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Nov 2, 2006 04:51 PM

How do I make black and white cookies?

You know what I's those yummy disc-shaped cookies with one half of the top of the cookies frosted with white and the other half frosted with black? It's not a typical cookie b/c it's got an almost cake-like consistency, but then again it's not really a cake...argh! Help me hounds!

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  1. It's a soft round vanilla cookie, about 3 inches across, dipped in a thick, shiny confectioner's sugar glaze: half white, half chocolate.

    A friend of mine from NYC who now lives in SF had a weird urge for black & white cookies and tested many recipes before she found a good one. I tasted the final result and it was wonderful - but I won't speak to her until later, maybe tonight but I'll post it, maybe as late as tomorrow, depending on when I get her.

    1. Get yourself a copy of last year, November or December, issue of Gourmet -- it's the Christmas cookie issue, and there's a picture of small black and whites on the cover. I made them and gave them as gifts. Everybody loved them

      4 Replies
        1. re: yayadave

          Yes, that's the recipe. As I recall, they weren't too hard -- a little labor intensive maybe, depending on how many you're making -- but the results were worth it.

        2. re: JPomer

          I made those last year, and mine were not so pretty. Any tips?

          1. re: rabaja

            I remember it was a little hard to get the icing perfect on each side, but since they're home-made, do they have to be perfect? Also - a small offset spatula if you didn't use one was best for icing the cookies

        3. Yes! Those are exactly the ones I'm talking about...but mine usually come out too cakey (kind of like a flat cupcake) when they should be a wee bit chewy with some density to it (am I making any sense?)...

          1. Ah yes, I have been down this same road trying to make them for a former New Yorker now living in SF. It was hard for me never having had them so I was not sure what I was going for. After trying many recipes on her, she said that the ones I made from Baking Illustrated by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated were probably as close (although not perfect) as I would ever get. I guess you can never capture that New York essence totally. Must be the water or something!

            1. There's a really good recipe for these cookies (my absolute favorite cookie (cake?) in the world) at this link:


              It's from Tish Doyle's Diner Desserts, an excellent cookbook that contains recipes that really work.

              And there's another good recipe that claims to be a clone of Zabar's Black and White Cookies at this link:


              The main difference between these two recipes is the flavorings used. The first one uses vanilla extract and grated orange peel and the second one uses vanilla and lemon extracts. Also, the first recipe uses sour cream, which makes for a much softer, cake-like cookie than the second one, which uses milk. And, finally, the first recipe uses water in the frosting while the second uses heavy cream making for a thicker, creamier icing.

              I prefer the first recipe, but I thought that some folks might like the Zabar's clone, so I posted both links.