Black and White Cookies

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr (plus 2 hr setting)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 12 black and white cookies
The black and white cookie is a bakery classic, especially in New York. This recipe delivers a big soft and cakey cookie loaded with vanilla, and topped with thick, sweet vanilla and chocolate icings. There’s actually not a lot of work that goes into these cookies, but be patient and let the icing set to a nice matte finish before serving or storing. They’re worth the wait!


For the Cookies:

For the Icing:


  1. Make the cookies: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350˚ F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
  2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, beating well after each addition.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Beat in the sour cream, then beat in the remaining flour mixture.
  4. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop mounds of dough and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets (6 cookies per pan). Bake, rotating and switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are puffed and the bottoms and edges are just starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the pans, then remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
  5. Make the icing: Sift the confectioners' sugar into a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons milk, the corn syrup and vanilla and whisk until smooth and very thick but still spreadable. Remove half of the icing (about 1/2 cup) to a separate bowl and stir in the cocoa powder until smooth, thinning with up to 1 tablespoon milk, if needed.
  6. Turn the cookies flat-side up. Using a small offset spatula, spread the white icing on half of each cookie, making a straight, clean line in the center of the cookie. Return the cookies to the rack, and let sit, preferably in a cool place, until the icing is firm with a matte finish, at least 30 minutes. Spread the chocolate icing on the other half of the cookies. Let the icing set at room temperature, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.