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Black and White Cookies

  • Author: from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
  • Yield: 18 cookies 1x


for the cookies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

for the black and white frosting

  • 3 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 45 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder


make the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two making sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating briefly after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again, and mix on low speed for 10 seconds. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts (end with the flour mixture). Scrape down the bowl; add the vanilla and lemon zest, and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
  4. Using a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches around each cookie. (You’ll be able to fit about 6 cookies onto each sheet).
  5. Bake the cookies for about 17 minutes, rotating the sheets between the oven racks halfway through the baking time, until edges are golden brown and the tops spring back when gently touched. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.

make the black and white frosting

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, cream, and vanilla. If the mixture is too thick, add milk by the teaspoon until the desired consistency is reached. Pour half the frosting (about 3/4 cup) in to a separate bowl and add the cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon water. Stir to incorporate the cocoa powder. The chocolate frosting should be about the same consistency as the “white” frosting. If it is too thick, keep adding water by the teaspoon until you get the right balance.
  2. Use and offset spatula to spread white frosting on half of the flat side of each cookie. Let stand until almost set, about 20 minutes. Clean the spatula and use it to spread chocolate frosting over the unfrosted half of each cookie. (if the frosting thickens up while you are working, whisks it until it loosens.) Let the frosted cookies set completely, about 1 hour, before serving them.
    1. If you’re aiming for a more perfectly iced cookie – fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip with the vanilla frosting, draw carefully defined outlines on half the cookie, then them in. Let the vanilla dry thoroughly and follow with the chocolate.

Black and White Cookies are essentially little cakes, and they taste best eaten the day they are made. However, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.


I used a 1/3 cup ice cream scoop, and thought they came out a perfect size.

Some of the cookies I baked came out in a bit of a dome shape – to avoid this, wet your fingers with a bit of water and flatten out the dough (just a little bit) before baking.

Start checking the cookies for doneness around 14 minutes or so – mine were perfectly baked right around 15 minutes.