Black & WhitesI recently joined a group of lovely ladies in a monthly recipe exchange club. It’s a pretty simple concept – we select a different theme for each month and then cook or bake whatever we want, so long as it fits within that theme. Though we call it a recipe exchange club, we rarely remember to actually exchange the recipes we make. It’s more like a recipe *inspiration* exchange club! The only rule is that each person must try a portion of each dish so that everyone can cast a well-informed vote for the night’s best dish. The anonymous votes are then tallied up and the monthly winner is crowned.  For this month, the theme was Winter Whiteout, and the dish needed to either be white in color or have white in the name. I chose the latter, and made a cookie classic - the good, old black & white.

Icing Black & White Cookies

I was planning on making spicy white pizza dip, but I changed my mind in a game time decision.  Looking for a new challenge, I went with these cookies instead. While my icing skills are always in need of improvement, I’m generally very happy with how authentic looking these cookies turned out.  Should you seek out these cookies in a NYC bakery you’ll find that they’re usually on the monstrous side with cake-like consistency.  Well, my cookies ended up a bit smaller and a bit more dense than that traditional cookie. But, very tasty nonetheless! I think next time (as indicated in the recipe below) I’ll mix in the dry ingredients by hand instead of using the stand mixer to do the work.

White Icing for Black & White Cookies

These cookies are perfect for those who are typically indecisive about dessert. We all know that this has never been an issue for me. It’s pretty clear by now that I’m a one-stop, forever-and-always, chocoholic. But, some people actually like a little vanilla switch up! Luckily, these cookies give you the best of both worlds. The cookie itself is flavored with vanilla and lemon extract, so its bright and light tasting. And the two sugary icing options, one vanilla and one bittersweet chocolate, ensure that you’ll never actually have to commit to a favorite flavor.

Classic Black & White Cookies

So, whats your choice? Do you eat the vanilla side first? Or, the chocolate side? Or, perhaps even more noncommittally, do you just chomp perfectly down the middle? Whichever method you choose you, you’re in for a sugary sweet black & white treat!

A Classic Cookie - Black & Whites

Classic Black & White Cookies

Serves 30
Prep time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 2 hours, 20 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Website NY Times



  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup


1. Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add sugar and butter. Mix on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon extract. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Remove bowl from mixer.
4. In a separate bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, and salt. Working in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon to gently mix the ingredients. Do not overmix!
5. Scoop large spoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheets, about 6 per sheet as the cookies will spread while baking. Bake in oven for 18 - 20 minutes, until edges are golden. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack.
6. While warm, use a large circle cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Let cool completely.
7. Repeat step 5 & 6 with remaining dough. Meanwhile, place baking sheets lined with wax paper underneath the cooling racks (for easy icing cleanup).
8. To make icing, place confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add water and stir until mixture is a thick yet spreadable icing. (You may need to add more or less water or sugar to get the right consistency. Set aside a couple of the cookies to test out the icing.)
9. Set half of the icing aside. For the white icing, add the vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a round tip, with some of the icing. Pipe a straight line down the middle of each cookie. Squeeze any remaining icing back into the bowl.
10. Use an offset spatula to ice one half of the cookie with white icing. (Keep a double boiler nearby and when the icing starts to harden, place the mixing bowl on top of the simmering water to loosen.)
11. Place other half of the icing over a double-boiler with simmering water. Add chocolate chips and corn syrup. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Use an offset spatula to ice the other half of the cookie with the chocolate icing.
12. Let cookies sit for one hour (or overnight) to dry completely. Store in an airtight container, serve within three days.

Shared with: Weekend Re-Treat

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5 Responses to Classic Black & White Cookies

  1. Everytime I thik of Black & White cookies, I think of the episode on Sinfeld! I don’t recall mutch of it, but all I hear in my head is Jerry saying you have to get the Black & White Cookie! Great recipe!!! I have to give these a whirl!

  2. Just saw these your picture with link over at recipe newz and thought these looked so good! I’m having a link party this weekend and would love for you to come over and link up one of your favorite recipes!

    Shauna {The Best Blog Recipes}

  3. Thanks for linking up this weekend with me :) These look delicious! Hope to see you again next weekend!

    Shauna {The Best Blog Recipes}

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