The list of things that you have to do when you visit New York is impossibly long. If you were to follow everything on that list, you could never accomplish it in your lifetime. But there is one thing you must, absolutely do.
Eat a black and white cookie. They are life-changing.
Now, it’s absolutely essential that your black and white cookie comes from a bakery, and that it’s fresh. Traditionally made from the leftover drippings of the day’s cake batter, they are unlike any other cookie I have ever eaten. Fluffy and light, they’re more like a thin slab of cake than an actual cookie.
This recipe was inspired by the cookies at the Pasticceria Rocco in Greenwich Village, where I was taken by surprise by an additional taste between the cake, vanilla and chocolate.
Being of an enterprising sort, I decided to try and make my own, and given my complete obsession with anything chocolate and orange, I decided to try to use orange marmalade in place of the apricot.
Oh. My. God.
You HAVE to make these. Right now.
It took me a couple of tries to find the right black and white cookie recipe to start with to get the right texture. There were some fails, which I documented on Instagram, but eventually I hit gold with this amazing recipe from Joy the Baker, with a few modifications (ughhhh her photooooos…).
(Also a note at the risk of bringing attention to it, I messed up the chocolate icing and made it too thick in the pictures, but following the recipe will give you a beautiful, smooth glaze, especially if you actually follow the instructions and use a microwave. I preferred the thicker icing, but I’m a chocolate fiend, what can I say?)
Step one! Mix all your dry ingredients. Now, most of the recipes I found required cake flour. There is an easy way to get around this. Measure out your flour, and for each cup of flour you use, scoop out one tablespoon, and replace it with one tablespoon of cornstarch. Voila! Magical cake flour.
Mix all your wet ingredients in another (larger bowl), and add the dry ingredients in small increments, mix until smooth after each addition.
Now, these are drop cookies, so carefully spoon them onto your greased cookie sheet. Try to make them as circular as possible. Now, these look deceptively huge because we’ve got a small oven. They should be about the size of your fist for nice, big cookies!
Once you’ve pulled them out, let them cool. I know, I know, I love a warm cookie too, but you want your icing to get that nice glaze on the top and it can’t do that if it’s melting.
I won’t judge if you sneak one here though. I mean, who could resist?
Next, take your orange marmalade and spread it thinly on the flat bottoms of the cookies. Yup, you want these babies upside down, the better to ice you with, my dear!
In a bowl, mix your icing sugar, vanilla and corn syrup with some HOT water. The corn syrup is really key to getting that thick glaze.
Stir until all the icing lumps are gone.
Then, a spoonful at a time, drip the icing over half of the cookie.
Repeat the steps with your chocolate icing.
I’m sure there’s some old lady in New York who is screaming ‘Blasphemer!’ at me for putting marmalade on these cookies, but frankly, they taste so good I don’t even care. And if you don’t want the orange, you can just leave it off (like I did in these last couple photos).
These cookies are perfection.
What more could you ever want in a cookie?
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour , (or To create your cake flour: measure and pour 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour into a bowl, then remove 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour. Replace with 2 1/2 tbsps of corn starch)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or 2/3 cup milk + 2/3 tbsp vinegar - let sit for 5 mins before using)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ~ 1 cup orange marmalade
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp HOT water
- 4 oz . semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350°
Mix your cake flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, softened butter and eggs, stirring vigorously until pale and light.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a cup at a time, mixing between each cup until completely smooth
Using a spoon, drop the batter onto a greased pan. Try to make the cookies as round as you can, about the size of your fist.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown and springy. LET COOL.
Flip the cookies over so that the flat bottom is now the perfectly smooth top for our glaze. Spread marmalade over the new top of each cookie to desired thickness. The more 'bits' you have, the more orangey the cookies will taste.
In a bowl, whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup and vanilla with hot water until smooth. Drip over 1/2 of each of the cool cookies.
In another bowl, melt chocolate and butter using the microwave (10-20 seconds, stir, 1--20 seconds, stir, etc.) for 1 minute. Add corn syrup and mix until smooth. Drip over the other 1/2 of each cookie.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.