Part chocolate-part vanilla. Part cake-part cookie. Black and White Cookies are an iconic treat in the New York City area…and they’re delicious!
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Chocolate lovers rejoice…and vanilla lovers rejoice! This recipe for Black and White Cookies represents the best of both worlds. ½-chocolate, ½-vanilla. ½-vanilla, ½-chocolate. No matter how you look at it, these cookies offer something to everyone!
But the real question is how do you eat Black and White Cookies? Do you nibble off all of the chocolate side first? Or perhaps you go into the vanilla first and leave the chocolate for last? Or maybe you throw all caution to the wind and just go right down the middle? I’ve tried each of these strategies…and I honestly don’t have a favorite method. At the end of the day, you’re eating a delicious cookie, and each method has its merits.
Black and White Cookies
Also known as half-moon cookies or half-and-half cookies, Black and White Cookies are a classic cookie in the New York City area. It’s an unwritten rule that any self-respecting bakery in NYC must have these cookies in the display case. And folks have strong opinions about which bakery makes the best version. I get it. These are delicious cookies!
According to food legend, Black and White Cookies originated in New York City sometime around 1900. Their popularity spread quickly, and today they are a staple sweet treat in New York. It seems these cookies even made a jump across the Atlantic during WWII as there is a similar cookie in Germany called an “Amerikaner.”
If you’ve never eaten these cookies, then put ’em on the list! These cookies are unique. We’ve already touched on the chocolate-vanilla combination, but the cookies themselves are also a bit different.
Perhaps taken from the Southern teacake, Black and White Cookies are a cake-like cookie. These aren’t chewy chocolate chip cookies or crispy gingersnaps. Nope, these cookies are dome-shaped and the texture is a bit more like cake than cookie. In fact, the dome shape leads to an interesting point – you actually flip these cookies over and frost the bottoms. (The bottoms of these cookies are flat, so that prevents any trouble with the frosting running to one side or the other.)
If you’re looking for a unique and delicious cookie to make at home, then put these Black and White Cookies on the list! We love ’em here in our house, and a tray of these cookies is always met with a big smile. Happy baking!
Did you make a batch of these cookies at home? Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Black and White Cookies
For the Cookies
For the Cookies
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper; set pans aside.
- Using a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir until well combined; set bowl aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest; set bowl aside.
- Using a countertop mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add eggs; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add ½ of the flour mixture; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add ½ of the sour cream mixture; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream mixtures. (Note: Don’t forget to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.)
- Using an ice cream scoop (or a ¼-cup measure), drop ¼ cup scoops of batter onto the prepared baking pans. (Note: Leave 2” of space between scoops. I put 6 scoops on each pan.)
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until centers of cookies are springy to the touch.
- Let cookies cool on pans for 15 minutes and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack until completely cool.
For the Glaze
- Using a medium bowl, add confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and 5 Tbsp of hot water; whisk together until well combined. If needed, continue adding hot water 1 Tbsp at a time until the glaze is thick but spreadable. (Note: Err on the side of too thick rather than too thin!)
- Flip each cookie over and use an offset spatula to spread glaze over half of the flat side. Place cookies back on cooling rack. (Note: You will have leftover glaze.)
- Stir the melted chocolate into the remaining glaze. Add cocoa powder and stir until glaze is smooth. Add enough hot water (2-3 Tbsp) to create a thick, but spreadable glaze.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate glaze evenly on the other half of the cookies.
- Let glaze set for 1-2 hours before serving.
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