Black and White Cookies


I’ve only been to New York once. It was for about 3 days with my 8th grade class. We stayed at a hotel in New Jersey, ran around like mad to see the sites, and the thing I remember most is visiting the city’s first Synagogue, where the entire class fell asleep trying to listen to the tour guide’s passionless recounting of the place’s history.


So I can’t say that I know New York. What I do know is that New York City delis are doing something seriously right with this cookie. And it should not be deprived to those of us far from the East Coast.

They are soft, cakey, over-sized vanilla cookies spread with chocolate and vanilla icing. How could you go wrong with that combo?

The best part about these cookies is that they are soft without being doughy. And when the icing hardens, there is a perfect texture contrast with the crispy, sweet topping and the pillowy cookie. These are really something special.

Black and White Cookies

recipe from Joy the Baker, originally adapted from Gourmet Cookbook

makes about 16 large cookies (I made about 24)

*note: For the glazes, I replaced the corn syrup with agave nectar. Partly because it makes me feel better, and partly because I didn’t have corn syrup on hand. Your icing will be a little smoother and shinier if you use corn syrup.

For the Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg

For Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon light corn syrup (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Chocolate Glaze

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup (see note)

To make the cookies-

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add eggs, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cups of batter (I went a little smaller – about a rounded tablespoon) about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

To make the glazes-

In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons hot water, until smooth. That’s your vanilla glaze.

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate in a microwave for about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth. That’s your chocolate glaze!

Once the cookies are cooled, face them all bottom side up on a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.

Store in the refrigerator.


2 thoughts on “Black and White Cookies

  1. They look so yummy! Loved the intro on this one 🙂 I totally remember our tour guide being really boring but me wanting to pay attention cause I love history. Have fun this weekend! Love you!

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