(I apologize for the lack of posts this week. Our internet service has been down more often than working. Apparently there was a fire at the cable company and they are running on generators!!!)
A few years go, we went to Mystic, Connecticut to visit my brother Jose and his family.
Before going, I knew that I wanted to visit New York at least for one day. I envisioned pretzels, hot dogs, street performers, taxi cabs (I refuse to take the subway – been there done that, won’t do it again!), and black and white cookies.
We took the train from CT into New York City. It was a lovely ride. Once getting to Grand Central Station, we walked and shopped and ended up eating at the Carnegie Deli. It was so good. The sandwiches were big enough to feed two people and the cheesecake dessert was large enough to feed four. My tummy was very happy.
What I never saw were the black and white cookies. I so wanted to savor that sponge-like sweetness covered in vanilla and chocolate fondant. Ah, well, maybe next time.
The thought has never left my mind though. So, I’m sitting here thinking, what the heck? Just make them at home. I’d seen the recipe in the Martha Stewart Cookie book I had as well as on the food network site, so I plunged ahead in hopes that my cookies would be just as good as what I’d read about them. I don’t (yet) know what New York Black and White’s (or Half Moons as they are sometimes called) taste like, but I sure did like the ones I made. I’m sharing them here with you. If you’ve seen or eaten the originals, don’t judge me too harshly. It was semi-difficult to get the white icing to cover completely, but they still taste delicious. Enjoy.
I used the Martha Stewart recipe for Black and Whites. The only difference was that I used Mexican Chocolate for the "black" side of the cookie.
Black and White Cookies
Martha Stewart Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour, not self-rising
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup, plus more if needed
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, and whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter and extracts. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a smooth dough. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
Line baking pans with Silpat nonstick baking mats. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per pan, 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool.
In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water, and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, ice half of each cookie. Return cookies to rack to drip, if necessary.
Add chocolate to remaining icing. Stir until smooth. Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Spread chocolate icing over second half of each cookie. Allow cookies to set, about 10 minutes.
Hayley, from Buff Chickpea has a wonderful post on Black ad White Cookies. Here is a little of what she has to say about this tasty treat:
“Did You Know? "Back in the day, black and white cookies were actually made by bakeries from their leftover cake batters, with just a little extra flour mixed in so the cookie didn’t spread all over the place. Sometimes called Amerikaner Cookies, they’re also occasionally referred to as "half-moons" Upstate and in New England. However, with a chocolate cake base, not the traditional vanilla/lemon one, they’re not the same thing..." Deb of Smitten Kitchen.”
Another great recipe for black and whites was put out by Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes. You might want to read his version.
Whichever version you decide to use, I'm sure they will be delicious. Have fun.
"Everyday People Cartoons