So you may be asking yourself, what's the big deal (!!!!!) about Gluten-free Black and White Cookies. And I can only answer, you clearly are not from New York (or nearby), nor have spent much time there. Because if you were, or did, you wouldn't have to ask.
Black and White cookies are a New York delicacy. A tradition. A trademark. And for some reason, you don't find them anywhere else (except maybe New Jersey, or Connecticut, or one of those other nearby states). In California, you might find them occasionally in a deli or bagel place (NOT Noahs! I said BAGELS). But even when you do, they are usually not fresh - and one thing for sure - you want to eat a Fresh Black and White Cookie. The traditional Black and White cookie is almost like a tea cake - soft and a little spongy. The top has half white icing and half chocolate icing. Or, if you're into creative Black and White cookies, you can go visit The Black and White Cookie Company in NY.
Most of my friends here in California have never even heard of a Black and White Cookie (except maybe on an episode of Seinfeld, or Sex and the City. LOL).
I do have one friend in particular here who like me, is originally from NY. She, like me, has the same landing pattern when going home to visit. Head out for Pizza first, then a Black and White Cookie. (She actually goes for a Knish, too.) She totally gets it. She was the first person I called when I baked these - because she understands the love for Black and White Cookies, AND because she is Wheat-intolerant. Needless to say, she was very, very happy. I gave her a few and told her she can share them, and she looked at me and said, "I have to share them???" LOL. "No, I just thought if you didn't want them all, feel free to share them." "You don't HAVE to."
This recipe take a little time, so I suspect most of you won't bother making them unless you are serious about Black and White Cookies.
It starts with a typical gluten-free looking batter - something in between a cookie batter and a cake batter.
Traditional Black and White cookies are BIG. Easily a 5" or 6" circle, or even bigger. I chose to make these a little smaller - maybe 4" - since I was just experimenting. I used my largest cookie scoop.
I baked them, and they came out like hockey pucks. Ha! They didn't spread much. No picture needed. So I made some adjustments to the remaining batter, scooped them out, and gently flattened them to about 1/4" to 1/2", maintaining a circle.
Much better. They may not look so good to you in this picture, but here's a very important thing if you are baking these. The top of the cookie becomes the bottom! A Black and White Cookie is dome-shaped, and the flat part (bottom, when baking) becomes the top of the cookie.
Once the cookies cool, you prepare your icings - which can make or break a Black and White Cookie. Wherever you go to buy your B&W, rarely will you find the icing the same at any two places. Everyone has their favorite. To tell you the truth, I'm still working out the icing kinks. I know I have to include *some* icing recipe with this cookie, and I started out with good intentions when I was making it, but it ended up being a 'by the seat of my pants' recipe. The phone rang, and I was yapping on the phone (it was an important call) while trying to make the icing, and dumping in a little more of this and that, and I don't know what quantities I ended up including.
The thing is - they tasted really good. So I guess you can say it's a "to taste" type of icing recipe. They came out a little messy - I can fix that next time. But they are really, really good.
Will definitely make more perfect looking next time.
Oh - and since people always ask me what I do with all this stuff I bake, I cut these in half and brought them to class with me for my students. My bad :-)
Gluten-free Black and White Cookies
Makes about 26 4" cookies.
- 2 1/4 cups Gluten-free mix (your favorite or my favorite)
- 1 1/4 cups Brown Rice flour
- 1/2 cup Potato Starch (not flour)
- 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch/flour
- 3 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1 1/4 cups milk (approximately)
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I might try 350 degrees next time). You might want to consider baking just 1 or 2 first, to ensure that the consistency of the batter is right. If they turn out too heavy, you can add a bit more milk to the batter.
- Sift flours, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until blended well.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla, lemon, and milk.
- It will be thick, but if batter is too thick, add a bit more milk. It should be a little thicker than a cake batter.
- Gradually add the flour mixture until well blended.
- Scoop large scoops of batter onto parchment-lined cookie sheets leaving about 1" inbetween. Gently flatten into a circle about 1/4" to 1/2" high. They won't spread much, but they will puff up.
- Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly brown. May have to adjust baking time depending on the size cookie you make.
- Remove from oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
Here's a basic icing recipe that I use. You can make adjustments to get a flavor you like and the right consistency for spreading. This recipe uses corn syrup. I HATE using corn syrup in anything. I use a minimal amount here to help the icing set and give it some shine, but in the future I will experiment with adding a little oil instead.
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Hot water
- Whisk the ingredients together vigorously to blend and remove all lumps, adding small amounts of hot water at at time until the icing reaches a good consistency to spread, without being runny.
- Same as above except add 1/3 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
When cookies are completely cool, ice one side of each cookie with the white icing. Then ice the other side with the chocolate icing. There you go! A Gluten-free Black and White Cookie (!!!!!)