The Black ’n White Cookie -The 11th Day Of Cookies

| December 11, 2012

Today we are highlighting New York City’s signature cookie, “The Black ‘n White.” This Gotham classic can be found all over metro New York in neighborhood delis and their gourmet counterparts like Dean and Deluca and Zabar’s.

In our quest to find the origin of this New York native, we were surprised that the cookie’s history is illusive while it’s popularity huge.

Like other New York “foodie” favorites, the Black ’n White fans chase the best version of this delish cookie. 2012 CBS and Chowhound polls both named William Greenberg Desserts on the Upper East Side as one of the best ( They will even custom color the cookies.  Glaser’s Bakeshop, another Upper Eastside bakery favorite ( also gets recognition for it’s Black ‘n White Cookies.

As a Black ‘n White Cookie lover, I have tried many recipes over the years and this is a combination of the best of several.  Most important is that the shortbread cookie remains cakelike, the white frosting silky and the chocolate frosting rich and satisfying.  Which side of a Black ‘n White do you eat first?

NYC BLACK ‘N WHITE COOKIESblack and white cookies

The Shortbread

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract, or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup whole milk

Vanilla Frosting

  • 3 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate melted

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.

In a mixer beat together the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, lemon extract and vanilla until well combined.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix in the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there’s no need to beat.

Using 1/4-cup measure, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. With the wet bottom of a measuring cup, flatten the dough to a 3″ diameter circle. Leave 2″ to 2 1/2″ between each cookie; they’ll expand.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they’re set, and are a very light golden brown around the edges. If there’s no sign of brown, that’s OK. Cookies baked for 10 minutes will be quite moist. Cookies baked for 12 minutes will be drier and more “authentic.” Bake for 11 minutes for an in-between cookie.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them on the pan. As they cool, prepare the icing.

To make the vanilla icing: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, and hot water. Add the vanilla

Spread the icing over half of each cookie. Place them on a wire rack to set while you make the chocolate icing.

To make the chocolate icing:  Combine the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and hot water stirring until smooth.

In the microwave, or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Add the melted chocolate into the sugar mixture, stirring till well combined.

Spread the icing on the uncovered half of each cookie. You’ll have extra icing, so don’t be afraid to pile it on.

Set the cookies back on the rack, and allow them to rest for about 30 minutes, until the icing is set.

For best storage, wrap each cookie individually, in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Yields 2 dozen large (3 3/4″ to 4″) cookies.

Charlotte “Tish” Goldblatt