Black and White Cookies



Seinfeld Episode 77: The Dinner Party

[The Royal Bakery]

ELAINE: Ummm, I love the smell of bakeries.

JERRY: Oh look Elaine, the black and white cookie. I love the black and white. Two races of flavor living side by side [mumble?] It’s a wonderful thing isn’t it?

ELAINE: You know I often wonder what you’ll be like when you’re senile.

JERRY: I’m looking forward to it.

ELAINE: Yeah. I think it will be a very smooth transition for you.


JERRY: Uhm, The thing about eating the Black and White cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate And yet somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved.

ELAINE: Your views on race relations are fascinating. You really should do an op-ed piece for the Times.

JERRY: Um, um, Look to the cookie Elaine. Look to the cookie.

Look to the cookie…the Black and White cookie.

I watched some Seinfeld when it was in prime time, but I really started to become a fan in college when I started watching it in syndication.  My husband has all 9 seasons on DVD, and we still watch it almost every weeknight from 6-7 on TBS.  I think I’ve seen almost every episode.  A waste of time?  Possibly.  But what a fun and entertaining way to waste it!

I have decided to start a little series of recipes inspired by Seinfeld.  The illustrious black and white cookie begins the series.  My sister and her husband live in New York City.  I have eaten quite a few Black and Whites thanks to her.  Lisa brings a bunch of packaged ones home for Christmas and puts them in our stockings.  When I’ve visited I’ve bought them fresh from bakeries.  These soft, cake-like cookies frosted half with chocolate and half with vanilla icing are truly a lovely combination.  I am more a fan of the vanilla half of the cookies, but both are delicious.  My favorite packaged brand is Angel’s Bakery.


This recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  I love owning this cookbook.  There is a beautiful photo of every item, tips on baking, equipment, techniques, ingredients, etc.  

These cookies turned out to be so delicious.  The cookie is soft, cakey, not too sweet and the perfect base for the sweet icings.



The icings are rich and wonderful.  They are made with heavy cream, but I think whole or 2% milk would work.  You may need to play with powdered sugar if you choose to change the liquid.  Next time I will add a teaspoon or so of vanilla extract to the icing.  


Let the chocolate icing set completely before icing the other half of the cookie.

cookie5 This will keep the chocolate icing from infiltrating the white and also keep it smooth.  Give the icings some time to set and dry before packaging or serving them.  


These black and whites do not stack well since the white icing never really gets completely hardened.  That is the only downside to these cookies.  While they are more time consuming then a common drop, bake, cool and eat cookie, they are well worth the time and effort.  


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350°  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Beat butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add whole eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.
  5. With mixer on low speed add half of the flour mixture, then the cream, then the remaining flour.  Beat until just combined.
  6. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Give them at least 2 inches to spread.  *The recipe makes large cookies using a 1/4 cup the drop the cookies.  I used a large cookie scoop resulting in a baked cookie about 4 inches in diameter.
  7. For large cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are very light golden brown.  I baked them for 9 minutes using a large cookie scoop.
  8. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Black and White Icing

  • 1 cup heavy cream (whole or 2% milk)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons boiling water
  1. Whisk cream and sugar (add in vanilla) in large bowl until smooth.
  2. Set aside about 1 1/4 cups of the white icing in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine cocoa and boiling water and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add cocoa mixture to remaining icing and stir until smooth to make the black icing.

Icing the Cookies

Frost the BOTTOM of the cookie so that the icing will be flat and not domed.


  1. Spread half of the bottom, flat side of the cookie with the chocolate icing.  Repeat with all cookies.  Let set completely.
  2. Spread the other half of the cookie with the white icing, overlapping the chocolate a bit to avoid gaps in the icing.