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Black and White Cookies


Velma
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I am trying to recreate black and white cookies for a friend who used to live in New York but I'm at a disadvantage because I've never had them. The kindest thing she has said so far is that my cookies need work. :hmmm: I have tried recipes on the internet but would anybody be willing to share a recipe, tips or at least provide a link to a recipe that is close to the real deal? This is bugging me. I want to hear something more positive than "Needs work." Thanks!

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It always helps if we all know what recipe you are referring to or using.

Is it something similar to this?

This was the last recipe I tried and it clearly fell short of the mark as far as she was concerned...

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/106171

I have not tried the one yet that you provided. I will give it a shot. I should cut my losses and move on but I'm obsessive when it comes to baking. I'll do it a hundred times to get it right.

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black & whites should be cakelike more than cookielike in texture. in my opinion, of the black & whites i've eaten, it is sort of like a pound cake with icing...and the chocolate side of the icing should taste more like mocha (coffee flavored) than chocolate.

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black & whites should be cakelike more than cookielike in texture.  in my opinion, of the black & whites i've eaten, it is sort of like a pound cake with icing...and the chocolate side of the icing should taste more like mocha (coffee flavored) than chocolate.

Mocha? Is that a newfangled California-style black and white cookie? As a New Yorker, I strongly disagree with you. The chocolate should be chocolate, period. I also think that the texture should be a little firmer than pound cake. I think of black and whites as big, relatively soft cookies, not little cakes.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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In a satisfying black-and-white, there should be a bitter cocoa undertone to the chocolate side, and the white side should be pretty sweet in contrast. The best black-and-whites have a dried surface on the frosting that "cracks" when bitten. I would love a good recipe for these myself.

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black & whites should be cakelike more than cookielike in texture.  in my opinion, of the black & whites i've eaten, it is sort of like a pound cake with icing...and the chocolate side of the icing should taste more like mocha (coffee flavored) than chocolate.

Mocha? Is that a newfangled California-style black and white cookie? As a New Yorker, I strongly disagree with you. The chocolate should be chocolate, period. I also think that the texture should be a little firmer than pound cake. I think of black and whites as big, relatively soft cookies, not little cakes.

i think what i meant is that the chocolate side doesn't really taste like real chocolate. it has a sort of funny artificial taste to it which reminds me of instant coffee...and i only just moved here from new york city, so give me a small break, k? :raz:

edited to add re: texture: because they're baked scooped onto a sheet rather than in a mold, you get more crust (more surface area) which makes them harder, but when you break them apart, they're still cakelike.

Edited by alanamoana (log)
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You can make yourself nuts trying to recreate the black & white cookie of someone's childhood memory. These are among my favorites but I've found that people have different opinions as to what they think a classic version is. Yes, they are really cake like and frosted half & half but after that, it breaks down. It's like trying to come to a single conclusion on who has the best pastrami or bagels or whatever. Here in Los Angeles, where we have many Jewish bakeries, people will disagree over who has the best one's. Most people I know like Bea's and they're not bad but the ones at Juniors are my fave. You get the idea.

You can find several versions of recipes for black & white cookies on line.

Here's one from Martha Stewart's site.

Here are 3 from Food TV. One from Wayne Harley Brachman. And two from Gale Gand -- Gand #1 and Gand #2. I didn't look at the 2 Gale Gand ones closely to see if they are really different. I seem to remember that I made one of them some time ago.

I've had them with both a shiny glaze sort of topping and also one more fudgy. You'll have to try a lot of trial and error. I know you can order them online from Zabar's so you should at least check there to get a picture of what you're working toward.

Good luck.

Edited by JFLinLA (log)
So long and thanks for all the fish.
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[...]edited to add re: texture:  because they're baked scooped onto a sheet rather than in a mold, you get more crust (more surface area) which makes them harder, but when you break them apart, they're still cakelike.

Agreed on texture.

Sorry for giving you a hard time. :smile:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'm a New Yorker and I have to say, 99% of all black and white cookies suck.

Think salad plate sized cookie, hard and with hard icing, in a cellophane bag, tucked next to the register at the deli.

You can almost smell the macaroni salad odor clinging to it, can't you?

Check Chowhounds, there's a thread there.

I did have some that I thought absolutely hit the bell and rang it dead. In the school cafeteria of the Rochester Institute of Technology. They were about the size of a silver dollar pancake and the icing was soft. The chocolate half was delicious, tasted like a good chocolate cake. The white half was also delicious, and it was white, not yellow.

I would try the Martha Stewart version. Because I think she'd be fussy enough not to be a purist (read description above) and I've tried cookie recipes of hers that I really liked the texture of (cakey).

However, I would ask many specific questions of your friend to find out exactly which version of the black and white she pines for. I can imagine myself years from now, waxing nostalgic about the deli version.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Think salad plate sized cookie, hard and with hard icing, in a cellophane bag, tucked next to the register at the deli. 

:shock::shock: Those aren't real black and whites!!! No self-respecting New Yorker would consider those the real thing. Oh my! Those are on a par with blueberry bagels!! Worse, in fact.

BTW -- we never ever called them black and white cookies. They were simply called black and whites. Because they're not cookies, really. They're not even close to a cookie. I blame Seinfeld for this misnomer. :raz: And, um, nix on the mocha. Although I've seen black and whites in all different sorts of colors these days. Sometimes with the Yankees logo, sometimes with the Mets logo, with a pumpkin face on Halloween. They're very pretty, but I can't quite bring myself to buy one.

There have been other black and white threads on eGullet, IIRC, so perhaps they contain recipe links.

Black and whites. :wub:

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Think salad plate sized cookie, hard and with hard icing, in a cellophane bag, tucked next to the register at the deli. 

:shock::shock: Those aren't real black and whites!!! No self-respecting New Yorker would consider those the real thing. Oh my! Those are on a par with blueberry bagels!! Worse, in fact.

BTW -- we never ever called them black and white cookies. They were simply called black and whites. Because they're not cookies, really. They're not even close to a cookie. I blame Seinfeld for this misnomer. :raz: And, um, nix on the mocha. Although I've seen black and whites in all different sorts of colors these days. Sometimes with the Yankees logo, sometimes with the Mets logo, with a pumpkin face on Halloween. They're very pretty, but I can't quite bring myself to buy one.

There have been other black and white threads on eGullet, IIRC, so perhaps they contain recipe links.

Black and whites. :wub:

Ah . . . someone who knows a real black & white. No fruit in real bagels and not real black & whites wrapped at the cash register. Okay, I gotta go get some, from a real bakery where they are baked and frosted fresh every day.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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Born and raised in NY and the best black and white recipe I ever used was from Cook's Illustrated's Baking Illustrated book. My entire family swears by them and they're easy to make. If anyone is interested in the recipe I can email it or mail it to anyone who wants it.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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I'm with JFL in LA!! Arthur Schwartz, the maven on all things New York , has a terrific recipe in his book,NEW YORK CITY FOOD.

I've used Tish Boyle's recipe for Black and Whies. It's from her book,THE GOOD COOKIE.

One thing though, if you use vanila extract, try to get your hands on the clear kind. It makes the WHITE prettier. You will be very happy with either of these recipes and they are as close to authentic as you can get.

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I really appreciate all the feedback on this request :smile: I can see that I will probably never succeed in her eyes because I have no clue what she is aiming towards. However, all the help has been invaluable.

Just a note: I did change my name here to match my Chowhound name. I wanted to use my real name here and at Chowhound but it got complicated so, from here on out, I will be Jen in real life but known here as Velma!

Edited by Velma (log)
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I'm a New Yorker and I have to say, 99% of all black and white cookies suck.

Think salad plate sized cookie, hard and with hard icing, in a cellophane bag, tucked next to the register at the deli...

I'm inclined to agree with you.

I haven't found a decent black and white cookie in NYC in years. There used to be a Jewish bakery in my neighborhood called Wiesen's that made the best b&w cookies. I've always been partial to the "black" side of the cookie and they would even make an "all-black" cookie for me if I called in the morning (for after-work pick-up). But once they closed down, I haven't had one as good since.

I've tried Zaro's bakery, a neighborhood bakery called Leon's, the plastic wrapped "Joey's" brand b&w cookies and countless others. They've all ranged from dry and crumbly to artificial tasting (the Joey's brand).

I would love to be able to recreate the ones I used to get at Wiesens.

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Someone from Eg sent me a recipe by snail mail. I think it was suzilightning. I still havent tried it, but its on my to do list.

I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and both my parents are from NY. I grew up with black and whites because almost everyone in S. Fl is from NY. LOL.

I love them and they are the first thing I search out when I go back home, although lately I can't find a decent one.

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Since I'm not from the East Coast and have never even been CLOSE to the East Coast, this whole black and white thing is fascinating and foreign to me. Never heard of one, and have never seen one here on the West Coast.

I wonder, does the West Coast have something here that the East Coast doesn't have?

All can think of is something we have up here in the Pacific Northwest called a "Pink Cookie". Even then, I'm not all that sure it's as popular or as enduring as the Black and White. You see "Pink Cookies" at a lot of espresso carts. They are monstrous shortbread cookies covered in a neon pink almond flavored cream cheese icing. They can be pretty good, but they're monsters. You can't finish one unless you're crazy hungry.

From what I've read about the Black and White, and reviewing all the recipes that have been submitted, I can definitely see why a lot of them WOULD suck. Cakey cookies don't have a good

shelf life, and I'll bet a lot of people who sell them probably sell them WAY past the recommended

shelf life. Just by looking at the recipes, I personally wouldn't sell them past two days. But I'm saying this without having made them. I could be wrong. But when it comes to cookies, I'm usually not.

I will probably end up making a batch of these things to satisfy my West Coast curiosity. So this may

be a loaded question, but what exactly makes a GOOD Black and White?

Be descriptive. :smile:

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To me, its a nice tender flavorful " cookie" and a not too sweet vanilla and a very chocolaty chocolate. I usually split a cookie with someone and we each get a part of the chocolate and the vanilla. The last one I had was in December when I went back home. I asked them if they were fresh. They said yes, they lied!!

I think I'm going to bake some next weekend.

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I will probably end up making a batch of these things to satisfy my West Coast curiosity. So this may

be a loaded question, but what exactly makes a GOOD Black and White?

Be descriptive. :smile:

Well, I wish I could describe a real one for you but I've never had one! This past week though, we had party day at work so based on a recommendation here, I used the recipe from Cook's Illustrated's Baking Illustrated book. I used a 1/4 cup scoop, scooped the dough into those muffin top pans from King Arthur and pressed the dough down with my fingers. A cookie sheet will work just as well but I bought the pans so I'm trying to find uses for them! Anyway, I got an e-mail request for the recipe after the party and she said they were the best cookies she had ever had (which I find hard to believe because I'm hardly Betty Crocker.) But, they seemed to like them. One person though cut off the chocolate half and left me the white half :hmmm: I had to adjust my baking time way down though. My oven temp may be off-I have not checked it recently. Thanks a bunch for the recipe recommendation!!

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I will probably end up making a batch of these things to satisfy my West Coast curiosity. So this may

be a loaded question, but what exactly makes a GOOD Black and White?

Be descriptive. :smile:

Well, I wish I could describe a real one for you but I've never had one! This past week though, we had party day at work so based on a recommendation here, I used the recipe from Cook's Illustrated's Baking Illustrated book. I used a 1/4 cup scoop, scooped the dough into those muffin top pans from King Arthur and pressed the dough down with my fingers. A cookie sheet will work just as well but I bought the pans so I'm trying to find uses for them! Anyway, I got an e-mail request for the recipe after the party and she said they were the best cookies she had ever had (which I find hard to believe because I'm hardly Betty Crocker.) But, they seemed to like them. One person though cut off the chocolate half and left me the white half :hmmm: I had to adjust my baking time way down though. My oven temp may be off-I have not checked it recently. Thanks a bunch for the recipe recommendation!!

Hehe I have been following this thread , as I am from Italy and never had this cookies ,I would love to try them out for the weekend ( next?).

Welma , any way I can get that recipe from you ,( I dont have the book , but perhaps I sould oder it since many recipe come from it huh :blink: ).

Thank you )

Vanessa

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[...]From what I've read about the Black and White, and reviewing all the recipes that have been submitted, I can definitely see why a lot of them WOULD suck. Cakey cookies don't have a good

shelf life, and I'll bet a lot of people who sell them probably sell them WAY past the recommended

shelf life. Just by looking at the recipes, I personally wouldn't sell them past two days. But I'm saying this without having made them. I could be wrong. But when it comes to cookies, I'm usually not.

100% right!

I will probably end up making a batch of these things to satisfy my West Coast curiosity. So this may

be a loaded question, but what exactly makes a GOOD Black and White?

Be descriptive. :smile:

Alright, keeping in mind that I don't make them and I'm just a consumer (eater, get it? :laugh:):

(1) The texture has to be sort of intermediate between cake and a cookie - a sort of soft, cakey cookie with a sufficiently crunchy crust. If you didn't get a semi-hard crust, you've made it wrong.

(2) For best results, use some lemon in the dough.

(3) Use good dark chocolate.

(4) Use good white icing.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I did have some that I thought absolutely hit the bell and rang it dead. In the school cafeteria of the Rochester Institute of Technology. They were about the size of a silver dollar pancake and the icing was soft. The chocolate half was delicious, tasted like a good chocolate cake. The white half was also delicious, and it was white, not yellow.

Ok, from what you describe, it sounds like that cookie was half chocolate dough and half white dough in addition to the contrasting icings.

All the recipes I have found (5 to be exact), just call for the cookie to be one flavor (white) and the only "black" part is the icing. Maybe thats why the one you had "hit the bell" eh?

I happen to have a copy of Baking Illustrated. I'm going to try that recipe first, since I trust most stuff I get from the "Cook's" people. Then, my taste testers will be my family, who, like me are East Coast Unenlightened, and have never had a Black and White. We'll get a whole "West Coast Point o' View" on this. :raz:

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