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.

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

  1. I like your analogies and I think these are just perfect!

  2. I had a good giggle reading this beautifully written post – I can see you in your kitchen with the chocolate dotted where it shouldn’t be. 😉 and how fabulous that your husband is the perfect balance for you.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Pour me a glass of milk!! Homemade treats should never be perfect! That being said from a perfectionists herself! These look more tempting than any deli bought cookie I’ve ever seen!!

  4. My wife loves any dough that calls for sour cream. These are such cute cookies too! Look delicious.

  5. These have been a favorite in our kitchen since you first posted the recipe. While I dread the frosting of the cookies, I love the eating of them… so it all works out!

  6. Black and whites are my favorites. When they are good they are amazing!

  7. Geni, these look divine! I have never made B&W cookies before (because I dread the frosting part!) Yours are gorgeous–your frosting is perfect! Love Nancy’s book. Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

  8. I’m in the same boat! I never use an apron when I’m baking or cooking. I just make sure that I’ve got a t-shirt on that I don’t mind getting messed up. When I entertain, I make sure most of the cooking is done BEFORE the guests arrive so I can change! They never suspect a thing! Your cookies look delicious. I’ll have to try my hand at them myself. And, thanks for commenting on my blog. I’ve added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts!

  9. Those look like the perfect black&white cookies! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll be giving this a try 🙂
    And I don’t wear aprons either! Mainly because I’m lazy and think my apron is ugly. 😀

  10. Black and white cookies are classic like apple pie is to an independence day bbq. I love these cookies but never knew how to make them. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

  11. These cookies are gorgeous! I’m usually with you on the apron deal (unless I’m cooking with hot oil and am too lazy to change out of a shirt that I actually care about)–and definitely am all about getting my hands dirty. That’s the fun of cooking and baking!

  12. These cookies look very elegant!! (not to mention, good to eat!!)

  13. You are a lucky girl!! I wish my hubster would help me out too..These classic cookies look amazing..just pour me a glass of cold milk.

  14. Your black and white cookies look gorgeous! Wish my hubby was handy in the kitchen, I’m lucky if he makes me eggs, lol!

    I’m apron-less too, lol! 🙂

  15. What a delicious looking recipe. It was so sweet of your hubby to help with the decorating and pictures!

  16. i love the soft texture of these cookies!

  17. I didn’t realize how many apronless cooks there are! I thought I was in the minority. Maybe aprons are a bit retro. Hm?

  18. Would you believe I’ve never had, or even seen, a black and white cookie before? If it werent for the internet, I wouldnt know they were a real thing.
    I lead an exciting life. 🙂

    I dont wear an apron either. Its not like Im cooking in nice clothes.

  19. Never wear an apron….
    Black and white….I love it.

  20. I LOVE the way you write! “They are the soul mate to an icy, cold glass of milk.” “Baking is my art, the kitchen is my studio, and my medium is chocolate!”

    Beautiful words. Beautiful cookies.

  21. Wow that simply looks delicious, I can imagine the taste of that melting chocolate. Mmmmmmm

  22. These are real beauts!

    I have never made black and whites before and now I must!

  23. These really look amazing. I’m new to your blog and those cookies convinced me I had to spend some time reading your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. You’ve created a lovely spot for your readers to visit and I’ve really enjoyed the time I spent here. I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  24. I don’t wear an apron either (except when there is potential for a hot oil disaster – for example, making donuts). But my cat wishes that I used the apron more often. He has supersonic ears that hear the apron drawer being pulled open and the strings being tied around my waist. Suddenly he is under my feet, intently staring and sometimes attacking the dangling strings. Avoiding the cat underfoot becomes a larger problem than the sans-apron dirty clothes would be! Anyway, these cookies look just perfect! One day I’ll have the courage to give them a try. 🙂

  25. Aww such a cute post! I’m quite the mad scientist also. And I don’t wear an apron. It seems like the wussy way out.

    These are fabulous! I made red velvet black and whites earlier this year and loved them! I think it’s time to make the real deal.

  26. Your cookies turned out beautiful! And your post made me laugh. 🙂

    I’m like you…never, ever wear and apron and always have flour all over my clothes, chocolate on my fingers and face, and when I was making marshmallows, I had ooey gooey marshmallow cream in my hair! 🙂

    It also seems like whenever I use a mixer, whatever I’m mixing seems to splatter on my face and shirt…not to mention the canisters on my counter.

    And a week ago when I was making a roulade cake, I ended up getting powdered sugar everywhere, including in my utensil drawer. I had to wash every single thing on my counter and everything in the drawer.

    My better half is as messy as I am…maybe even messier…LOL! 🙂 But he sure can cook and he’s helped me out of many a culinary binds that’s for sure!

    Anyway, it’s nice to find a fellow culinary artist. And I thought I was the only Jackson Pollock in the kitchen!! 🙂

  27. Each time, I visit, I come away with new dessert recipes and I love it. Please, please, please link this to Bake with Bizzy. I have always wanted to make black and white cookies and just never did.

  28. It looks beautiful!! I have never made these before – not well known in South Africa!

  29. Pingback: Christmas Cookie Roundup | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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