These Black & White Cookies are like the classic NYC staple at any self-respecting deli and bodega: cakey, soft and moist with a hint of vanilla flavor and a two-toned vanilla and chocolate icing on top!
I’m always so good with remembering birthdays and anniversaries… but never my blog’s anniversary.
It’s on January 21, so it’s three days before my birthday and things are usually hectic, as expected. But it came and went and I didn’t even acknowledge it!
Can you believe it has been EIGHT years since I started this blog? January 21, 2011 was the date of my first ever blog post and unbeknownst to me, as corny as it sounds, it would change myself for the better!
I’ve always struggled with the childhood age-old question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Classmates and friends had clear ideas, and even if they changed, their next idea was just as clear and settled. I never really knew because everything sounded so restrictive.
I had odd jobs as a teen and young adult – I worked at a cupcake shop, a deli, Crate & Barrel, a portrait studio – but those didn’t feel like something I could sustain for a career per se. So when my mom told me to apply for a county job – a respectable job with a 401k and health insurance and a full-time, consistent schedule – I reluctantly accepted the fact that maybe this was what I was meant to do. I remember setting up my cubicle and tried to inject some life into the drab, grey space.
That was in 2013, just two years after starting my blog and only a few months after realizing I could make money off of my blog. Prior to my first blog paycheck, I was putting all of my money into it – buying ingredients, taking photos, hosting my website. So when I made my first $20, then $100, I was ecstatic. Each month I’d work my ass off blogging and working for the county full-time. When I wasn’t crunching numbers in a cubicle for 40 hours a week, I was at home developing unique recipes and tending to my blog 40 hours a week. The more work I put into my blog, the more money I made and traffic I got to my little slice of the internet.
And then something amazing happened. I got fired from my county job. A natural-born rebel who tends to have… issues with authority, I challenged the status quo too much and thought way too outside the box for such a rigid job. Don’t get me wrong: county jobs have amazing pay and benefits, but for me, it felt like my soul was dying every hour I spent there in that depressing cubicle. I would cry on the way to work every day, praying that one day I could be able to afford my lifestyle doing what I loved rather than working a sensible but stifling job.
The day I got fired, I packed up a box with my trinkets and toys that had decorated my office space and drove home sobbing. I was so relieved but scared, but the second I walked in the door and my family embraced me with open arms, I knew I was probably the luckiest gal in the world. I lived at home rent-free, I had a few credit card payments but virtually no other bills, and I was officially “unemployed” from the real world and yet, it felt as if the world had cracked open and revealed so many new possibilities to me right then and there.
I started blogging full-full time in December 2013, the day after I was fired from that nightmare job. The first few months were a little hard – I definitely didn’t pay some of those bills and had to be harassed by the credit card companies, wondering where their monthly payments were. But the more work I put into my blog, the more traffic I got, and the more traffic I got, the more money I made. Soon I could pay my bills and car payment. After that, I was able to have spending money. And eventually, I started earning so much that I could afford to move out on my own with cash to spare.
Blogging isn’t easy – don’t laugh! Is it as hard or complex as say, a rocket scientist’s job? No – but everything’s relative and blogging is ever-changing. I learn something new about my job every day. It may not last forever – we can’t predict the future of the internet, after all – but I am enjoying it and so eternally grateful to it for the time being. That’s what matters to me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog, whether you’re a first-time visitor today or you’ve been reading along since the beginning. My goal is to make you smile with my funny stories and to make you feel like the best, most bad-ass baker in the world when you make one of my recipes for your family and friends.
So now, let’s talk about these COOKIES!
Black & White Cookies are synonymous with New York City… every bit of a hallmark as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Yankee Stadium. You cannot enter any bodega or deli without seeing these graphic, delicious two-toned cookies. They aren’t all created equally – but they are there!
These cookies are cakier than the cookies you’re probably used to. They definitely have lots of lift and are supremely soft and moist, thanks to sour cream which gives them this light, cakey texture. With a hint of vanilla, they’re super delicious and subtle – the perfect vehicle for the two-toned icing which makes the cookie.
The icing is half vanilla, half chocolate – and it’s made in virtually the same bowl. The icing hardens slightly so the cookies can be packed and stacked, but when you bite into it, it yields under the pressure and is soft and sweet. And yes, you technically frost the flat bottom of the cookie! Since the cookies bake up with a dome (they do rise like cake!), you’ll want to frost the bottoms!
I couldn’t think of a more perfect cookie to celebrate my 8th bloggiversary with!
*from America’s Test Kitchen
Best Black and White Cookies
- FOR THE COOKIES:
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- FOR THE GLAZES:
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
- 7 Tablespoons whole milk divided
- 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes or until fluffy and pale in color. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix well, scraping down the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl periodically to ensure everything is well blended. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing well and scraping the bowl if needed. Add in half of the sour cream, mix well. Repeat, alternating flour and sour cream and ending with flour until the batter is soft. It won't be as thick as traditional cookie dough - almost like a cross between cake batter and cookie dough.
- Using a 1/4 cup size cookie dough scoop, portion the cookie dough 3" apart on the baking sheets. You should get exactly 12 scoops of cookie dough, 6 per sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking for both trays. Cool on the baking sheets.
- For the icing: In a large bowl, combine the sifted confectioners' sugar, 6 Tablespoons of the whole milk, the corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk until thickened and combined. Remove one cup of the icing to a separate small bowl and to the small bowl add the remaining Tablespoon of milk and the sifted cocoa powder, stirring until combined.
- Using an offset spatula, spread half of the flat side of the cookie with vanilla icing. Let vanilla icing set for about 15-20 minutes. Then frost the other half of the cookie with the chocolate icing. Allow cookies to set, about 1 hour, before serving.
I absolutely adore these fantastically soft, moist and fluffy cookies with their decadently irresistible two-toned icing!
Have a super sweet day!