Black and white cookies are the kind of New York City deli/bodega classic that I love. But because the cookie is really a cake, they get stale quite quickly, but this doesn’t stop deli and bodega owners from pulling their plastic shrink-wrapped versions from store shelves. Many of you may have seen them on an episode of Seinfeld "look to the cookie". In my opinion, your best bet is to make them at home, where you can eat them freshly baked out of the oven. These came out delicious and were rather easy to put together. Now the question is which side do you bite first? The black or the white?
Yield: About 2 dozen very large cookies
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
3 ounces very bitter or unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon light corn syrup.
1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.
In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter. Mix by machine or hand until fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and lemon extracts, and mix until smooth.
In medium bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until mixed. Add dry mixture to the wet in batches, stirring well after each addition. Using a soup spoon, place heaping spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
Boil a cup or so of water in a small pot. Place confectioners’ sugar in large, heat-safe mixing bowl. Gradually stir in enough boiling water to the sugar to make a thick, spreadable mixture. Leave remaing boiling water on the stove.
Spread frosting on half of the flat side of each cookie. Once all cookie halves have been frosted, place the bowl of the remaining frosting over the hot water and bring it back to a simmer (creating a double-boiler). Stir in the bitter or unsweetened chocolate until melted, as well as the light corn syrup. At this point, depending on the chocolate you used and your preferences, you might find the chocolate color to be a little lighter than the “black” of a black-and-white cookie. If so, add a tablespoon or so of cocoa mixed in darkens the color nicely.
Ice the remaining half of the cookies with the chocolate frosting. If you find that the chocolate–especially with cocoa in it–is especially prone to getting too dry, don’t worry about whisking in an extra teaspoon of that hot water from time to smooth it back into a shiny frosting.
Let the frosting set. The finished cookies can be stored for up to 2 days in an airtight container, preferably in a single layer so that the icing won't be marred.
Sources: Adapted from a bunch of places, but mostly Zabar’s