Santa's Favorite Black and White Cookies

By • June 16, 2011 22 Comments

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Author Notes: It doesn't qualify as a New York bakery if it doesn't have black-and-white cookies and in our house, it doesn't qualify as a New York Christmas Eve without some of these left out for Santa (along with some spiked eggnog). They're actually little cakes, but who's going to argue? Personally, I eat them this way: chocolate frosting, then the cookie part that was under the chocolate frosting; then the white frosting, then that cookie part. I'm not sure how Santa eats them, but I know he does, because there's never any left. This gluten-free version was inspired by Zabars.wssmom

Food52 Review: There is an art to producing a good Black and White. I have tried before and until now have never found just the right recipe. The cookie has to be soft and cakelike and the icing can't be too runny or too thick. Wssmom's Black and White is the perfect cookie. It's light and moist and just the right texture and the icing stays where you put it so that you get that perfect line of chocolate and white and its smooth as silk. Santa must make a beeline to her house knowing what is waiting for him under or by the tree. This cookie is lighter than many bakery B&W's, and that makes it superior in my opinion. I highly recommend you give this a try, its simple to make and yields a really delicious cookie.sdebrango

Makes 6 fair-sized cookies

  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the milk.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients, and gradually add to the butter-sugar mix. Stir in the lemon zest.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice-cream scoop (don't fill it up all the way) to drop six largish circles of batter onto the baking sheet. Smush them down a bit in a circular motion with s spoon so you don't wind up with giant puffy cookies. Bake for 15 minutes or until they spring back when pressed. Remove from the oven, let them sit for five minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. If some of the cookie bottom sticks to the parchment that's OK, because that means they won't be so tippy.
  4. Prepare frosting: gather 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon boiling water, 1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate, shaved. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water until melted. Transfer half into a small bowl, set aside; add chocolate to the remaining half and stir over low heat until melted.
  5. Frost the flat half of each cookie with white icing; the other half with brown icing. Serve with a New York attitude!
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Comments (22) Questions (0)


10 months ago evalunta

Hmm kinda funny that a black & white cookie would become a Christmas staple. Mazel Tov on a great recipe!


over 3 years ago Bevi

Love the black and white! Congrats on the CP! I'll have to make these for my New Yorkers on the list.

over 3 years ago wssmom

Thanks Bevi!


over 3 years ago gingerroot

Love these! My gluten-free New Yorker hubby will be so happy when I make these. Thanks for the recipe.

over 3 years ago wssmom

Thanks gingerroot!


almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

These are gorgeous! Thanks for adding the glutenous (and perhaps gluttonous) instructions in your comments.

almost 4 years ago wssmom

Gluten-y, gluttony ... It's all good!!! I actually prefer the gluten-free version!


almost 4 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

These look amazing, I love black and white cookies. If I wanted to make with regular flour would I just substitute regular flour in the same amount? I have been wanted a good recipe for these.

almost 4 years ago wssmom

Yes, I will give the recipe on Sunday!


almost 4 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much!


almost 4 years ago Niknud

These look amazing - that's a whole mess of different flours! Is there a gluten-ful recipe that uses regular flour? Would love to give these a try but don't know where I would get sorghum, millet or tapioca flour.

almost 4 years ago wssmom

LOL I hear you. Substitute 1/2 cup cake flour and 1/2 cup plus a bit more AP flour!


about 4 years ago checker

I may be from the Midwest and now living in the Mid-Atlantic but these are possibly my favorite cookie. My fiance has a gluten-allergy-suffering-mother, so this is going in the book. Well done!


about 4 years ago meganvt01

Perfect! My Long Island husband will be so excited that I am going to make these!

about 4 years ago wssmom

They're delish both gluten-free and regular ...


about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.


about 4 years ago wssmom



about 4 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Ok, now I get it. I was having trouble visualizing what you were describing. Thanks for the photo! I'm a Cal gal - never seen these before, so they'll be fun to try.

about 4 years ago wssmom

Strictly a New York thing ... but try to go back and see the Seinfeld episode!


about 4 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm reluctant to admit this in public, and I know this isn't technically a food52 subject, but I wasn't much of a Seinfeld fan. These, however, I can wrap myself around.

about 4 years ago wssmom

Haha thanks!


about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Well done! The black and white always puts me in a NY state of mind! (I feel like I'm stalking you, but don't forget to enter this one!)