Black and white cookies, the popular New York City treat, are also found in bakeries in upstate New York with one big difference: around here they're often iced with buttercream instead of poured fondant. I can almost hear some black and white cookie purists saying, "That's heresy! Buttercream icing does not belong on a black and white cookie!" To that I say, "Regional cuisine FTW!" Here's my gluten-free version.
'black and white cookies' on Serious Eats
Paul Simon once sang that "everything looks worse in black and white." Clearly, the guy had never sampled a black and white ice cream sandwich cookie. Starting out with the classic New York deli treat and sandwiching it with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, this is basically a trinity of awesome: cakey cookies, sweet frosting, and creamy, rich ice cream.
Lucy Baker has adapted The Dude's go-to drink into another guilty pleasure, the black and white cookie, in her newly released cookbook, The Boozy Baker. The coffee flavor goes into the cake-like cookies in the form of powdered espresso and again in it's boozy liquid form (Kahlúa or any other coffee flavored liqueur), and then again in the black and tan frosting.
For me, black and white cookies are about two things—visual appeal and icing appreciation. I couldn't wait to replicate these deli favorites at home, to see just what goes into that lemon-scented cakey cookie and what kind of magic made that sweet, sweet icing.
Black and white cookies are one of those curious regional treats, ubiquitous in the New York metro area and pockets of the mid-Atlantic states, but (sadly) few and far between in other areas of the country. Fortunately, this recipe allows you to have them no matter where you are, dressed up in their holiday best with red and green frosting for a sweet presentation on holiday trays.