March 6, 2018 | Favorites

Black and White Cookies
By Kaitlin Hill

          During my brief stint as a New Yorker, I became obsessed with the black and white cookie. The delicate crumb and double glaze were only part of the appeal. The rest was my huge (and still thriving) crush on Jerry Seinfeld who made the cookie famous in 1994.

          In “The Dinner Party,” Jerry munches a black and white while musing about race relations. “If people would only look to the cookie, all our problems would be solved,” Jerry says. As a firm believer that baked goods are the key to happiness and harmony, I get it.

          But where did this iconic cookie come from? And more importantly, will I ever meet Jerry Seinfeld?

          The cookie’s history – like a lot of food history – is a little unclear. Some argue it was invented in 1902 at Glaser’s Bake Shop in Yorkville, NY. In a 1998 Times article by William Grimes, Herb Glaser of Glaser’s bakery remembers the treat has been available in his Bavarian immigrant-owned bakery since it’s inception, 96 years ago. That means today the Black and White cookie is 115 years old.

          Others claim that there exists an equally long cookie lineage that traces back to Hemstrought’s Bakery in Utica. This theory states that the B&W is a descendent of the “half-moon” cookie, one of Hemstrought’s specialities.

          While their place of origin is up for debate, almost all cookie scholars seem to agree that they aren’t even cookies…not really. Instead, the black and white cookie is a cake! A drop cake. It makes sense. The batter is wetter than a cookie’s, the texture more moist. I’d classify them as a cross between cake and cookie. Like a…uh…cakie…or some other clever name I haven’t come up with yet.

1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups of cake flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the vanilla icing:
1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 – 3 tablespoons of water

For the chocolate icing:
1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
3 – 4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of cocoa powder


          Preheat the oven to 375°F. Measure out all of the cookie dough ingredients.

          In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and lemon extract.

          Mix until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry to the wet in small batches. Mix until all the dry is incorporated and the batter is smooth.

          Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, portion out the dough onto cookie trays leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

          While the cookies are cooling make the frostings. For each individual frosting, place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until you have two smooth, spreadable, frostings.

          Once the cookies have cooled completely, glaze one half in vanilla and the other with the chocolate. Let the icing set for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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