Black and White Cookies

How to make New York City style Black and White Cookies! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to recipe #3 in cookie week! Don’t miss:

Today’s the real deal. I’ve been waiting over a month to share this new cookie recipe with you!!! In fact, I have legit butterflies in my stomach typing this right now because I’m so excited for you to make this recipe.

Watch the video for how to make them! ↑ ↑

Don’t waste another minute. Get your ingredients out RIGHT NOW.How to make New York City style Black and White Cookies! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This New York City style black and white cookie recipe comes from the highly talented, knowledgeable, and influential team over at America’s Test Kitchen. I worked with them last year to help promote their Naturally Sweet cookbook. Do you remember the chewy chocolate chip cookies with less sugar recipe? I love those– and learned a lot about lower sugar alternatives by reading the book. ATK has a brand new book out this fall and it’s dedicated to something we ALL have in common: a genuine obsession with cookies. The Perfect Cookie couldn’t come at a more perfect time as I’m launching Sally’s Cookie Addiction next week!

Packed with 250 cookie, brownie, & bar recipes, The Perfect Cookie is any baker’s bible. What I love most– and what I know you’ll appreciate as well– is the comprehensive break-down of each recipe. Why it works, how it works, tips, tricks, lessons, troubleshooting, and more. It’s the book for the baking nerd in all of us. ♥

Nerdy bakers, we are.

The Perfect Cookie Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen

The recipe I chose to share is the classic black and white cookie. Large and in charge, these gigantic cake-like cookies are much easier to prepare at home than you think. Once intimidated to replicate this NYC classic, I’ve now made 6 batches since trying them out. SIX!! I gave a few batches to our friends and stashed the rest in my freezer. I’m in complete shock that I can make a cookie identical to the authentic version and knew this was just the recipe to share on my blog with all of you.

If you’ve never enjoyed a black and white cookie before, let me start by saying that these are cakey cookies. Normally I’m opposed to cake-like cookies because… I’d rather just eat a piece of cake?!?! Cakey cookies are imposter cookies. Buuuuut black and white cookies are totally the exception. They’re a mainstay at New York City shops and bakeries, bursting with vanilla flavor, a super soft texture, and adorned with both vanilla and chocolate icings. The icings firm up after an hour or so, making these cookies perfect for packaging, sharing, storing, etc. (It takes a mountain of willpower to share these, trust me.)  The icings are definitely the best part! Creamy yet crackly when you bite into it, sort of like donut glaze… but better.

How Does the Recipe Work?

Since these are cake-like cookies, the cookie dough is very unique. It’s closer to a super-thick cake batter rather than a crumbly cookie dough. The ingredient deck resembles any basic vanilla cake batter. ATK attempted these cookies with cake flour (because they’re supposed to be cake-like cookies!), but they found that cake flour made the cookies a little too crumbly. So you’ll just need some baking staples like all-purpose flour, butter, egg, sugar, etc.

After I tried batch #1, I increased the salt in the recipe as I found the cookies to be cloyingly sweet. Obviously they’re supposed to be sweet cookies, but I found 1/4 teaspoon was the perfect amount.

The secret to this recipe though? Sour cream. Don’t stray from it!! It’s what creates that iconic tender texture. It also reacts with the baking soda to produce enough lift. (You’ll also need baking powder. Remember why some recipes call for both?)

A carefully tested and surprisingly easy recipe for New York City style black and white cookies! These cake-like cookies are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

A carefully tested and surprisingly easy recipe for New York City style black and white cookies! These cake-like cookies are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

No dough chilling or waiting around– you can bake the cookies right away.

The recipe yields 12 massive black and white cookies. 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons!) of batter in each one. Divide them between two baking sheets. They’ll puff up and spread. Don’t be too concerned if the tops are a little bumpy because the tops actually become… the bottoms!!

The flat undersides are much easier to frost.

How to make black and white cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

A carefully tested and surprisingly easy recipe for New York City style black and white cookies! These cake-like cookies are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Both the vanilla and chocolate icing start from the same bowl– you’ll just add some cocoa powder and the rest of the milk to the chocolate version. Don’t skip the corn syrup– it’s what helps the glaze “set” and gives it that gorgeous shiny appearance. I found I had to add a little more confectioners’ sugar to obtain a thick texture and I’ll note that in the recipe below. This recipe produces a ton of glaze, so don’t be shy about piling it on. It’s awesome.

For best results, I suggest sifting the confectioners’ sugar to produce a smooth icing.

How to make New York City style Black and White Cookies! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Seriously, get out the ingredients now and enjoy NYC’s best at home. These homemade black and white cookies will be a repeat recipe in your kitchen too!!

How to make New York City style Black and White Cookies! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Black and White Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (or more as needed, see note)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature*

Icing

  • 5 and 1/2 cups (660g) confectioners' sugar, sifted (measure before sifting)
  • 7 Tablespoons (105ml) whole milk, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (18g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. Reduce to low speed and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream. Beat everything on low until combined and no pockets of flour remain. Batter is extremely thick.
  4. Using a greased 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, drop mounds of dough 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets-- 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  5. Make the icings: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, 6 Tablespoons milk, the corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Transfer 1 cup to a separate bowl, add remaining Tablespoon of milk and the cocoa powder. Whisk until combined.
  6. Spread vanilla icing onto half of the cookies-- the flat side. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set so that the icings do not bleed into each other. Spread chocolate icing onto other side and allow the icing to set completely, about 1 hour, before serving.
  7. Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make ahead tip: You'll want to bake this cookie dough right away as the baking powder is initially activated once wet. You can, however, bake the cookies in step 4, cool completely, cover tightly, and store at room temperature for up to 3 days before continuing with step 5. Frosted or unfrosted cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving or frosting.

Recipe Notes:

Why are the ingredients room temperature? Here's exactly why! But, mostly, the butter will curdle with some of the batter ingredients are colder than it.

*If your batter isn't super thick-- thick somewhere between cookie dough and pancake batter-- try adding an extra 2-3 Tablespoons of flour before scooping and baking. The cookies spread too much if the batter isn't thick enough.

*I strongly suggest using full-fat sour cream in this cookie batter. Full-fat plain Greek yogurt works as well, but you'll get the most tender texture from sour cream. So keep that in mind!

*You can use either natural-style or dutch-process cocoa powder in the icing. It doesn't matter since there is no leavening occurring. (Here's the difference between the two!) I prefer dutch-process or a dark cocoa, like Hershey's special dark cocoa.

Recipe reprinted in partnership with ATK from The Perfect Cookie

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Check out the NYC bakery tour that my team and I went on last Fall! We need to make a trip back for round #2. 🙂

New York City bakery tour on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.
A carefully tested and surprisingly easy recipe for New York City style black and white cookies! These cake-like cookies are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
A carefully tested and surprisingly easy recipe for New York City style black and white cookies! These cake-like cookies are irresistible! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

114 Comments

Comments

  1. Erin on June 20, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    The recipe says 5 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar at 660 g- that can’t be right. I had a almost solid goop of a mess and had to add a significant amount of milk to make it more like frosting. What’s the right amount please? Thank you Sally!

    • Sally on June 21, 2018 at 6:22 am

      Hi Erin! This is the correct amount. The icing is supposed to be very thick so it doesn’t spill over the sides of the cookie too much.

    • Lisa on June 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      I made it exactly as the recipe says and it was perfect and set up well. You have to mix it very very well to get it to come together. And yes it will be thick but it sets up fabulously.

  2. Lisa on June 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I made these today. The cooolie came out fabulous as did the white glaze. I don’t think there is enough chocolate in the glaze though. I made it as the recipe states but it didn’t taste enough like chocolate. And I used very ghiardelli cocoa so it was good quality cocoa. I added a lot more and it was still lacking the right chocolate flavor. Next time I’m going to try melted chocolate. That’s my only issue with the cookie.

  3. Heidi on July 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

    HI Sally, I love making and eating B&W cookies. In the pictures the icing looks more like a shiny glaze but in the video it looks like a thicker frosting. I’m assuming they’re both the same but wanted to check. Most recipes use a glaze, but one of my favorite cookies is from a bakery in Boston’s northend and they use a frosting–I’m dying to find a recipe with frosting, but can’t wait to make yours either way. Thank you

  4. Daniella on July 31, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Finally! A REAL black and white cookie! These are perfect in every way! I’ve tried SOO many recipes to get it right, and this is the winner. As soon as I removed them from the oven I could tell they were the perfect consistency based on how they kept their shape. The glaze is dead on too. The consistency seems impossibly thick, but sets to a glossy shine. The flavor is buttery, and laced with vanilla- fantastic. I wish I would have clear vanilla to make the plain glaze perfectly white, but the real stuff tastes so much better. I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa for the deep, dark chocolate brown. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

    • Sally on August 1, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      YAY! I’m so happy you found a recipe worthy of the real deal!!

  5. theresa on August 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    do you think i could make these as favors for a nyc baby shower? can I make them a few days before — how should I store them? does the frosting set so I can package them in a box or bag? sorry for so many questions.

    • Sally on August 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      These would be so fun for a NYC theme shower! Don’t skip the corn syrup if you want the glaze to set and they should be ok at room temperature for a few days as long as they are covered tightly (see make ahead tips at the end of the recipe).

Reviews

  1. Liz Pease on April 30, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Amazing flavor! My daughter requested “purple
    doggie cookies with sparkles” for her third birthday to take to daycare and I was struggling with what kind of cookie would work well for frosting (& not entail having to roll out dough!). I came across this and knew it was perfect. I had a little bit of a tough time mixing the icing, but it all worked out, and omg I can’t believe how good the cookies taste! Now, on to your strawberry cake for her party this weekend… that one has to be a “kitty cake with sparkles” … wish me luck!

    • Sally on May 1, 2018 at 6:31 am

      So cute!! Hope the birthday girl enjoys the strawberry cake recipe!

  2. Gabriella on June 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I am so very excited about this recipe! I am from South Africa and having relocated to the US was introduced to the Black and White Cookie for the first time! It very quickly became my ABSOLUTE FAV and a weekly indulgence! This recipe is just PERFECT! They come out bigger and better than the ones I buy in the store! The smile on my husband’s face after taking his first bite was priceless too! We give it a 10 out of 10!

    • Sally on June 4, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      I’m thrilled to read this review! I’m so glad you and your husband are enjoying them! 🙂

  3. Lisa on June 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I made these today. The cooolie came out fabulous as did the white glaze. I don’t think there is enough chocolate in the glaze though. I made it as the recipe states but it didn’t taste enough like chocolate. And I used very ghiardelli cocoa so it was good quality cocoa. I added a lot more and it was still lacking the right chocolate flavor. Next time I’m going to try melted chocolate. That’s my only issue with the cookie.

  4. Daniella on July 31, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Finally! A REAL black and white cookie! These are perfect in every way! I’ve tried SOO many recipes to get it right, and this is the winner. As soon as I removed them from the oven I could tell they were the perfect consistency based on how they kept their shape. The glaze is dead on too. The consistency seems impossibly thick, but sets to a glossy shine. The flavor is buttery, and laced with vanilla- fantastic. I wish I would have clear vanilla to make the plain glaze perfectly white, but the real stuff tastes so much better. I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa for the deep, dark chocolate brown. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

    • Sally on August 1, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      YAY! I’m so happy you found a recipe worthy of the real deal!!

Questions

  1. Chris Carson on May 17, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Would it be okay to substitute fat free milk for the whole milk?

    • Sally on May 17, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      I recommend whole milk. Fat free milk would be too thin.

  2. Jenn on May 21, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Hi just made these cookies and they came out great! I did have trouble mixing the icing though. It was super thick! I added more milk. Also the chocolate icing didn’t come out as dark as I’d like.. did you use coloring??

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Hi Jenn! For these photos I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa in the icing.

  3. Lauren on May 23, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I am looking into making these and I know butter at room temp can be very greasy. However I saw your comment about the butter being soft, and cold to the touch. As well as, not being greasy. I’m confused. Which is it, room temp, greasy butter or cold, soft butter? Thank you = ]

    Can’t wait to make these!

    • Sally on May 24, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Hi Lauren! What I mean by “at room temperature” is cool to touch, not greasy at all. See this cookie recipe post for more detail 🙂

  4. Mkg on June 10, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Do you have any suggestions for the chocolate version of this cookie

    • Sally on June 11, 2018 at 5:46 am

      I haven’t tried it for this particular recipe yet, but here is my chocolate whoopie pie recipe. The same cake/cookie texture.

  5. Zara on June 15, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Hi! I made these last night to test out before diving in to make large batches for my upcoming wedding! Being from New York I wanted to give black and whites as a guest gift but thought making them at home would be more personal. I had some issues with the icing being runny but I think I added too much milk to the chocolate batch. I’ll need to try that again.

    As we want to give these out as favors we need to package them. Do you have any recommendations? I put them in little baggies last night but the icing melted and smeared onto the baggies.

    Thank you!

    • Sally on June 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      What a fantastic idea for wedding favors! Did you let the icing harden for a bit before placing them in bags? You can ty to find little cookie boxes instead if the bags don’t work!

      • Zara on June 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

        Thank you! The ones that sat in the fridge a bit longer did better in the baggies!

        I would like to make them ahead and freeze them. I saw in your note you can freeze them either frosted or unfrosted. Do you have a recommendation? Also, if I do freeze them frosted, do you have a suggestion for how to package them in the freezer?

        Thank you again! Some of my family from NY tried my test batch and said these are better than the store bought ones my mom brought down last time she visited!



      • Sally on June 20, 2018 at 3:46 pm

        I prefer freezing without the icing. Icing tastes best when it’s fresh. Once they’re completely cool, stack them in a Tupperware or place in a freezer-friend zipped top bag.



  6. Erin on June 20, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    The recipe says 5 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar at 660 g- that can’t be right. I had a almost solid goop of a mess and had to add a significant amount of milk to make it more like frosting. What’s the right amount please? Thank you Sally!

    • Sally on June 21, 2018 at 6:22 am

      Hi Erin! This is the correct amount. The icing is supposed to be very thick so it doesn’t spill over the sides of the cookie too much.

    • Lisa on June 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      I made it exactly as the recipe says and it was perfect and set up well. You have to mix it very very well to get it to come together. And yes it will be thick but it sets up fabulously.

  7. Heidi on July 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

    HI Sally, I love making and eating B&W cookies. In the pictures the icing looks more like a shiny glaze but in the video it looks like a thicker frosting. I’m assuming they’re both the same but wanted to check. Most recipes use a glaze, but one of my favorite cookies is from a bakery in Boston’s northend and they use a frosting–I’m dying to find a recipe with frosting, but can’t wait to make yours either way. Thank you

  8. theresa on August 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    do you think i could make these as favors for a nyc baby shower? can I make them a few days before — how should I store them? does the frosting set so I can package them in a box or bag? sorry for so many questions.

    • Sally on August 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      These would be so fun for a NYC theme shower! Don’t skip the corn syrup if you want the glaze to set and they should be ok at room temperature for a few days as long as they are covered tightly (see make ahead tips at the end of the recipe).

Leave a Comment


       



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Top 5 Recipes

grateful-creator-logo

Recipes You'll Love

Categories

Archives

sallys-cookie-palooza

Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More...

fabruary-challange

Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More...

pie-week

Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More...

My Cookbooks

@sallysbakeblog