I am one of those folks who is guilty of only eating the top of a muffin or cupcake. (This is actually a family trait, so that when we share muffins at brunch, there is a sad, dejected pile of topless muffins left on a plate.) These cookies take the best part – the top – and then give you not one but two glazes. What’s not to like? As is true of so many iconic cookies (these are a staple at delis), Black and Whites can be mass-produced, stale monstrosities that are not worth the calories or, well, these beauties that come from a cookbook I have called… I kid you not… bigfatcookies. There is a touch of lemon zest in the cake batter that is the perfect foil to the sweetness of the chocolate and white glazes.
Everyone who has enjoyed these cookies ends up asking for the recipe. It is that good. Enjoy!
Black and Whites
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons plus up to 2 teaspoons (if needed) hot water
1 teaspoon corn syrup
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and butter the paper.
Make the cookies. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside. In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until smooth and slightly lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and almond extract until blended, about 1 minute. At low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture, just to incorporate it. Mix in the buttermilk, blending completely. Mix in the remaining flour mixture.
Using an ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 ½ inches apart. Bake the cookies until the edges and bottom are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 14 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 4 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Chocolate Glaze: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the whipping cream, butter and corn syrup until the mixture is hot and the butter melts. Do not let boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Let the chocolate melt for about 30 seconds then stir until all of the chocolate has melted and the glaze is smooth. Let the glaze cool until it thickens enough to cling to the cookies, about 30 minutes.
Make the White Glaze: When ready to glaze the cookies, in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, almond extract and 3 tablespoons hot water to make a thick, smooth, pourable glaze. If necessary, continue adding hot water by the teaspoon to reach the desired consistency.
Turn the cookies so the fat bottom sides are up. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of white glaze on what is now the top side of a cookie and use the back of a spoon to spread the glaze evenly over half of the cookie. (If the glaze thickens as you work so it does not spread easily, add a few drops of water.) Repeat with the remaining cookies. Spoon a generous spoonful of chocolate glaze over the bare half of each cookie, spreading it evenly over the half of the cookie. Some glaze may drip over the sides and that is fine. (You will have about 3 tablespoons of chocolate glaze left for another use.) Refrigerate the cookies to firm the glaze.
Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature. The cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.