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black and white cookies

bluebetta Jan 19, 2003 08:34 PM

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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    Scooter Pie RE: bluebetta Jan 19, 2003 08:56 PM

    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
      Scagnetti RE: Scooter Pie Jan 20, 2003 09:24 AM

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

      1. re: Scagnetti
        Scooter Pie RE: Scagnetti Jan 20, 2003 10:15 AM


        1. re: Scooter Pie
          UpstateGirl RE: Scooter Pie Jan 20, 2003 09:07 PM

          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
            Erma Nolls RE: UpstateGirl Jan 29, 2003 02:19 PM

            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
              K. McB. RE: Erma Nolls Jan 30, 2003 11:51 AM

              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 RE: Erma Nolls Jan 30, 2003 01:58 PM

                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:


                Link: http://www.thefoodpaper.com/recipes/B...

                Image: http://www.vegfamily.com/images/produ...

          2. re: Scagnetti
            Chorus Girl RE: Scagnetti Jan 20, 2003 10:29 AM

            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.

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          mrnyc RE: bluebetta Jan 20, 2003 09:38 AM

          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.

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            pop-pop RE: bluebetta Jan 20, 2003 10:02 AM

            I thought they were called oreos!

            1. e
              Eviter RE: bluebetta Jan 20, 2003 12:07 PM

              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 RE: Eviter Jan 20, 2003 12:54 PM

                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 RE: Caitlin McGrath Jan 20, 2003 01:05 PM

                  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
                  K. McB. RE: Eviter Jan 21, 2003 12:07 PM

                  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. m
                  MU RE: bluebetta Jan 20, 2003 03:44 PM

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

                  1. b
                    bluebetta RE: bluebetta Jan 20, 2003 06:35 PM

                    Just for the purpose of research I bought a second Black and White cookie from a deli (that's what they call convenience stores here I think), and it was terrible. Now I understand why some people don't like them.

                    If you want a good Black and White cookie, you have buy a fresh one from a bakery, not the prepackaged old, dry ones. It makes a huge difference.

                    1. g
                      gmunno RE: bluebetta Aug 7, 2007 10:05 AM

                      Upstate they are called halfmoons. There is a bakery in Utica, I think now closed, that is credited with their invention. My current favorites are from a bakery in Auburn, NY, called Carmen's. A good halfmoon (or black and white, take your pick) is not really a cookie at all, but rather more like the top of a giant cup cake. So dry is the last thing it should be.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: gmunno
                        Oh Robin RE: gmunno Aug 7, 2007 11:14 AM

                        You called it perfectly gmunno. I call these flat cupcakes. Especially the ones from Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, CA.

                        1. re: gmunno
                          Hungry Celeste RE: gmunno Aug 7, 2007 11:37 AM

                          The King Arthur Cookie Companion cookbook has a great recipe for B&W cookies.

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                          Dan S. RE: bluebetta Jan 17, 2009 09:42 AM

                          I'm confused a bit - and I know I'm replying very late (maybe there's a more recent thread? If so, I apologize). I read on Chowhound years ago that a true black and white had a thin layer of apricot jam underneath the frosting. And lo and behold, the best ones in NYC do have that (I'm thinking of Isaac's (or Isaiah's?) out in Midwood, and the old, now gone, College Bakery on Court Street in Brooklyn. I actually just found a terrific one up here in Portland, Maine at the Rosemont Bakery on Munjoy Hill - and it DID have the apricot jam layer. But why no mention of it here - or in any of the on-line recipes I've been able to find??

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