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Black and Whites

It’s a New York thing.  If you were born and raised in New York City (and any of the five boroughs) you know what a Black and White is.  If you move away (as I did) you crave them, you dream about them and it’s difficult to find them anywhere else.  Sometimes you think you’ve found them, and then you take a bite and…they’re crunchy!   Aaargh!  A true Black and White is never, ever crunchy!  You need to have sweet vanilla and chocolate icing on a meltingly soft cake/ cookie for it to be a true Black and White.  They come in many sizes, but the taste and the texture are always the same.

This recipe is fairly easy to make.  Buttermilk gives the cookie it’s tender, cake -like quality.  The icing is a simple confectioner’s sugar icing.  These cookies benefit from refrigeration or freezing.  They’re bite- size, so, be careful they are very addicting.

Mini Black and Whites

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour                                           1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda                                             1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt                                                1/2 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons unsalted butter,                                        1/3 cup buttermilk (low-fat)

room temp


2 cups confectioners sugar                                               1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup            1 tablespoon water, more , if needed

2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice                                  1 tablespoon unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make cookies. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

Put butter in bowl of electric mixer , fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add granulated sugar, mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in eg and vanilla.  Mix in flour in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk.

Roll tablespoons of dough and place on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets, 2″ apart.  Bake cookies rotating halfway through, until bottoms are golden, about 10  minutes.  Cool completely on sheets on wire rack.

Make icing.  Whisk confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and the water.  Add more water if needed, it should be a little thicker than honey.  Transfer half the icing to another bowl and add the cocoa.  Add more water, if needed.

Spread white icing on half of each cookie and the cocoa icing on the other half.  Let stand until set, 30 minutes.  Can be stored between parchment paper.


1.  I can never roll the dough into balls, I use a teaspoon cookie scoop, they come out perfect!

2.  You can always make extra icing-don’t skimp.

3.  I use a small, offset spatula to spread the icing, it works really well.

4. I freeze the cookies on the cookie sheets and then store them in the freezer between sheets of parchment.  When they thaw, they are the perfect consistency!

These are a family and regional favorite, enjoy!


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