Empire Taste of Mind: Make Classic New York Black and White Cookie

black and white cookiesblack and white cookiesAs a life-long New Yorker, I can attest to a life-long relationship with the black and white cookie. And yet our relationship has been, well, "complicated." See, for a pretty basic dessert, plain yellow cookie base topped with a simple fondant-style icing (half chocolate, half vanilla), it is almost impossible to find one that passes muster. While the icing is usually acceptable (it's pretty hard to wreck powdered sugar, water and corn syrup), the cookie inevitably disappoints. Hard. Dry. Bland. If you've ever had one of those ubiquitous shrink-wrapped discs at the local deli or produce market, you know just what I mean. But here's the thing: black and whites are SUPER easy to make! Seriously, you don't need a mixer or any other fancy equipment. They come together quickly. And the homemade cookie is SO superior to store-bought or "bakery" version that you will never eat one that doesn't come out of your kitchen again.

Black and White Cookies
from Martha Stewart

For the cookies:
1 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. cake flour
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
2 eggs
¾ c. sugar
½ c. milk
6 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ t. each vanilla and lemon extracts

Related: 24 sinfully sweet dessert recipes in a jar

For the icing:
4 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 T. light corn syrup (plus more if needed)
1 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted over a pan of barely simmering water

1. Make the cookies: Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper; set aside. Sift flours, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs to combine. Continue whisking and gradually add sugar, followed by milk, melted butter and extracts.

2. Pour liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk till smooth. Cover and chill for one hour.

3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per sheet, spaced 3" apart. Bake just until the edges are faintly brown, 12-15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over two parchment-lined baking sheets to cool.

4. Prepare the icing: In a small bowl whisk the confectioner's sugar with 6T. of hot water and the corn syrup. Using a small angled spatula, generously ice half of each cookie. Return the cookies to the rack as they are iced.

5. Whisk the melted chocolate into the remaining icing till smooth, adding 2-3 T.of corn syrup if needed to thin it out to the desired consistency. Ice the second half of each cookie (if the icing starts to get stiff, set the bowl over the pan of hot water you used to melt the chocolate and whisk till smooth again). Let cookies set, about 30 minutes.

- By Sheri Silver
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