Black & White Cookies

Sunday, March 21


I love Seinfeld. No matter how bad the day is going or how many perfectly timed synchronized slow drivers I get stuck behind when I'm running late for something ( where is that huge Montey Python foot when you need it?) I can always rely on a Seinfeld rerun to put me in a better mood. It had the same effect on me in college during exams or a particularly brutal bio. lab meeting. I took comfort in the knowledge that I wasn't the only neurotic, over analytical person on the planet. These cookies had a cameo in one of the episodes and I finally decided to make them.


My mom grew up in Connecticut, yet she never had the privilege of enjoying one of these cookies during her visits to New York City. I had to fix that. They supposedly got their start when a resourceful baker had some left-over cake batter and turned it into cookies instead of throwing it away. In upstate New York they are also known as Half-Moons, thank you Wikipedia. It doesn't matter what you call them, they are spectacular! I didn't think I would be able to replicate them, but this is pretty close. Normally I don't like cakey cookies but you need that nice soft, almost sponge-like texture to make these live up to their full potential. I also figured out that that it's the flat half of the cookie that gets frosted. Do as I say and not as I do. Read through a recipe several times before making it. There was a brief moment of panic as my cookies were puffing up in the oven...all that wasted butter and they were for yet another March birthday (Pices and Aries, you're killing me.) Had I read the recipe carefully, I would have realized that all the glory is bestowed upon the cookie's base. You don't even notice the pot bellies because the gorgeous frosting is too distracting.

These cookies can be eaten in whatever way you prefer, but I think they taste great if you take a bite right down the center. Maybe Jerry was onto something when he claimed the cookie could be a basis for philosophical theories on race relations. :-)


Black and White Cookies
(found on Epicurious)
* printer friendly Recipe *

Ingredients:
Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter,at room temp.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

Icings
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (I only used 1, otherwise it was too tart)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

Make icings while cookies chill:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.
If the chocolate icing seizes up on you, add some cream or more hot water to make it shiny again, But use it sparingly. A little bit of liquid will go a long way.
Ice cookies:
Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.

11 comments:

  1. What delcious looking cookies! Seinfield is so funny, I miss that show! :-)

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  2. Funny! I wish Black and White cookies could solve race relations issues. Until they do, they are always delicious. I used to sneak them at the Jewish bakery I worked at when I was a teenager. I'd be in corner hiding with a mouthful!

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  3. i love that episode when he talks about the two colors living in harmony. i've never tried making these at home before though.

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  4. Ooh you wouldn't believe, but that eppy of Seinfeld is what introduced me to these beauties, and why I've wanted to make them ever since!!

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  5. YUM! Your B & W's turned out great. They are one of my absolute favorite treats. And that particular episode of Seinfeld is so hilarious!

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  6. oh yummy those cookies look soo good :)

    I wanted to make black and white cookies too for my blog when I saw that episode.But then I ended up making black and white heart shaped cookies since it was valentines.Oh wellf the future.

    Seinfeld has now made a black and cookie a symbol of harmony lol :)

    Its funny how certain things effect you.

    Awesome pictures!

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  7. I grew up eating black and white cookies but I have never made them. Maybe, it is time.

    Thanks for linking this up to Meatless Mondays.

    You might want to link one of your chocolate recipes up to Chocolate Obsession on Wednesdays. Go to the same place, if you are interested.

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  8. Thank you for posting this! Since I've moved from NY to CA, I have missed these cookies so much. These cookies look amazing and are making me crave some now!

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  9. Your cookies look beautiful and delicious!

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  10. I've only eaten them, have never made them. I'm too much of a dork to get the frosting on as pretty as you have. Perhaps I'll try, grins.

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  11. I was only anal with the frosting on the cookies that were going to be used for the photos. The rest were free-spirited and sloppy. :)

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Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie

 

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