Soft Black & Whites

So, there is this black and white cat in our neighborhood that is always wandering around.  We don’t know his name so we just call him the black and white.  He lives a couple doors up from us, across the street – he’s got a collar and I’ve seen him being escorted into the neighbor’s house.

I would say he’s patrolling the neighborhood, but he doesn’t seem particularly tough.  He is, however, incredibly sweet and absolutely loves to be scritched behind the ears.  He also has a habit of trying to get into our garage or front door if we’re just coming home.

Anyway, he’s amazing and I’m glad to have him around.  And he got me to thinking about black and whites and I realized that I’ve never made them.  We used to get them at our local bakery when I was a kid.

Since I generally prefer softer cookies to crunchier ones, that’s what we’re going with here.  Hope you like!


·        1 ¾ cups flour

·        1 ½ t baking powder

·        1 t salt

·        10 T butter, softened to room temperature

·        2 t vanilla, separated

·        ¾ cup sugar

·        1 egg + 1 egg yolk

·        1 t lemon zest

·        ¼ cup + 6 T milk, separated

·        3 cups powdered sugar

·        ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder


In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Make sure everything is really well combined.  Set that aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the sugar with your hand mixer until well combined – maybe 3 or 4 minutes.

Next, add in the egg and additional egg yolk as well as the lemon zest and mix again until well combined.  Finally, add in the ¼ cup milk and mix again.IMG_2197

Get your flour bowl and slowly incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients and mix.  It’s probably easier to do it in phases so the flour mixture doesn’t go flying everywhere.IMG_2198

When everything is mixed, bake them for about 15 minutes at 375 on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  They’re ready when they start getting golden brown on the edges.

Let them cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack so they can cool completely.  As always, don’t frost them until they’re completely cool.IMG_2202

Onto the frosting.  Well, glaze, really – not really frosting so much.


We’ll start with making the white base.  Mix together the powdered sugar, 4T of the milk and 1 t vanilla.  You probably don’t need your hand mixer – you should just be able to do this with a whisk.  Note here – You’re looking for a fairly thick consistency – nothing too light and runny, but not so thick so that you can’t spread it.  Because of this, you may want to add a little more milk or a little more powdered sugar to the mix to get to the consistency you’re looking for.IMG_2204

I love this stuff! But…that hair…

Transfer about half of the glaze into a small bowl and set that aside.

Add the cocoa powder as well as 2 T milk to the original glaze bowl (the one you mixed everything in before you poured half out).  Whisk together until everything is well combined and chocolatey delicious.IMG_2208

There are a couple ways to get the icing on the cookies – you can just dip them, but if you do that you’ll end up with glaze on the bottom which will make a mess, and you might not have enough glaze for all the cookies.  The other option is to do what I did and spoon the icing on.

You want to keep a straight line (as much as you can), so I used a piece of paper as a guide and spooned the white glaze on first.  Let that harden a bit and then do the same to the other half, using the chocolate glaze.IMG_2209

Halfway there!!

IMG_2213Leave the cookies on the wire rack until the glaze hardens, then transfer to an airtight container.  And, of course, enjoy!!

This’ll make about 30 cookies.


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