Classic Black & White Cookies

Friday! Thank goodness! It’s been a rough week at work – I was in the office bright and early at 7 AM on Tuesday and Wednesday, then, believe it or not, 6:15 AM on Thursday. I suppose this is when someone would say, “Welcome to New York,” right? I’m actually a morning person – I have no problem waking up at any hour of the morning – it’s just when 3 or 4 PM rolls around that I want to crawl into a deep, dark hole and never come out. Kramer made me go to bed at 9 PM last night, though, so I’m feeling pretty good this morning and ready for the weekend. We actually have a really busy weekend ahead of us! We are going to grab a quick bite with my parents, as my dad was in Philadelphia for business and was kind enough to make a stop over in the city to see us, then on Saturday, we are headed to a get-to-know-your-fellow-NYC-food-blogger-type event hosted by one of my new favorite websites, Gojee, and then we may also stop by our favorite store, Whisk, because they are having a party to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday! I’m really excited to meet other bloggers in the city and to pick up a new item or two at Whisk, since they’ll be having a sale (as well as cocktails, so watch out, wallet). On Sunday, we will hopefully get a chance to sleep in before heading back into the city for a birthday party. I can’t wait to spend the entire weekend with Kramer after we were apart all last weekend!

Speaking of Kramer, he asked me to make these cookies for a friend of his at work – it was his birthday and I was told that black and whites were his favorite treat. Why shouldn’t they be? Cake-like, pillowy soft cookies topped with a rich, semisweet chocolate frosting and a smooth vanilla frosting, all put together for you for the perfect bite. Of course, you can’t mention the black and white cookie without mentioning the famous scene from Seinfeld where Jerry explains the importance of the black and white – I’m sure almost everyone can recite that bit line-for-line. I’m still on the search for the perfect black and white cookie recipe, and I think that this one comes pretty close!

Classic Black & White Cookies
Your cookie ingredients.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Beat together your butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Add in your eggs, one at a time.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Combine your cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Add it to your mixer, alternating with the buttermilk, then add in the vanilla and lemon zest.

Classic Black & White Cookies
I found the best way to do this was to pipe them onto the baking sheet into dollops, as the dough is more like cake batter than cookie dough.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just lightly golden but the tops are still pale.

Classic Black & White Cookies
While your cookies cool, make your icings.

Classic Black & White Cookies
The vanilla is super easy: just combine your heavy cream, powdered sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until it has all come together.

Classic Black & White CookiesClassic Black & White Cookies
To make the chocolate icing, melt together your chocolate, heavy cream, and corn syrup, stirring until fully melted.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Set aside to cool completely.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Spread a thin layer of vanilla icing on one flat side of your cookies.

Classic Black & White Cookies
Then spread the other side with the cooled chocolate icing. Allow the cookies to set before moving – I find that refrigerating is a necessity.

Classic Black & White CookiesClassic Black & White Cookies

5.0 from 1 reviews
Classic Black & White Cookies
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or almond extract, which is possibly even more delicious)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar)
  • *parchment paper is the best thing to use with these cookies to help them come off the sheet easier
Vanilla Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (plus more, if needed)
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream (plus more, if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract (you can use regular vanilla extract, but the clear helps keep it as white as possible)
Chocolate Icing
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (around 3 minutes). Add in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  2. Add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately; add in ⅓ of the flour, then half of the buttermilk, then ⅓ of the flour, half of the buttermilk, then finally, the remaining ⅓ of flour, until just moistened.
  3. Line and/or grease your baking sheets, then place balls of dough about the size of 2 tablespoons onto the sheet about 2 inches apart. The dough will be wet, so you will either need to use an ice cream scoop or spoons to do this, or, if you're like me, you can place them in a piping bag (or a plastic baggie with the tip cut off) and pipe them onto the baking sheet - I found this to be the best method. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. When you are about ready to frost the cookies, make your icing. First, melt the chocolate in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat, then add in the heavy cream and corn syrup. Whisk until fully combined, then set aside to cool - the icing must be COMPLETELY cooled before you frost the cookies. To make the vanilla icing, simply beat together the powdered sugar, cream, corn syrup, and vanilla extract, until smooth and a thick, but still spreadable, consistency. Add in more cream if it's too thick or more powdered sugar if it's too thin.
  5. When the chocolate icing and the cookies are cool, flip the cookies over and frost half of the flat sides with the vanilla icing, then the other half with the chocolate. Allow to sit and harden a bit, then refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.


18 Responses

  1. Deb says:

    Perfectly delightful little cookies! Enjoy the step by step instructions. The black & white polka dots, under your finished cookies, made me smile! Lovely!

  2. Chris says:

    How did you get the icing on there so nice and even? :O

    • Sydney says:

      @Chris: Practice! I just used a butter knife :)

      @Christine: You’re quite welcome!

      @Kari: Good question – I did, but it didn’t take long, maybe 5-10 minutes.

      @Aarthi: Thank you!

      @Rhonda: I hope it cools off soon, then. 😉

  3. Christine says:

    Every time I would visit NYC I would eat my weight in black & White cookies…. now that I don’t visit as much, I am positively giddy at your recipe. I will be definitely making these cookies next week when it gets cooler outside! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

  4. Kari says:

    Do you let the white set before you add the chocolate?

  5. Aarthi says:

    Amazing cookie…Bookmarked

  6. Rhonda says:

    These look pretty easy and very good! I want to bake more once it cools off here.

  7. brenda lee says:

    i am definitely making these for our first get together of our craft group. several of us are from new york and we miss these cookies. than-you a million times over. from athens greece

    • Sydney says:

      @Brenda Lee: You’re quite welcome! I hope you are enjoying your time abroad!

      @Christine: I have seen these giant b&ws that you speak of – it’d be fun to get one, if just for the laughs!

  8. These look AWESOME. I attribute my love of the B&W to being from New York, but I have never been brave enough to make them myself. My favorites come from the Jewish bagel place near my house and, one day, I’m going to order the GIANT one (it’s the size of a manhole cover). One day…

    Hope you had a good weekend! Sounds like a pretty awesome lineup to me! :)

  9. Lindsey says:

    These remind me of little Reversi pieces :-) so cute! I think B&W cookies are one of my fav splurges!

  10. ash says:

    Woah how do you still find time to bake those gorgeous cookies?? Impressed (:

  11. Jen says:

    I’m making these today.. I remember my first black & white cookie as if it were yesterday. A sure staple that NYC has to offer. I haven’t had one in about 7 years. I’m so delighted I found this recipe and as always, I love your step by step pics…genius!!!! Thanks for this recipe!

  12. Mary Lair says:

    I’ve been obsessively looking at as many recipes for this cookie as I can find on the Net, and yours is the one I’m going to use to bake & send a batch of these cookies for Valentine’s Day to my daughter at James Madison University. She LOVES the B&W cookie & we can’t find them anymore here in Va. Beach VA. She will be so surprised and happy; wish I could be there when she sees what I’m sending her.

    Honestly, your recipe looks about perfect; I’ve seen lots of complaints about the icing on the ones from Martha Stewart, and so many more are very similar to Martha’s recipe.

    The way you do the two icings seems very rationally simple, and delicious! The chocolate icing seems like a bit of a variation on chocolate fondant icing, with the heavy cream & bittersweet choco chips or any good bittersweet chopped into chunks or bits. I was thinking I’d heat the heavy cream to boiling, however, and then pour over the chocolate to melt it instead of melting the chocolate first and then adding it to the cream & other ingredients. Do you think I’ll be okay doing it this way?

    Thanks again for including so many details and sharing this recipe with all of us! Wish me luck!

Leave a Reply

©2022 The Crepes of Wrath