This Black and White Cookie Recipe is for When I’m Dreaming of NYC.
Aside from New York Cheesecake, I don’t think that any pastry is more associated with New York City than Black and White Cookies. For decades, Black and White Cookies have been a staple New York City Bakeries. However, having lived my entire life in Colorado, the first time I had ever heard of Black and White cookies was after purchasing The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett. Nancy included a recipe for Black and White Cookies that had come from a former New Yorker who made them every time she was craving a taste of home. I just thought they looked dramatic and delicious. So I made a batch, and my kids went crazy for them. Who am I kidding? I went crazy for them. They are delicious.
I made Black and White Cookies many times before I’d ever even had the chance to go to New York and try an authentic New York Black and White Cookie. And then, the first time I did visit NYC, I didn’t even try one. We ate New York pizza and cheesecake, cannolis and gelato in Little Italy, but flew back home without having sampled a single Black and White Cookie.
A few years later, we decided to take the kids to New York for Christmas. Before leaving, my son and I made a deal to purchase a Black and White Cookie every time we had the opportunity to do so. And we did. We tried Black and White cookies from all over the city and discovered how different they can be from bakery to bakery.
In some NYC bakeries, the Black and White Cookies were very much like little cakes, while in others, they were more flat and cookie-like.
Some of the Black and White Cookies that we sampled contained a trace of lemon, others did not. Some were very sweet, others were just barely so. Some had a lot of vanilla, others had very little. The fondants were also remarkably different depending on the bakery. Sometimes the cookies were topped with very fluffy frosting, similar to a buttercream you might use to frost a cake. Others were topped with a thin glaze.
After trying more Black and White Cookies than I care to admit, we decided that we preferred ours to be more of a cookie than a cake, with a lot of vanilla and a touch of lemon, and covered in fondant rather than frosting. That’s what you’ll find in this Black and White Cookie recipe.
Having been to New York several times since I first discovered Black and White Cookies, I now mostly make them when I miss that amazing city. (Well, that or Cheesecake or Babka.) All are a poor substitute for the city itself, but when I can’t get myself to New York, it’s a pretty good way to bring the city to me.Print
Large and dramatic vanilla and chocolate iced cookies with a hint of lemon. This recipe for Black and White Cookies makes me long for NYC.
- 4 1/2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), softened
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tsp light corn syrup
- 5 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsplemon extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
FOR THE CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA FONDANTS:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and distribute two oven racks so that the oven is evenly divided into thirds. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir with a wire whisk just to combine.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the sugar, butter and shortening. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, corn syrup and extracts and beat on medium speed until completely combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture and mix on low speed just until combined. Add the sour cream, and continue to beat on low speed to incorporate. Beat in the remaining flour mixture just until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit on the counter for about 10 minutes, which will allow the dough to firm up a bit.
- Shape 1/4 cup-size pieces of dough into balls with lightly greased hands and space at least 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. You should only be able to fit 9 cookies on each sheet. Pat the balls down slightly, to form thick circles, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Bake for 12-14 minutes, switching the cookies on the top rack for the ones on the bottom rack halfway through, until they are just set and the outer edges are just starting to turn a light brown.
- Remove sheets to a wire rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to let cool completely before frosting.
TO MAKE THE FONDANTS:
- Add the corn syrup and water to a medium size saucepan and cook over medium-high heat just until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating with a wire whisk to combine after each cup is added. Add the vanilla and whisk until completely smooth.
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl and pour 1 1/4 cups of the vanilla fondant over the chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then stir the chocolate fondant until smooth. Slowly add 3-5 teaspoons of hot water to the chocolate fondant just to thin it a bit. You want both the vanilla and the chocolate fondant to be thin enough to pour easily, but not runny. If the fondant seems runny, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add small amounts of hot water to thin.
- Put sheets of parchment or aluminum foil beneath the wire racks of cookies to catch the fondant drips. Using a small metal spatula or knife, immediately frost one side of each cookie with the vanilla fondant. Ice the second half of the cookies with the chocolate fondant. (If either fondant gets too stiff before you are finished icing all the cookies, just thin it out with hot water, adding 1 tsp at a time.)
- Let the cookies sit on the wire racks until the fondants have set up completely, at least 2 hours. Store the cookies in an airtight container, layers separated with parchment paper, for up to 1 week.
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