

          Any time Amy, I really have serious issues with using corn syrup and always use this instead.

          Reply

    • Theresa on August 31st, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      FYI I hear you can also substitute corn syrup with glucose ;)

      Reply

  21. Modern Jane on April 25, 2013 at 9:25 am

    These look beautiful! I love the glossy icing!

    Reply

  22. Megan {Countrycleaver} on April 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

    It’s impossible to look at a Black and White cookie and not think of that Seinfeld episode! One of my favorites! These look fantastic!

    Reply

  23. Donna on April 25, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Congratulations! I have been looking for a Black and White cookie recipe with no success. Your cookies look authentic and I can’t wait to try them.

    Reply

  24. Michael on April 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

    These are one of my favorite cookies. My Mom would always bring them home from the bakeries in Montreal, NYC, or Baltimore. I’m excited I can now make them at home! I just saw them in Hannafords yesterday and they did not look appealing. Hopefully these turn out better!

    Reply

  25. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom on April 25, 2013 at 10:36 am

    OMG, I LOVE these!!!!

    Reply

  26. Emily on April 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

    These sound so yummy and easy, I’ll definitely be trying out your recipe!

    Reply

  27. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I’ve been meaning to try these! Yum!

    Reply

  28. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on April 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I LOVE black and white cookies! Yours turned out beautifully. Glad you found that perfect recipe!

    Reply

  29. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on April 25, 2013 at 11:26 am

    These look fun and relatively easy to make!

    Reply

  30. Rena on April 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    amazing!!!

    Reply

  31. Kasha the FarmGirl on April 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    My son LOVES black & whites! I don’t share his passion for them, but since it’s his birthday this weekend, this post is very timely. Thanks!!!

    Reply

  32. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion on April 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I immediately thought of Seinfield tooo.. must try!

    Reply

  33. colleen @ Secrets from the Cookie Princess on April 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I had almost the same experience with Black and White cookies. The first time I made them was just awful. I did try again and come up with a much better version, but it’s been a while. Guess it’s time to try one more time.

    Reply

  34. Wendy on April 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    One of my very favorite cookies. Had been looking for a recipe worth trying and this one looks fantastic. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    Reply

  35. Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife on April 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    These are my favorite cookie!! It is so hard to find one that is perfectly chewy. I can’t wait to try these!

    Reply

  36. Emily on April 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Girl, you’re supposed to ice the flat side of the cookie. I’m a New Yorker and have been eating b+ws my whole life from Zabar’s and the like.

    Reply

  37. Lorna on April 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Upstate they are called half moons and they typically feature a fluffier/creamier cookie. Delicious however you make them!

    Reply

  38. Deon@iPinnedIt.com on April 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I have always wanted to try baking Black and White Cookies simply because they are so doggone pretty! Congrats on achieving success after all this time!

    Reply

  39. Noreen on April 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Does the recipe really make only 20-24 cookies using 4 cups of flour? Also, am I blind…lol…or is the vanilla icing recipe missing? Thanks much!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 25th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Noreen, Yes, they are quite large cookies! The icing recipe is there; you make one batch of icing and then mix some of it into the melted chocolate that’s included in the ingredient list; it’s explained in the directions.

      Reply

  40. Rebecca on April 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Look good. I agree with above poster, Upstate they are half moons and more like frosted chocolate cake with fluffier frosting.

    Reply

  41. JanetFCTC on April 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I’d heard of Black And White Cookies but never had them before. The frosting idea always made me leery (I’m lazy lol). This looks pretty foolproof however (and lazy proof :-P ) so I definitely bookmarking these!

    Reply

  42. Martha in KS on April 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    They make me want to sing “Ebony and Ivory…”

    Reply

  43. Jen M O on April 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I like Black and White Cookies. I purchased some at Mike’s Pastry at the North End and I thought they were delicious.

    Reply

  44. Ben on April 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Half-moon cookies we always called them! yum

    Reply

  45. Cindy @ pickfreshfoods.com on April 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Your cookies look amazing! I like that you used cake flour in the cookie batter, they must be nice and tender. Yum :)

    Reply

  46. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on April 25, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I absolutely love these cookies! I have family in New York and I always beg them to pick some of these up if I’m coming up for a visit!
    Yours look incredible!!

    Reply

  47. Kim Bee on April 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    These are wicked adorable. I’ve never made them. I think I see a black and white cookie day in my future.

    Reply

  48. Mags on April 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I love black and white cookies despite what was considered to be a non-pc name by our county who ordered a name change for the coffee stand that sold them in the lobby of the courthouse.
    Has anyone tried substituting agave for the corn syrup?

    Reply

  49. felicia on April 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    yum yum yum! i tried to make these a couple years back with a different recipe and wasnt too thrilled with how they turned out. i’ll have to try this version!

    Reply

  50. Jaclyn on April 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    These look perfect! I wish I had one for breakfast :)!

    Reply

  51. Laura Dembowski on April 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    I love black and white cookies but had no idea they were so tough to make. I guess I just found a good recipe. I’ve been using one from Fine Cooking for years.

    Reply

  52. Schmeagers on April 27, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I just wanted to say you are my hero. This past week I’ve wanted to make Cheesecake and black and white cookies and could not find any recipe that used ingredients I already had. Both of yours are perfect and I will be making them soon. Thank you so much for posting all that you do!

    Reply

  53. Julie on April 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I grew up in Central NY and these cookies are super popular there too, thanks to Hemstrought’s Bakery. We call them “Half Moons” and when we make them, we frost the underside of the cookie so that you have a flatter surface to work with. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  54. Wendy on April 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    As a life long lover of black and whites, I can say with authority that these look perfect!

    Reply

  55. plasterer bristol on April 29, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Yummy these look delicious

    Reply

  56. Jackie on April 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I’m actually from upstate New York in Utica where these cookies originated. Nothing beats the original Hemstrought Bakery Half Moon Cookie recipe, where (as a couple other commenters mentioned) the cookie base is more of a chocolate cake and you have both a fudge and buttercream frosting. The recipe is time-consuming, but is pretty simple and fool-proof. And, hands down, taste identical to the beloved classic half moons!
    http://recipecircus.com/recipes/GeniaMarie/UTICASYRACUSENYDISHES/Hemstrought_Bakery_Half_Moon_Cookies_.html

    Reply

    • Linda on November 30th, 2013 at 9:22 am

      thank you for this link to the origin & what a kind baker to give his recipe

      Reply

  57. Emma @ Just Shmying Around on April 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    these look amazing!! i love black and whites, i’ve just always been too daunted to make them. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe!

    Reply

  58. Susan V. Marquez on May 1, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Turn the cookies so the flat bottoms are facing up. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the white icing on one half of each cookie. Then, using a small offset spatula or knife, spread the frosting evenly over half the cookie. Tilt the cookie and run the spatula along the edge of the cookie to scrape off excess frosting. Place the cookie on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining cookies. If the frosting thickens too much, add a few drops of water.

    Reply

  59. Theresa on May 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for this. My mother loves black and white cookies so I made up a batch for her for mother’s day. It took me a few tries to get the gloss right on the chocolate portion of the cookies so the uglier ones are being kept behind for my husband to eat. lol. Thanks again!

    Reply

  60. Cori on May 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Michelle! I just made these cookies today and is the vanilla icing supposed to be clear and glaze like? In the picture it looks perfectly white however when I made them the vanilla icing looks more like a clear glaze. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 17th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Hi Cori, The glaze should be more white; next time try adding more powdered sugar if the glaze is a little thin.

      Reply

  61. Megan on May 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Help!! I am dying to make these, yum. However, Im missing the number of eggs in the recipe….or am I just over looking them somewhere?? Thanks!

    Reply

  62. Megan on May 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Scratch that…I see them. I totally looked at the recipe THREE times. My apologies!

    Reply

  63. Listening Daisy on May 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I tried these and they spread out on the pan like a flat cake (I didn’t ice them after that). Do you know if there was anything that would cause that?

    Reply

    • Listening Daisy on May 27th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Sorry, I now know realize I mixed up and ingredient. It still taste’s scrumptious though.

      Reply

  64. Dotty on July 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Michelle, these look great and I’d love to try them, however it’s unclear how much water goes in the icing.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 5th, 2013 at 10:46 am

      The measurement is for 1/3 cup, listed in the ingredients, and it is used in step #6. Per the instructions, if you find that the icing becomes too thick while you are decorating, you can use 1 teaspoon of water at a time to thin it.

      Reply

  65. Dotty on July 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks so much Michelle! The measurement in the recipe doesn’t show up for me online or when printed out. All I see is a box before “cup water”. I read through the comments to see if anyone else has the same problem but didn’t see any mention. It must be my computer.

    I appreciate your quick response! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 5th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      You’re welcome, enjoy the cookies!

      Reply

  66. Jason on August 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Thank you so much! I grew up on Long Island and have lived in Seattle for years. Nobody makes black-and-whites out here, so I baked a batch with this recipe. My icing technique needs a lot of improvement, but I’m very happy to have one of these again.

    Reply

  67. Lauren on October 4, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Hi!!!!
    I love this recipe but I’m out of cake flour, it is ok if i use all puporse flour? Is it going to ruined the recipe or? Thanks :)

    Reply

  68. Erin on October 21, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I made these for football Sunday yesterday and they were great. I did quite a bit of research and recipes by Duff Goldman, Paula Deen and Food Network kitchen had bad reviews. I must say though, that I’m glad I read through the comments because I tend to be a skim reader and did not see CAKE flour until I saw it in a commet. WHEW! Glad I did! These cookies are delicious and will definitely make them again. Got a lot of compliments on them! Next time, I might add just a little more lemon extract and I did have a runny vanilla side. I was afraid to add too much more powdered sugar because I don’t like to taste powdered sugar, but the vanilla took care of that so next time I will be a little more heavy handed if I need to thicken it up. THIS IS THE RECIPE TO USE! LOOK NO FURTHER! :D

    Reply

  69. ElizaW on October 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Hoping that you read this abet a bit late since I already made these :)
    Cannot tell you how pleased I am that you posted this recipe! I made these today and was so in heaven over them! My 92 year young mother is from Nedrow, NY and I am bringing some over to her tomorrow. I have been on a quest for the perfect B&W or 1/2 moon cookie as some call them and although I haven’t tried another recipe, why bother? These are the best, bar none!

    That said, I lowered the temp on my oven since it’s a new oven and wasn’t sure about baking them at 375. 350 for 15 minutes was perfect. I used a organic concentrate of lemon flavoring and they are utterly amazing. Had a bit of an issue with the frosting but adding some additional corn syrup took care of it. Could be our weather but initially, it wouldn’t spread.

    My question is, can the leftover cookie batter be refrigerated and if so, for how long? I ask as I refrigerated half of the batter as I have a friend from the Bronx visiting on Halloween and pressed for time, was hoping that the batter would be OK if well wrapped and refrigerated. Did freeze it as I was a bit afraid of doing that. Would appreciate any advise.

    For anyone contemplating recipes for this type of cookie, look no further! I scored the internet looking at every recipe available until my eyes were crossed. Of course these have to pass my mothers taste test (her mother used to make them but sadly, no recipe was ever handed down). I know this is a blue ribbon winner!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 23rd, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Eliza, I’m so happy to hear how much you loved these! I think you can refrigerate the dough for a few days, but I haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure how it would affect the spread/rise of the cookies. You might want to bring it to room temperature before baking.

      Reply

      • ElizaW on October 31st, 2013 at 6:49 am

        Hello Michelle,
        Thank you for replying. I wanted to follow-up on the results.
        The leftover cookie dough was wrapped in a zip lock baggie (the good kind that actually does lock :), removing as much air as possible. For added measure, I placed that baggie inside another zip lock, removed air and sealed. A uncut pastry bag would work as well but one would have to seal the end of the bag with something heavy duty, like shipping tape.

        The dough sat in my refrigerator for 8 days. No separation of ingredients occurred. Let dough come to room temperature before forming/baking cookies. The results were 100% perfect! No weird taste and they rose the same as the first batch that I had made.

        On a side note. My mother said these were every bit as good (if not better) than the ones she used to get out of her mothers kitchen in NY. The time it took to make these was worth it more than I can say. Today I will present my friend with a box of these. He hasn’t had them since childhood Bronx days and I know he will be thrilled!

        Reply

        • Michelle on October 31st, 2013 at 11:45 am

          Hi Eliza, Thanks so much for stopping back to share your results, I appreciate it! I’m so glad that you and your mother have enjoyed the cookies!

          Reply

        • Vanessa on December 10th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Hi, Eliza!
          I’m reading your story and I’m so happy that your mother enjoyed the cookies!
          My husband and my in-laws are all from NY and I want to bake some of B&W for them.
          I’ve tried other recipes, but not being successfully so far. I’ll try this one soon and hope I can make them happy as you made your mother!

          Reply

          • ElizaW on July 18th, 2014 at 10:07 am

            HI Vanessa,
            Sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier. I hope your husband and in-laws enjoyed the B&W’s. Sadly, my mother passed on right before her 93rd birthday (in March this year) but I know how much she loved these cookies. I still make them for my friend from the Bronx (just made him a batch last week). The recipe is fool proof, always fantastic results. I cannot have them due to diet restrictions but they sure are fun to make for others!

            Reply

  70. Vanessa on December 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Hi, Michelle!

    I’ll try to bake some B&W for my husband and in-laws. They are all from NY and I do want to make them happy and bring good memories with these cookies :)
    The thing is… I’m a real beginner in the baking/cooking world, so, I’d like to bake half of the cookies to begging with, while I’m trying to make it right. Would you please let me know how could I reduce the recipe to make 10 to 12 cookies instead of the 24?

    P.s.: I know that to make half I’d need only to put half of the ingredients, but I think I skipped enough Mat classes as to divide 1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar and other ingredients and come with a precise quantity in order to have the right recipe.
    Thank you very much for you patience!
    And as soon as I bake them I’ll let you know the results!

    Reply

  71. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner on December 15, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I’ve always wanted to bake these cookies because my family loves them (who doesn’t). So glad you tried making them again and shared your success! Can’t wait to try them. :)

    Reply

  72. Vanessa on December 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I founded. Thank you!

    Reply

  73. Vanessa on December 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Ops, *found. :)

    Reply

  74. Karen on January 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    The next time you make them, do the frosting on the flat side. It will truly be a New York Black and White cookie then! I’m making them for the first time this weekend since we no longer live in the Big Apple. Looking forward to trying out your recipe! So far, everything that I have made from your site has come out spectacular!

    Reply

  75. Abriel Kesler on January 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    At this very moment, I am tasting the cookies that I have just made from your recipe! I haven’t even made the frosting yet, since I wanted to make sure the cookies were completely cooled…. Just the cookie texture, and taste alone were enough for me to get online and write a review about them. To sum them up in one word…..HEAVEN! By my third batch I figured how to position and flatten the cookie before they went into the oven, to ensure a nice flat, round shape. The cookies are delicately sweet and crumb to perfection! I CAN’T wait untill I start my frosting and finish these heaven sent cookies completely! Hands down a fabulous recipe! LOOK NO FURTHER IF SEARCHING FOR A BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE RECIPE! My cookie exchange party is in two weeks, and I WILL for a fact be baking these show stoppers! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Reply

  76. Sarah S on February 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

    You iced the wrong side of the cookie. If you make it to nyc, go to a deli and buy a black and white cookie. They ice the flat side.

    Reply

  77. J on February 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    This is the second time one of your recipes has been identical to americas test kitchen. Once- unlikely it would be exact; twice, you should give proper credit. You didn’t do the leg work. This recipe is identical down to the frosting! Won’t be following you anymore, and neither should anyone else.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Proper credit was given. It clearly states at the bottom of the recipe that it came from Baking Illustrated, which is published by America’s Test Kitchen. There was no attempt to take credit for something I did not create myself.

      Reply

  78. Leah on March 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I am totally in love with your blog (just discovered it today looking for a B&W cookie recipe, and have now found many recipes that I want to try out)!

    I love black and white cookies. My first memories of them come from Saul’s – a ‘Jewish style’ restaurant and deli in Berkeley, CA (where I grew up). I got hooked on B&W cookies, though, while living in Poughkeepsie, NY. The diner at the entrance to my work site makes HUGE ones – about the size of my face – and they’re so delicious. They’re my special treat to myself. But now I live 1.5 – 2hrs away, in NYC. Strangely enough, it wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I encountered B&W cookies with a significant lemon flavoring to the cookie, which made me fall in love with them all over again (not surprising; I tend to make my Madelines very lemon-y). All of this is what sent my on quest to make my own B&W cookies! I’m so excited to try making these!

    Do you know of an appropriate substitute for lemon extract? My local grocery apparently doesn’t carry it! Not really a huge deal – as I also forgot to get cake flour (if they carry that) and cornstarch – and I’ll be near a Trader Joe’s tomorrow or Sunday.

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 15th, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Hi Leah, You could use lemon juice, although the flavor would be much more mild. If you have time, you could order lemon extract from somewhere like Amazon or King Arthur Flour.

      Reply

  79. Charlotte Valerie on March 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    tried them today and loooove it so much! thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

  80. jswill on March 29, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Originally from the great Steel City, but have been in NYC for more than a decade now–getting married here in the fall and wanted to have black and whites as my favors. Did a trial run last night–this recipe really is perfect. The cookies I made were on the huge side–they look exactly like what you get at a deli here (that’s a good thing:)). Only thing that tripped me up a bit was chocolate measurement in oz not cups…don’t have a kitchen scale and was using a bag of bittersweet choc chips. Initially it was too thick but i added a little water and it was fine. I am test-freezing a few to see how they hold up (uniced), as i need to make 100+ of these guys eventually…will let you know how it turns out!

    Reply

  81. Kyle S. on April 3, 2014 at 1:38 am

    I’m having serious issues with the icing. The vanilla icing gets stiff almost immediately. And twice the chocolate has seized immediately on contact with the portion of the vanilla icing I mix it into.

    Is there some missing fat ingredient to keep the chocolate from seizing?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 7th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Kyle, I’m not sure what would cause the chocolate to seize; you’re not putting the water in with the chocolate, are you? That’s the only thing that I can think of that would cause it.

      Reply

      • Kyle S. on April 7th, 2014 at 10:51 pm

        Nope, no water. I’ve melted the chocolate both in the microwave and in a double-boiler to the same effect.

        Perhaps it’s due to a temperature difference between the vanilla icing and the melted chocolate? Should they be at the same temperature, or should the chocolate be warmer?

        Reply

        • Michelle on April 8th, 2014 at 10:50 am

          Hi Kyle, If you melt the chocolate first (which is what I did), the vanilla icing will be slightly warmer, but both should be at least slightly warm, or else they will each start to set.

          Reply

  82. Iara on May 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    I have already made these cookies and I must say they are absolutely delicious!

    Reply

  83. Allison on June 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I live in NY and get these cookies all the time. This recipe taste just like a bakery’s cookie. EXCELLENT!

    Reply

  84. Farheeen on July 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Hi there!
    I loved the cookie recipe! I was trying this for a dinner party I was having for my family… unfortunately I messed up the frosting! I’m not sure what I did wrong.. but the chocolate was way too hard to use… Hmm…

    Reply

  85. Bonnie on July 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Hi! I made these cookies and they came out perfect! However the second time I made them I had a lot of trouble. The dough seemed great and kept it’s form nice on the baking sheet, but after a minute or so in the oven it would have sides that would seep out of shape to create really ugly non-uniform cookies. It was as if once in the oven, some butter or sugar within the dough would release and ooze and flatten a part of the circle. I re-did the batch a third time and the same thing happened. Any ideas why? I had to resort to making them in cupcake tins because they still tasted delicious but wouldn’t keep form. Help!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 21st, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Hi Bonnie, It’s odd that they worked perfectly the first time, but did not after that. Were there any changes at all to your kitchen temperature, process, ingredients, etc.? Also, be sure to use an oven thermometer to make sure there isn’t some fluctuation in your oven temperature, which could also be causing the issue.

      Reply

  86. Heidelind on July 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I grew up with Black and White Cookies, but hadn’t had them in decades. I made them today and they are perfect! Thank you!!!!

    Reply

  87. Terri on August 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Check your website . Upon clicking on your link I recieved a popup that down loaded a virus to my computer… Love your website but it happened twice now!

    Reply

  88. Maria Brennan on August 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    My goodness…. My husband is from New Jersey and loves these cookies… I have tried on and off for years and these cookies are the best.. Your recipe is perfect but I do have one question …. what type of chocolate do you use for the chocolate side of the frosting… We used semi sweet chocolate the other night but it looks like milk chocolate and my husband says it’s almost there but not fully……. your chocolate is dark in the photo and that’s what I’m looking for….. Hope you can help thank you again for the recipe… A California girl cooking for a Jersey Boy…

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 2nd, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Maria, I’m glad you and your husband have enjoyed the cookies! Per the recipe, I use unsweetened chocolate for the chocolate icing. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  89. Sarah Hall on September 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Just an FYI…you iced the wrong side of the cookie. The flat side gets the icing. Also, a handy tip is to set the cookies in a muffin pan. That way you get a stable surface when icing.

    Reply

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