Mini Black and White Cookies (A New York Classic)
Today: How to make classic black and white cookies at home — without any plastic wrap or cloying frosting in sight.
I have to admit, I’d never heard of black and white cookies before I moved to New York 7 years ago, but I quickly learned that a good black and white cookie is a beautiful thing: soft and cakey, with a nice balance of chocolate and vanilla.
Unfortunately, despite their iconic status, most black and white cookies out in the wild are shrink-wrapped, 5-inch behemoths that are more than a little stale and covered in thick, sugary icing. There are a couple of bakeries in New York that have great black and white cookies, but they are the kind of thing just asking to be made at home and enjoyed super fresh.
For this version, I started with a buttermilk-enriched batter for the base, then topped the cookies with fondant-style icing made with confectioner’s sugar. I kept the flavors classic, just simple chocolate and vanilla, but if you’d like to change it up, you can add a little orange zest to the chocolate icing or some maple flavoring or vanilla bean specks to the white icing.
Five inches of cookie is usually a bit too much for me, so I went ahead and made these mini-sized. It may seem a little fussy to ice such small cookies, but once you get into a rhythm, it’s a breeze.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and egg and mix until well combined. Scrape down the bowl.
Alternately add in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions. Mix until just combined. Use a one tablespoon measure (or pastry bag) to portion the cookies 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets.