Recipe Review

Martha Stewart’s Recipe for Black and White Cookies Is So Easy to Make, You’ll Never Want to Buy Them Again

published Jan 20, 2022
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I have no issue with admitting that I have an insatiable sweet tooth. To be honest, it’s a wonder I haven’t had any cavities. If there are baked goods at an event, you can bet I’m going to try them. But my favorite baked goods of them all are cookies and cakes. Whether a delicious coffee cake cookie or tasty monster cookie, I tend to have an affinity for them all. I do, however, find that black and white cookies can be hit or miss. Outside of New York, where they are a staple, I haven’t been able to find one that I love.

Despite their name, black and white cookies aren’t cookies at all. Instead, they are drop cakes with enough flour that the batter holds its shape. The trick is to not put too much flour in your recipe or the cookies will be too dry. In my experience, this is where most black and white cookies fall flat and end up tasting too dry. If that tends to be your issue when making them (or eating them from someone else), the incomparable Martha Stewart is here to divvy out a few tips to fix that problem. Pairing with baker Samantha Seneviratne, the grand dame of entertaining is giving us an easy-to-follow recipe that will ensure our black and white cookies come out just right.

First, you’ll start by sifting your dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt) into a bowl. The cake flour is what gives it a finer texture overall, which is what we want for the final product. Next, whisk your eggs and sugar in a bowl. Once it’s nice and smooth, add both the milk and vanilla before adding our dry ingredients mix. While the recipe says chill it for an hour, Seneviratne recommends chilling it overnight because you want it to be as cold as possible. 

After preheating your oven to 350°F, line each baking pan with nonstick mats and scoop five cookies onto each pan. After they bake for 12-15 minutes, it is important to let them cool off before adding the icing. 

Admittedly, I had no idea that my favorite part of black and white cookies — the icing — was so easy to make. You simply whisk confectioners’ sugar, hot water, and corn syrup in a bowl until it’s nice and smooth. Then ice one half of each cookie. After whisking semi-sweet chocolate and more corn syrup into the remaining icing, ice the other half of each cookie. You’ll let the icing set for 10 minutes and that’s it! Now, you have a delicious New York favorite that has everyone thinking you’re an expert baker even if you are not.

You can check out the full recipe for Martha’s Black and White Cookies here and check out the video below.