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Black & White Cookies

A New York City deli classic, these soft, sponge-cake like cookies, with vanilla and chocolate fondant frosted halves, are as dramatic looking as the city that claims them. But these enormous cookies come with quite the dilemma — vanilla or chocolate icing first?

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There’s no specific tool for icing these cookies. A small off set spatula, regular dinner spoon, or even a butter knife will all work. If you’re a stickler for perfect symmetry, pipe a straight chocolate line across the cookie to divide it and then ice each half, either piping in the icing and letting it “fill” or simply spreading it.


Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

For the cookies, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Cream butter, shortening, sugar, and zests until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and cream, mixing after each addition just until combined.

Drop dough with a #20 scoop (3 Tbsp.) onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden and centers are cakey, 10–12 minutes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a rack. Let cookies cool completely.

For the icing, heat water and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium-high until boiling. Off heat, whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Whisk together chocolate, espresso powder, and ¾ cup vanilla icing. Add hot water, 1 tsp. at a time, to each icing as necessary, until spreadable.

Ice half of (flat side of) each cookie with chocolate; let cookies set slightly, about 15 minutes. Ice remaining halves of cookies with vanilla. Let cookies sit until icing sets up, 1–2 hours.

Use a combination of lemon and orange zest for complex citrus flavor.

Use a combination of lemon and orange zest for complex citrus flavor.

Use a #20 scoop (3 Tbsp.) for cookies with uniform size and shape.

Use a #20 scoop (3 Tbsp.) for cookies with uniform size and shape.

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