Santa's Favorite Black and White Cookies

June 16, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes 6 fair-sized cookies
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Eve Lunt
    Eve Lunt
  • Bevi
  • gingerroot
  • hardlikearmour
  • Niknud

20 Reviews

Lyn August 23, 2016
Would this recipe work if I substituted all the flours with an equal amount of a GF flour blend, i.e., Pamela's all purpose?
Eve L. October 5, 2014
Hmm kinda funny that a black & white cookie would become a Christmas staple. Mazel Tov on a great recipe!
Bevi November 11, 2011
Love the black and white! Congrats on the CP! I'll have to make these for my New Yorkers on the list.
wssmom November 12, 2011
Thanks Bevi!
gingerroot November 3, 2011
Love these! My gluten-free New Yorker hubby will be so happy when I make these. Thanks for the recipe.
wssmom November 3, 2011
Thanks gingerroot!
hardlikearmour October 26, 2011
These are gorgeous! Thanks for adding the glutenous (and perhaps gluttonous) instructions in your comments.
wssmom October 26, 2011
Gluten-y, gluttony ... It's all good!!! I actually prefer the gluten-free version!
Niknud October 26, 2011
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.
wssmom October 26, 2011
LOL I hear you. Substitute 1/2 cup cake flour and 1/2 cup plus a bit more AP flour!
checker July 14, 2011
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!
meganvt01 June 21, 2011
Perfect! My Long Island husband will be so excited that I am going to make these!
wssmom June 22, 2011
They're delish both gluten-free and regular ...
drbabs June 17, 2011
wssmom June 17, 2011
boulangere June 16, 2011
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.
wssmom June 16, 2011
Strictly a New York thing ... but try to go back and see the Seinfeld episode!
boulangere June 16, 2011
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.
wssmom June 16, 2011
Haha thanks!
mrslarkin June 16, 2011
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!)