Black and Whites Cookies Recipe

Black and Whites Cookies Recipe
After losing our 12-year-old beloved black cat, Gwen, my husband surprised me, after attending a local adoption event, with two tiny (2.5 pounds each) black and white kittens. I named them Beulah and Christine, and their coloring reminded me of the famous New York Deli cookies, Black and Whites.
There are dozens of recipes in cookbooks and on the web for Black and Whites, but I wanted to make cookies that are authentic and similar to those made in bakeries and delis all over New York. So I consulted a favorite cookbook, Molly O’Neill’s New York Cookbook: From Pelham Bay to Park Avenue, Firehouses to Four-Star Restaurants which I’ve used for years when I’ve wanted good New York recipes.

Black and Whites are traditionally very cake-like cookies and are frosted with both vanilla and chocolate frostings. O’Neill’s version is from a famous bakery, Zabar’s, and seems to be the standard. Here is my version, adapted from her book but with my added changes. Of course mine aren’t as perfectly frosted as they are in the bakery, but they certainly taste good.

36 large cookies

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar

4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

6 cups powdered sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
4 ounces dark chocolate, at least 50% cacao

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Line 3 baking sheets with Silpat or spray well with non-stick spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light.
  4. Add the eggs and beat well.
  5. Measure the cake flour, flour, baking powder, and salt in a fine strainer set over the butter mixture; shake the dry ingredients through.
  6. Turn the mixer to low, and gradually add the milk; mix well to make a soft dough.
  7. Scoop balls of dough onto the baking sheet using a 1/4 cup scoop.
  8. With damp hands, press the balls down and reshape them into rounds.
  9. Bake 15-18 minutes or until the edges begin to brown; remove from the oven and transfer to cooling racks.
  10. Make the frosting: Measure the powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and add enough boiling water to make the mixture thick, but spreadable.
  11. Place half of the mixture in another mixing bowl; sift the cocoa powder over and mix in.
  12. Melt the chocolate and stir in.
  13. Using a pastry brush, brush the chocolate mixture over each cookie, covering half of each.
  14. Brush the white frosting over the other half of each cookie.
  15. Let set, then store in an airtight container.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 64
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 25% Protein 4% Carb. 70%

Nutrient Amount per Cookie
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 39 mg
Sodium 112 mg
Total Carbohydrate 45 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 10 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A 5% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 5%

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This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.