Monday, August 31, 2009

Black and Whites...the quest for perfection...

click on photo

This past week my Grandson and I made my all time FAVORITE cookie Black & Whites. Growing up in NY I was exposed to these cookies on every corner and in every bakery. I am always on a quest for the perfect black and white cookies. Black and whites are like little cakes. The cake texture should be between a cake and a light pound cake. They have to be fresh and the icing has to be perfect. My favorite place to buy them is in Grand Central Station because these babies are baked fresh every day and fly off the shelves in the bakery in a New York minute.

Most New Yorkers have a ritual for how they eat them. I prefer the vanilla side the best so I first eat the chocolate side and save the best for last. I like to savor every single bite.

There are many Black and White cookie debates. One thing New Yorkers will agree upon is that they are best eaten along with a big glass of milk and shared with someone you love.

Half Moon Cookies aka Black and Whites

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I use non salt butter)
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375*.

Cream sugar and butter.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and then add to the sugar and butter.

Add the vanilla.

Add the milk.

Batter will be fluffy in appearance since these are like little cakes.

Drop by tablespoons ( I used 1/4 cup) on a greased cookie sheet. I use silpat mats so I did not grease. Use your spoon to mold into round shapes. I made my cookies the size of a small saucer.

Bake until brown but not dark. The recipe did not say for how long to bake but I baked them for approximately 13-15 minutes until they were a light golden color.

Cool and frost.


Frost half the cookies with vanilla and half with chocolate.

2 cups confectionery sugar and a few teaspoons of water to reach desired thick consistency.
I will add some vanilla the next time as I found they lacked flavor.

The frosting must dry before adding the other frosting.

2 cups confectionery sugar and 3 tablespoons unsweetened coco powder and a few tablespoons of water to reach desired consistency.

I found the cookies to be a little dry in texture so I am still on my quest for the perfect NY black and white cookies.

Do you have a favorite black and white cookie recipe?
Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. I have only made b&w cookies once and I used Martha Stewarts recipe. I really liked them, but haven't really had anything to compare them to. These look fabulous- what a fun activity in the kitchen!

  2. My friend lived in NYC for 6 months as a nurse, and she is addicted to these!

  3. Perfect timing! We are looking for a New York component for the wedding. I suggested black 'n white cookies but the bride was hesitant b/c the groom doesn't like chocolate. Now I'll have to try your recipe and send it to NYC "for testing purposes only", as they say.

  4. I do the chocolate side first! They are indeed the best, I never thought to make them, they are everywhere here! They make little ones, too, but nothing beats a big black and white! Great post, your grandson's smile says it all!

  5. What a darling grandson !

    My Hubs grew up in New York about 35 miles north of N.Y.C. so I never knew about Black & White cookies. What a fun baking project to do with kids !

  6. Precious little grandson! I remember seeing these in a cookbook Mama had. I don't remember ever tasting them. They sound delicious.

  7. This is the first time I've been exposed to black and white cookies. They look really yummy. Thanks for posting the recipe. I think I'll try these tonight or tomorrow. Great mosaic.

  8. Your cookies look perfect. Your grandson is adorable!

  9. They have these in the little coffee shop in my hospital where I work. They are good but I am sure not as good as homemade or the ones you had NY!!!

  10. So Joyce, is this THE recipe??? Should I try it?
    They look got your halves nice and straight! And the best is your little Cookie helper..adorable!
    Do you remember Black Out Cakes from Ebbinger's Bakery??

  11. Looks good -- black and whites are not know on the prairie -- but I may have to make these sometime!

    Thanks for visiting Linderhof

  12. Not having grown up in NY, I had no idea there was such a thing as black & white cookies, but I sure am going to try them!! How cool that they are baked fresh and sold on the streets!! I also always wished Chicago had food vendors, but it is against the law here. Oh, to have roasted chestnuts in the winter!!


  13. Perfect! Both your grandson and your cookies:) I hope you will join me for Crock Pot Wednesdays at My "blue" this week is part of a tribute to Julia Child. Hope to see you signed up with Mister Linky.

  14. the B & W cookie! I have a tough time keeping away from them. I've tried a few differente recipes, but had great success with Martha Stewarts recipe. I even liked the icing and that can be tough to copy. Hope you had fun with your grandson! Cute pictures! And thanks for sharing this recipe. Now I'm in the mood for these again!

  15. I've never had one. They sound delish.

  16. My husband grew up in NY eating black and white cookies. I fell in love with them the first time I tried one. Yum oh!


  17. So are you sending this NewYawker one to sample and taste test against a native version?

  18. i have seen these cookies all over the place, but i've never tried them, they look wonderful!

  19. Whoa! These cookies look delicious!! I could use one of those right now:)

    And thanks for posting the recipe!! And nothing more fun than making them with a grandson (or granddaughter:)! I'm looking forward to those days with ours.

    Thanks for stopping by my place and reminiscing with me about our old school day:) I loved your memories of your yellow rain coat and the same camera!:)
    Come by anytime!!

    Linda C

  20. I LOVE black & whites and also grew up eating them. I can find them here in Virginia at Starbucks and they are pretty good! I miss all the NY bakeries.

  21. What a wonderful project for shared time with your adorable little grandson. Its so much fun to make the cookies and then to gobble them up after they are frosted.

    Love these cookies.

  22. Yum yum. I am back in the land of the Toronto food vendors, but it is always the old sausage or meat on a stick something. These look delicious, and what an adorable little kitchen assistant! I will eat too many of course, but I am going to make these while I am here for the granddaughters.

  23. I've never made them but I do enjoy eating them!

  24. Would you believe I have never eaten a Black and White....these look wonderful...and Little Mister F helped make fun...he's time we meet for lunch I'll swap you a few cookies for some it a deal?

  25. I don't know about the black & whites but that grandson of yours sure is a cutie!

  26. and i thought the only place to get good black and white cookies was at goldbergs! great recipe...and your grandson is adorable!
    (ps.your daughter, son-in-law and the little one are my neighbors.=])

  27. Adorable photos and WONDERFUL recipe ... thanks for sharing and for visiting Happily Retired Gal too!
    Hugs and blessings,


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