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Jan 19, 2003 08:34 PM

black and white cookies

  • b

I've been living in NYC for five years, and I just had my first Black and White cookie yesterday. (It was pretty good) I was wondering does anyone know if Black and White cookies were invented in NYC? If not, then where?

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  1. For the life of me, I can't figure out why these things are such a big deal in NYC.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Scooter Pie

      I've always thought they were overrated. Very dry and crumbly in my opinion and I'm a big cookie eater.

        1. re: Scooter Pie

          A good black and white goes well with a good egg cream. These are 2 classic New York snacks, so if it doesn't do much for you, it could be that you weren't reared on it.

          Suprisingly, the Zaro's b&w's have been pretty good of late.

          I believe the mini b&w's are a recent invention (perhaps the past 5-10 years?)

          1. re: UpstateGirl

            Does anyone have a recipe for black/white cookies...I used to buy them at a wonderful bakery (Snow Flake)in Syracuse..they were excellent, but I am now living in another state and I can't find them here

            1. re: Erma Nolls

              I have one I've made all my life from the Syracuse Sacred Heart church cookbook. Not at home now, so I will try to bring tomorrow and send.

              1. re: Erma Nolls
                Stanley Stephan

                Well, here's what I found on the web. The recipe in the bottom link sounded the best to me, but I'll bet they are not traditional. However, anything with that much heavy cream and sour cream has to be good.

                The Zabar's recipe is the one that is repeated most on the web. Here it is:


                Ok, here's one from Molly O'Neil's NY COOKBOOK. But come on, O'Neil and Jewish cookies. The woman uses powdered milk. That can't be right However, it was on the Jewish cooking site.


                From another Jewish food site:


                Epicurious took a shot at it with a buttermilk version


                There were a few places you could order the cookies online, but the prices were really funny.

                The best price was $16.95 a pound at the 2nd Avwenue Deli

                The following place was selling them at #6.95 each


                If you have an extra $56 (yes fifty six) you can order a dozen from the following:




          2. re: Scagnetti

            They're not supposed to be dry & crumbly. The best B&W cookies I've eaten had a soft cookie base, with real chocolate & vanilla flavor in the (soft fondant) icing.

        2. no, no no it's not just a new york city thing at all. at the mid-century peak the black & white cookies were well known in cleveland where they were called 'modernistic' cookies and popularized by a downtown department store. not sure if they are around much there anymore.

          1. I thought they were called oreos!

            1. Could someone elaborate for me...

              I bake a lot of cookies and I make a White Chocolate Shortbread with Dark Chocolate Chips that could be classified as B&W Cookies. There is also the standby of making a chocolate-based butter cookie and rolling it up with the plain butter cookie and slicing it ~ that would be a B&W cookie as well. Marcel Desaulnier makes a Chocolate Cookie with White Chocolate Chips that would also be a B&W cookie.

              I don't watch Seinfeld so I'm curious what this cookie is that has a fondant icing that is SPECIFICALLY a Black & White Cookie moreso than the others I have described.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Eviter
                Caitlin McGrath

                A black and white cookie, in NYC parlance, is a somewhat cakey-textured, round vanilla cookie, often large (4-6") but sometimes in a "mini" (2") size, with one hemisphere of the circle covered in white (vanilla, sometimes a little lemon) fondant icing and the other covered in black (dark chocolate) fondant icing. Thery're often pre-wrapped in plastic wrap, as well. They don't do a thing for me, personally.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  Caitlin Wheeler

                  Hey Caitlin -- have you tried the ones from Rocco's? The only ones I get excited about, period.

                  Black and White cookies are not black and white cookies -- it's a title, not an adjective.

                2. re: Eviter

                  Recipe I always use (from a Syracuse church cookbook & called Half Moon Cookies) and flavor I always remember from childhood is that of a sour-milk cake cookie. I just frost them with confectioner's sugar icing (with added chocolate in the dark half).

                3. Don't know the origin, but my dad, who's from Boston, calls them "half moons."