Black & white cookies

Black & white cookies

The humble black & white cookie. A native New Yorker can probably tell a lot from a person just by watching them eat one of these addictive cookies. Black or white? What do you bite into first? Do you eat down the middle?

I am far from being a New Yorker. A week in the metropolis doesn’t warrant any form of ownership. How would I be judged by the way I eat one? I can say one thing though, once I had my first cookie, I wanted more.

The story behind the b&w is a little clouded and from what I have gathered it was originally made from the leftover cake batter in a Brooklyn bakery, or so the legend goes. It is also known as Brooklyn Bread and many say the best can be found at the William Greenberg Bakery on Madison Avenue.

This cookie is actually a thin cake. A simple sponge iced in chocolate and vanilla. Thin, soft, sweet and very easy to eat. Try the following recipe. They’re quite easy to make as well.

Black & white cookies recipe

Black & white cookies recipe

black & white cookies


  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp bicarb
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg


  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Whisk together the flour, bicarb and salt in a bowl. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a cup.

Using an electric beater, combine the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at lowest speed, scraping sides as you go. Mix until smooth. Spoon ¼ cups of the batter about 4cm apart onto a large oiled baking sheet.

Bake in centre of oven (15-17 mins) or until tops are puffed and pale golden and cookies spring back when touched.

Transfer to a cooling rack.

for the icings

Stir together the icing sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl until smooth.

Transfer just under half of the icing to another bowl and stir in the sifted cocoa, adding more water to thin to the same consistency as the white icing.

Turn the cookies flat-side up and spread the white icing over half of each and chocolate over the other half.

Real Time Analytics