Black and White Cookies

The black and white cookie is a New York classic, which can be found at delis all throughout the city. In fact, it was even mentioned on an episode of Seinfeld! When I was younger, my cousins would come visit every winter, and we’d pick them up at Newark Penn Station, and my mother would always let us get black and whites from the Zaro’s Bakery there, so these have a special place in my heart.

black and white cookies

Black and White Cookies
3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1 c + 3 tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 yolk
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/4 c heavy cream
Black and White Icings (below)

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350oF. Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, vegetable shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time and mix until combined.  Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the cream.
4. Form about 1/4 c of the dough into balls and place about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  The cookies will appear cakey.
5. Cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
6. Using a small off-set spatula, frost half of each cookie with the white icing.  Allow this to set, and then repeat on the other half with the black icing.  Let the cookies stand for about 3 hours before storing—this will give the icing time to set completely.

Makes about 36 full-size cookies

Black and White Icings
4 c confectioners’ sugar
2 tbs + 2 tsp light corn syrup (do not use dark—it will tint your white icing)
1/4 tsp clear vanilla extract (again, if you use regular vanilla extract, your white icing will not be white)
2 tbs Dutch-process cocoa powder

1. In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup and vanilla with 3 tbs hot water.  Whisk until smooth.  The icing should be slightly thicker than honey.  You can add a little more sugar if it is to runny, or more water if is too thick.
2. Pour half of the icing into another bowl and stir in the cocoa powder.

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