Perhaps my all-time favorite cookies are the famous New York Black and Whites! Part cake, part cookie. And two glazes – can’t beat that. They are wonderful eaten immediately or they can be frozen with great results.
The simple keys to success here are: 1) you’ll want to lightly grease your hands when shaping the cookies, otherwise the dough is too sticky to work with. You can do it with a bit of softened butter or you can actually spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray (yep – that’s what I did). 2) When applying the two glazes apply the white (vanilla) half first. Chocolate easily covers the white but not so much the other way around. So you’ll have a much cleaner, professional looking cookie if you start with the white glaze.
Black and White Cookies (adapted from “The All American Cookie Book” by Nancy Baggett)
Makes about 25 (4 to 4 1/2 inch) cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose white flour
- scant 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups (1 stick plus 2 2/3 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup white vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. light corn syrup
- scant 3/4 tsp. lemon extract
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
For the Cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare several baking sheets (grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Or use parchment paper).
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the sugar, butter, and shortening until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, corn syrup, and lemon extract and beat until evenly incorporated. Beat in half of the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. On low speed, beat in the sour cream. Beat or stir in the remaining flour mixture, just until well blended and smooth. Let the dough stand to firm up for about 5 minutes.
- Using a scant 1/4 cup of dough per cookie (I just eyeball it), shape into balls with lightly greased hands. Place on the baking sheets, spacing about 3 1/2″ apart. Using your hand, press and pat the balls to about 3 1/4′ in diameter.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time*, in the middle of the even for 10 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges and the tops just spring back when lightly pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even baking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.
For the Glazes:
- In a medium, heavy saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water and the corn syrup just to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until completely smooth. Place the chocolate in a small, deep bowl. Pour 2/3 cup of the hot vanilla fondant over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is partially melted. Pour another 1/2 cup of the vanilla fondant over the chocolate. Stirring constantly, thin the chocolate fondant to a fluid but not runny consistency by adding 3 to 4 tsp. of hot water, a little at a time. Stir until the chocolate melts completely and the water is thoroughly incorporated.
- Set the wire racks with the cookies over wax paper to catch drips. Using a spreader or table knife, immediately cover each half of the cookie with the vanilla glaze. You may need to adjust the consistency of the vanilla glaze by stirring in additional powdered sugar or hot water until fluid but not runny. (If the glaze stiffens as you work, thin it by thoroughly stirring in a few drops of hot water. If the glaze cools completely, reheat it over low heat, stirring.)
- Frost the other half of the cookie with the chocolate glaze. Once again, if the glaze stiffens as you work, thin it by thoroughly stirring in a few drops of hot water. If the glaze cools completely, reheat it over low heat, stirring. Let the cookies stand until the icing sets, at least 2 hours and preferably 4 hours.
- Store cookies in a single layer or layered between wax paper in an airtight container. They can also be frozen.
* I ignored this and baked two sheets at a time with no problem. Nor did I reverse the sheets halfway through baking.