Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Prim and Proper Black and Whites and the No Apron Kitchen


Black and White cookies are the perfect finale to any deli experience.  If done right, they are soft and tender, rich and smooth.  They are the soul mate to an icy, cold glass of milk.  This particular recipe from the All-American Cookie Book is that kind of nostalgic deli-style black and white.

For me, though, there’s one glitch in making these cookies even with the perfect recipe. The problem with me and Black and Whites is that I am kind of a mad scientist type of chef in the kitchen and Black and Whites SHOULD have a crisp and tidy appearance if done properly.  In the perfect cookie world, Black and Whites should have a straight line running down the middle where the chocolate and vanilla icings nicely cohabitate.

I get to visit that world if, and only if,  my gracious husband  is willing to do the “let’s make it look nice” part.  Luckily, he iced these gorgeous Deli-Counter worthy B&W’s for me and took the photo to boot!  He is a graphic artist by trade, and he can make things look like a professional pastry chef just waltzed through my kitchen.  He was not taught any pastry skills, but I think he just got so flabbergasted at seeing my baking projects turn into kindergarten-style Picassos and my kitchen look like a chocolate Pollock painting (the splatter painted ones if you are not familiar) that he finally dove right in and never looked back.

When left to my own devices, strings of chocolate grace my kitchen counters, some end up on the drawers, maybe a fingerprint on the cabinet and of course, on the chef herself…sans apron.  I don’t believe in aprons. It’s a thing with me. I like to, figuratively and literally, get my hands dirty (and t-shirts!).  Life’s messy, I’m a bit messy and my baking is SUPER MESSY.   That’s just how I roll.  I make no apologies for it…I’m a bit of a performance artist if you will. ;P

Baking is my art, the kitchen is my studio, and my medium is chocolate! It feeds my heart, my soul and my family.  Luckily for me, like the black and white cookie, I have found my better half…the one who balances out my chaos, polishes my rough edges and makes things shiny for me.  If your cookies turn out a little less than perfect, don’t fret—taste is what matters, and you just might be a performance artist too!

Black and White Cookies
from the All-American Cookie Book by NancyBaggett
This recipe makes about 10 large cookies.
3 c. all purpose flour
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 1 /3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. (1 stick plus 2 2/3 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/2 c. white vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
2 1/2 t. vanilla
2 t. light corn syrup
3/4 t. lemon extract (I use 2 tsp squeezed lemon juice)
1/3 c. sour cream

Vanilla and Chocolate Fondants
1/4 c. light corn syrup
5 c. powdered sugar (sifted after measuring)
3/4 t. vanilla extract
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter, sugar and shortening with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer.  Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice or extract and light corn syrup. Combine together on medium speed.  In a separate mixing bowl, put in flour, baking soda and salt and whisk to disperse ingredients.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and then 1/3 of the sour cream.  Cream together with mixer.  Repeat until all of the flour and sour cream are incorporated.  Don’t over mix.

On a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or a Silpat (rubber nonstick mat), drop large ice cream scoop-fulls of cookie three across and three down (for large Black and Whites).   Bake for for 12-14 minutes depending on your oven.  They should be just slightly browned around the edges and the tops should spring back when lightly touched. After cooling for 1-2 minutes, transfer cookies with spatula to a wire rack.  Let cool completely before icing.

To make the Fondants…in a medium heavy saucepan, bring 1/2 c. water and the corn syrup just to a boil over medium-high heat.  Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla with a wire whisk, getting out all lumps and whisking until perfectly smooth.  Place the chopped chocolate in a deep, small bowl.  Pour 2/3 of the hot vanilla fondant over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is partly melted.  Pour another 1/2 c. of vanilla fondant over the chocolate.  Stirring constantly, thin the chocolate out with 2-4 teaspoons of HOT water.  Add only one teaspoon at a time and stir.

Set the wire racks with the cookies on top over wax paper or aluminum foil.  Using a small, wide-bladed spatula or spreader, ice half of the cookies with the chocolate fondant.  If the fondant stiffens while you work, thin it by thoroughly stirring in another 1-2 teaspoons of HOT water.  If necessary, adjust the consistency of the vanilla fondant by stirring in additional powdered sugar or hot water until fluid but not runny.  Ice the second half of each cookie with the vanilla fondant.  Let the cookies stand until the icing sets, at least 2 hours and preferably 4 hours or at my house it was about 30 minutes and they were JUST FINE! 🙂  These cookies are best eaten the same day.  They are OK the next day but forget about day 3…just make sure to eat them all up.

25 thoughts on “Prim and Proper Black and Whites and the No Apron Kitchen

  1. What a great blog! Your photos are crisp, clear, and professional looking; I love it! I know what you mean about the apron thing. Even though I have one, I tend to just completely forget about it since I get so wrapped up in my baking projects! Again, great blog and I look forward to seeing more posts!

  2. Hi aunt geni! I just got back last night, and I had to check your blog> : P

  3. oh these just look too delicious – we used to get them when we lived in germany (they were called amerikaner over there or americans) so i guess they really are an all-american cookie

    i may have to put cupcakes on hold to make these because your pictures are making my mouth water and thats sweet that your husband gets involved with your baking, mine just likes to eat what comes out 🙂 (he does do the dishes afterward though so we’ll call it even stevens)

    • I really wish he would do the dishes for these baking forays, but most of the time I volunteer since I created the disaster. We could trade husbands now and then?
      I hope my hubby didn’t read that!

  4. i don’t use an apron when i cook either…splatters happen!

    you did a great job on these cookies — i don’t think mine would look half as nice

    thanks for the great recipe!

  5. Hi, Geni. I’ve wondered about making a good version of B&W cookies, which I seem to try in many places in NYC, during visits there. They are often bigger than better, comparatively….

    My eye for getting a straight line isn’t so good, either, but the taste is what really matters. They’d make a good follow-up to a deli-style meal, that’s for sure!



  6. The cookies look fantastic! Just stumbled upon your site and I think it’s great. Keep up the good work :)!

  7. Oh my, these look so amaizing! i tried baking this last year using martha stewart’s recipe and it turn out great. I am going to bookmark this and try it out soon. Love your blog and your pictures are really stunning.

  8. These are my husband’s favorite!! I’ll be trying them out for sure.

    By the way, I made your mac and cheese. Holy wow. So good!!

  9. oh my oh my…these black and white cookies look delicious and so tempting! Thanks for entering the Smackdown Battle. Best of luck to you.


  10. I’m getting a headache just looking at these delicious cookies. I may need to borrow the husband because it sounds like I make as big a mess as you do.

    New follower from uTryit.

  11. My daughter, Lauren is away at college and found your blog. My husband is from NY and we have black & whites every time we visit! She made some for him and they were so good! Lauren turned 21 this week and she asked me to bake these for her, which I’m doing right now. Hope they come out as pretty as yours!

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