"Look to the cookie!" Who would have thought that a simple black & white could evoke such wise and thought-provoking words from Jerry Seinfeld? Seinfeld aside, these iconic New York cookies will bring about harmony to your taste buds...guaranteed!
If ever there was one cookie that I always bought and never considered making at home it would have to be the black & white. Why? Mainly because if I was eating one most likely I was in NYC enjoying it. Not a bad thing if you ask me.
Considering my budget can't support flying to the east coast on a whim I had to find a cheaper alternative to get my cookie fix. America's Test Kitchen came to my rescue with this recipe.
These cookies seriously taste like the ones you'd find in a NYC deli. It's got the authentic taste of the slightly lemony cake/cookie frosted with chocolate and vanilla fondant. I swear you'll feel like you're back in the Big Apple!
Black and White Cookies (from America's Test Kitchen)
Makes about 24 large cookies
Note: Don’t substitute “lemon flavor” or lemon oil for the lemon extract. However, in a pinch you can substitute fresh lemon juice. If the chocolate icing cools so that it is no longer spreadable, microwave it for 30 seconds to soften.
4 cups (1 pound) cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1¾ cups (12¼ ounces) sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup light corn syrup
⅓ cup water
5 cups (20 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2–4 teaspoons water
FOR THE COOKIES: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract to bowl and continue to beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl and beaters as needed.
Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of milk. Repeat with half of remaining flour mixture and remaining milk. Beat in remaining flour mixture until combined.
Scoop ¼-cup mounds of batter onto prepared sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Use back of spoon or finger dipped in water to smooth tops of cookies. Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to turn light golden brown, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
[NOTE: I wanted smaller cookies so I used a #40-size ice cream scoop which yields about 48 cookies.]
Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Repeat with remaining dough, using cooled, freshly lined sheets
FOR THE ICINGS: Bring corn syrup and water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Off heat, whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Measure half of icing into separate bowl and whisk in melted chocolate and 2 to 4 teaspoons water as needed until mixture is smooth and spreadable.
Place 2 large wire racks over parchment paper (for easy cleanup). Spread about 2 tablespoons chocolate icing over half of each cookie with small spatula, then let sit on wire racks until icing has just set, about 15 minutes. Spread vanilla icing over other half of each cookie and let sit until icings have hardened, about 1 hour, before serving.