Black & White Cookies… The perfect cookie for those individuals who cannot decide between vanilla and chocolate. And also for those who prefer a cakey cookie instead of crunchy or crispy one. I attempted to make Black & White Cookies a few years ago and it was a fail. Granted, I decided to be a bit adventurous and instead of making traditional ones I opted to make a red velvet version. But, once the cookies were done baking and cooled I decided to try one before going through the trouble of making the icing and it tasted horrible. Needless to say those cookies got tossed in the trash and the icing wasn’t made. And since I am not a big fan of icing on cookies I never thought again of attempting to make them. A few months ago while spending the day with my oldest niece we saw Black & White Cookies at a bakery and she casually mentioned to me that she liked those cookies. Being the auntie that I am I told her that I would make her some. I just needed to find a recipe that wouldn’t be a fail again. Before turning to Google to do a search for a decent recipe I decided to scour some of my cookbooks. There was one book in particular that I was sure I would find a no-fail traditional Black & White Cookie recipe, Martha Stewart’s Cookies Cookbook . And I was right. In there was a recipe for a mini version of this classic bakery cookie.
The cookie itself doesn’t require any special ingredients, well, unless you count buttermilk, but, since it’s so easy to make your own at home with just milk (I use whole milk) and white vinegar the ingredient list is filled with things you more than likely already have in your pantry. Back to the buttermilk for a second, if your skeptical about making it at home and think it’s best to buy the real deal I can assure you that after making my own for quite some time now and using it in recipes that I used to buy buttermilk for I haven’t noticed any difference with the finished product.
The dough for the cookies came together pretty quickly and while the recipe I was following stated to roll the cookies into balls before dropping them onto the prepared cookie sheets, the dough was just too sticky to do so. Instead I used a cookie scoop to scoop and drop the dough onto the sheets. I then baked them for about 10 minutes until the bottoms were a golden brown.
Once the cookies were cooled – and I tried one to make sure it tasted good – I made the icing. In a medium bowl I combined the ingredients to make the icing and then transferred half of it to a small bowl to add cocoa powder to it. While the consistency for the white icing was spot on, once I added cocoa powder to the other half it was much too thick to be able to spread onto the cookies so I added a few teaspoons of water to it to thin it out. Working on the flat sides of the cookies, I spread the white icing on half of each of the cookies.
I waited a minute or two for the icing to set and then I spread the chocolate icing on the other side of each of the cookies.
And while my cookies didn’t come out looking perfectly they tasted awesome!
Mini Black & White Cookies
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk*
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
*I made my own buttermilk by combining 1/3 cup whole milk with 2 teaspoons white vinegar in a measuring cup. I stirred to combine the two and then let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The buttermilk will be ready when mixture begins to curdle.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In medium bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda salt) and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, mix the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy. Add in the egg and the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and continue mixing until well incorporated. Mix in the flour in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough and place it on the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies turn golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies cool make the icing. In a medium bowl combine the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and the tablespoon of water. Mix together until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too thick add more water, a little at a time (the icing should be a bit thicker than the consistency of honey). Transfer half of the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the unsweetened cocoa powder. Once again, if the mixture is too thick thin with water.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, spread the white icing on half of the flat side of each cookie and the spread the cocoa icing on the other half. Let the cookies rest for 30 minutes so the icing can set and then enjoy!
Recipe from Martha Stewart